The Small Business Issues You'll Hear About During Indiana's Legislative Session

Date: January 03, 2020

As Indiana's lawmakers gather in Indianapolis to begin the new legislative session, NFIB reminds our elected leaders to remember the important role small business plays in the state's economy.

As lawmakers returned to Indianapolis on Jan. 6, NFIB State Director Barbara Quandt reminds our elected officials to keep small business in mind this year. Small business owners create jobs and keep Indiana’s economy running. NFIB is working to enact positive measures to help small business owners in this legislative session. Here are NFIB’s top priorities for the 2020 legislative session.

Lowering the Cost of Healthcare

Like other states, healthcare costs are on the rise in Indiana. In fact, a recent study from the Director for the Center of Business and Economic Research at Ball State University shows that Indiana has some of the highest costs in the country. Hoosiers pay $819 more per person for healthcare expenditures than the average American. NFIB is pushing for more transparency for small business owners, their employees, and family members so that they are not hit with “surprise” medical bills. Small businesses already pay more to provide health insurance for their employees. Higher Indiana healthcare costs put them at an even greater disadvantage. NFIB joins the governor in support of one of his main priorities: eliminating surprise billing. 

Oppose Unemployment Tax Increases

There’s an effort by labor organizations in Indiana to grow the Unemployment Trust Fund. NFIB opposes this measure, which would take more money out of hard-working small business owner’s pockets in order to build an unnecessary stockpile of cash in anticipation of the next recession – which could be years on the horizon. NFIB is reminding lawmakers that the UI Fund has largely recovered from the recession of 2008 and is growing, thanks to a healthy Hoosier economy.

Worker Misclassification                                           

Last session, lawmakers in the Senate Employment, Labor and Pensions committee fell for a push by big labor to study “fraud” they claim is happening in Indiana when it comes to classifying workers. Thankfully, the bill didn’t pass the House. Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development is doing an excellent job of finding improper 1099s and related fraud. Make no mistake, this legislation is an attempt to go after small businesses, who in many cases, may not even know they are not in compliance. Indiana needs education, not punishment for the people who create jobs and keep the state’s economy running.

Oppose Increasing Minimum Wage

Increasing the minimum wage will ultimately hurt the people that the legislation is intended to help. Raising Indiana’s minimum wage to an arbitrary number such as $15 may boost some worker’s paychecks in the short term—but in the long run, the move will force small business owners to take drastic measures to make up for revenue losses. Jacking up Indiana’s minimum wage by 100 percent is not only unreasonable, but it will also stifle the state’s economy by eliminating entry-level jobs. The minimum wage was intended to be a training wage and most minimum-wage employees are part-time or students. 

Oppose Mandated Paid Leave

Paid leave policies are just that: policies. There is no one size fits all policy that works for every business in Indiana. Small business owners must have the flexibility to plan for employee absences to not only operate their businesses – but to stay in business. The impact of mandated paid leave could be devastating. Many employers already provide leave or personal time which employees may use for a variety of reasons.  Small employers offer flexible schedules and time off to retain key employees. For most of Indiana’s small business owners, employees are like family. They don’t need a mandated program to take care of their workers.

Related Content: Small Business News | Indiana

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