What to Expect on Beacon Hill in 2024

Date: February 13, 2024

As the legislative session gains steam there seems to be a clear message from lawmakers: Massachusetts needs revenue. To date, the state is about $769 million below benchmarks this fiscal year, underperforming for 7 months straight.

That said, legislators are proclaiming there is presently no appetite to raise taxes. But in a contradictory manner, Governor Maura Healey proposed legislation allowing municipalities to raise meals and occupancy taxes, while creating an entirely new 5% tax on the value of vehicles. Healey also stated there will be a focus on improving the state’s failing transportation system and refused to confirm or deny the potential for new or increased taxes.

On February 7th, the various committees that determine the viability of legislation reported out thousands of bills with their recommendation. While the vast majority are shelved for the session to likely be refiled next year, many were provided favorable reports or extensions. This means they are still “in play” for 2024.

Some of these proposals include:

  • Wages: Bills to raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour and eliminate the tipped wage for restaurants.
  • Energy & Environment: Bills that will ban natural gas hook ups in new and renovated buildings, require higher registration fees for non-electric cars, further move towards electrification, ban plastic bags and polystyrene.
  • Labor policies: Bills to ban the use of credit reports in hiring, mandate paid time off to vote, establish employment protections for victims of abuse, allow unemployment for striking workers, provide independent contractor safe harbors, require changing stations in bathrooms, allow credit card fees to be partially passed to consumers, establish data privacy laws.

This is just a small sample of the legislation that can still be considered by lawmakers this session. NFIB will continue to monitor proposals that impact small businesses and communicate the impact to legislators. Stay tuned for future updates and alerts on bills as they move through the legislative process.

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