NFIB To Testify Against Assault on Independent Contractors

Date: February 17, 2017

Small business opposed to Gov. Bill Walker’s bid to narrow and limit definition of them

NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt’s report from Juneau on the legislative week ending February 17.

Gov. Bill Walker’s Senate Bill 79 will get its first hearing February 20. It will be introduced to the House Labor & Commerce Committee. We expect public testimony later next week. NFIB/Alaska Leadership Council member Chris Nettels will testify for NFIB. This bill would establish an overly limiting definition of an independent contractor for purposes of workers’ compensation.

“The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has had a standard dealing with the definition of an independent contractor for many years. It has been litigated and is a fairly well-understood standard. We suggest that Alaska use that standard for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage,” wrote NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt in a letter to the House Labor and Commerce Committee, the full text of which can be read here.

Jail Time for Misdemeanors

Senate Bill 54, by Sen. John Coghill, corrects problems created by the passage of last year’s criminal reform bill, Senate Bill 91. It adds back jail time for misdemeanors so that there is leverage to get folks into treatment. Without it, there is no encouragement to enter treatment programs to change behavior.

NFIB/Alaska Leadership Council member Ron Flint will testify in favor the bill’s passage. NFIB’s support letter can be read here.

State Income Tax

NFIB continues to closely monitor House Bill 115, a measure:

  • establishing an income tax
  • earmarking part of the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve for the operation of state government
  • allowing folks to offset their income tax liability against the permanent fund dividend.

NFIB continues to oppose an income tax.

Previous Reports & Related News Releases

February 10 Report—NFIB Looking at Four Fixes to Omnibus Crime Bill

February 3 Report—Flaw in SB 91: What Penalty for Petty Theft?

January 27 Report—Independent Contractors Once Again in Crosshairs of Alaska Legislature

January 20 Report—Costly Bills Make Return Engagement in Juneau

January 5 News Release—Poll: Alaska Should Not Be In The Retirement Business

[Tile photo of House Finance Committee courtesy of The Alaska State Legislature website]

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