End of Legislative Session Wrap Up in Massachusetts

Date: January 06, 2021

The 2019-20 Legislative session ended around 4:30 AM on January 6th with a flurry of bills hitting the floor at the last minute.  

UI Reform: Despite successfully making it through three committees in a relatively short period of time, the Governor’s bill to freeze unemployment insurance rates failed to pass despite the last-minute effort. There is an appetite from legislators to address this issue in the new session so NFIB will continue to work with lawmakers to provide UI tax relief soon, before first quarter bills are issued in the spring. 

Transportation: NFIB was successful at ensuring the five cent gas tax increase and regional ballot initiatives did not end up in the final transportation bill. Regional ballot initiatives would have allowed municipalities to present referendums on transportation projects that would have been funded by increases to sales, occupancy, property, and excise tax hikes. 

Economic Development: The economic development bill included language NFIB supported to finally end premium pay for three holidays left out of the 2018 Grand Bargain law due to an apparent drafting error. The final bill included language to phase-out time and a half pay for retailers on New Year’s, Columbus, and Veteran’s Days.  

The two Transportation and Economic Development bills will join the Climate Change bill and now go before Governor Baker.   

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