Mandate Update: Two of Three Costly Bills Fail, Paid FMLA Still Alive
Two of the more controversial labor mandates proposed this General Assembly session died this week when a key legislative committee failed to act on the measures.
HB 6208, which increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022, and calls for annual increases based on inflation, died in the Appropriations Committee.
While the committee failed to act on the bill by its deadline, a revised version may be inserted into a budget document or other bill.
For example, there is speculation that a proposal increasing the minimum wage to $11.25 an hour may be floated in the final days of the legislative session.
Appropriations also failed to act on HB 6914, which requires individuals performing janitorial services be given a 30-hour work week regardless of whether they want those hours, or the employer can afford to pay.
This bill struggled under its own logistics and is unlikely to come back this session.
But there’s less good news when the conversation turns to the most harmful mandate of all: paid family and medical leave.
SB 1 and HB 6212 create a costly new paid FMLA program. A fiscal analysis predicts this will cost taxpayers about $13.6 million the first year, and about $18 million each subsequent year.
It also requires hiring at least 120 new state employees—and possibly more.
The budget proposals recently released by Senate and House Democrats include this, despite that it’s bad for employees, employers, and taxpayers. CBIA and other groups are working hard to show the harm such a bill will cause the business community.
Senate and House Democrats included FMLA in their new budget proposal this week, but concede the level of support in their own caucuses for many aspects of their budget plan is not clear.
With Connecticut still struggling to recover jobs lost in the recession, now is not the time to adopt more job-killing mandates.
With Connecticut still struggling to recover jobs lost in the recession, CBIA and its members maintain that now is not the time to adopt more job-killing mandates.
There are less than three weeks to go in the 2017 regular session.
Business leaders must remain vigilant and continue to contact their lawmakers with concerns about these and other labor mandates.
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