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Legislative Update April 21th, 2019

04/23/2019 3:21 PM | Denis Bourbeau

Contractor Registry Bill

S.163 – This coming week House General and Military Affairs will take up portions of S.163 that don’t pertain to the Contractor Registry. We anticipate the committee will consider this section the week after next.  We met with Chris Curtis from the Attorney General’s office to check in. They would like a builder to consider submitting an Op-ed regarding why there is a need for this registry.

The Toxins Bill

S.37 – The committee was prepared to put aside the strict liability language and focus on medical monitoring. Medical monitoring is still a concern, but it was not as far reaching. On Friday we learned that the Governor’s Administration wants to add their own strict liability language. We met with the Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources to discuss the Administration’s perspective. He has met with others who share the Home Builders’ concerns and we will regroup this week. We continue talking with relevant legislators and allied groups regarding unintended consequences of S.37. This work will continue next week. We anticipate needing someone in to testify to this bill the week of 4/29.

Workforce Development Bill

We have prepared draft language to add a comprehensive workgroup for workforce training in the construction trades. This draft has been shared with HBRA board and when it is finalized, we will attempt to find a legislative sponsor and have this added to a bill. There are only about 18 more legislative workdays left so this may not be possible this year. It will be good to have it prepared and added to a bill that will be ready to go when the legislature convenes in January.

Act 250

The committee regrouped and tried to find some aspect of this bill where they could find common agreement in order to gain traction to move forward. That attempt failed and it is all but certain, no bill will be coming from House Natural Resources on Act 250 reform this year.

Paid Family Leave

H.107 The Senate Economic Development Committee is continuing to take testimony on this bill. There continues to be enough Democrats opposed to this bill to support a veto should the Governor decide to make that move. Here is a good article from Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) explaining her concerns.

Residential Building Energy Standards

Rep. Scott Campbell has finalized his draft for a working group and is now passing that around to fellow legislators and stakeholders to get support for placing this into a bill that will be passed this year.

Employee Misclassification

S.108 – We met with the Legislative Policy Director for the Department of Labor (DOL) to confirm all that we were told regarding this bill. Right now, the DOL follows up on complaints of misclassification. If there are egregious employers who have repeatedly defied the law, DOL passes the investigation on to the Attorney General. The AG received two cases last year and no one anticipates this will dramatically increase but some felt the referral work done now needs to be codified, hence the consideration of this bill. There is also discussion about requiring a Memorandum of Understand between DOL, the Attorney General and also the Department of Financial Regulation to better parse out the chain of follow-up involved. It was confirmed that there has been no discussion about changing the independent contractor definition.

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