The Pennsylvania House of Representatives returned to Harrisburg this week, but instead of working on proposals to benefit the small business community, they took up multiple proposals that would negatively impact small businesses.
Despite NFIB’s strong opposition, the PA House passed a bill to expand works’ compensation and a bill to provide additional independent contractor regulations. Both bills are bad news for business!
The first, HB 930 would expand Workers’ Compensation eligibility for permanent disfigurement from the existing 275 weeks to 400 weeks. This legislation would also enable claimants to collect both total or partial disability benefits and disfigurement benefits simultaneously.
The second, HB 413 would require small business owners in the construction industry to comply with additional regulations when utilizing independent contractors, specifically requiring a project specific contract that contains a definitive timeline for the scope of work.
Both bills are now awaiting committee assignment in the Senate. NFIB will continue our opposition efforts with members of the Senate to prevent these costly mandates from becoming law.
Additionally, the PA House Commerce Committee, which is in Democrat control, despite NFIB’s vehement opposition passed a bill that would create a business mandate! HB 577 would establish the Keystone Saves Program Act, which would create a state-facilitated automatic enrollment retirement savings program for employees that do not have access to an employer sponsored retirement program. This proposal, which has been pushed by PA State Treasurer Stacy Garrity (R-PA), would create a state mandate on employers!
Under this proposal, employers would be mandated to register with the state. Under current state and federal law, private businesses are not required to offer retirement plans to their employees. NFIB recently balloted our Pennsylvania membership on the topic of a state-run automatic IRA program, with 84% of the membership opposing this concept.