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Legislative Update: New Legislation and Political Developments Affecting Employers - Lorman 2012
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  • 1. LORMAN SEMINAR – EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE IN UTAHLEGISLATIVE UPDATE:NEW LEGISLATION & POLITICALDEVELOPMENTS AFFECTING EMPLOYERSJ. Michael BaileyNovember 9, 2012Provo, UT 4820-3412-7377 parsonsbehle.com
  • 2. Goals of Today’s Presentation Educate you Alert you to issues that may affect your business Arm you for discussions at backyard barbecues • This presentation is a source of general information for clients and friends of Parsons Behle & Latimer. Its content should not be construed as legal advice and attendees should not act upon the information in the presentation without consulting legal counsel 2
  • 3. Outline of PresentationI. Utah Legislature 101II. 2012 Session ReviewIII. Protecting your Business by Playing an Active RolePlease ask questions throughout 3
  • 4. Old Composition of Legislature Republicans (80) Democrats (24) 58 22 17 7 House Senate House Senate 4
  • 5. 2012 Legislative Session Mood was calmer than some years – This is an election year No new taxes, again! Some squabbling between Senate & House – Senate has fewer members (29, compared to 75) but passed almost as many bills (209, compared to 269) 5
  • 6. It was a Very Busy Session0 200 400 600 800 Bills that were numbered (891) Bills that were introduced (764) Bills that passed (478) 6
  • 7. It was a Very Busy Session The Governor vetoed 2 bills (HB363 (Sex education) and HB414) 72% of the bills were not written & introduced until after the first day The legislators admitted in the press that they cannot keep track of it all (especially at the end) 7
  • 8. Comparing Bill Passage Over Time 2011 2012 782 764 504 478 Bills Bills Bills Bills Introduced Passed (62%) Introduced Passed (64%) 8
  • 9. 2012 Bill Passage By The NumbersRepublican - sponsored bills that passed Democrat - (414) sponsored bills that passed (64) 9
  • 10. 2012 Bill Passage By The Numbers 78% 56% 56% 55% Senate Senate House House Republicans Democrats Republicans Democrats 10
  • 11. 2012 Bill Passage By The Numbers Most Prolific Legislators – Republican Senator Curt Bramble (20 out of 26 for 76.9%) – Democrat Senator Ben McAdams (9 out of 15 for 60%) 11
  • 12. It All Starts With A Budget Budget was $13 billion Had $440 million more to spend – Funded growth in education – State employees - 1% raise – $11 million into rainy day fund – Did not borrow for roads 12
  • 13. Broad Themes From the 2012 Session That Affect Employers Employment E-Verify Local Government Environmental Boards States’ Rights Health Insurance Mandates The Sexy Stuff (always at the end) 13
  • 14. Employment Initiatives That Passed Public Employee Status Modifications (HB449 – Dee) Employer premium reduction for wellness programs (HB144S02 – Dunnigan) Unemployment insurance top rate reduced 2% (SB129 – Bramble) Social Services – Employment First Priority (HB296 – Snow) 14
  • 15. Employment Initiatives That Failed Immigration (HB300 – Sandstrom/Herrod) – Would have repealed the guest worker provisions enacted last year Job Discrimination (SB51 – McAdams) – Would have approved a statewide prohibition on job discrimination based on sexual orientation 15
  • 16. Employment Initiatives That Failed Abusive Workplace Practices Act (HB196S01 – Sandstrom) – Would have required adoption of policies protecting public employees – Passed out of committee/died on the floor Collective Bargaining “Open Carry of Firearms Bill ” did not pass (HB49S03 – Ray) 16
  • 17. E-Verify Governor Herbert wanted teeth put in the law – Disappointed it didn’t happen – Bill would have: • Suspended business licenses for violations • Applied to all businesses • Applied to hiring of independent contractors Legislature will likely pursue it next year 17
  • 18. Local Government Legislature has mixed feelings about local control but mostly let cities have the reins – Allowed local anti-idling ordinances – Did not prohibit cities from regulating electronic billboards – Did create state ethics committee to hear local ethics issues 18
  • 19. Environmental Boards Adjudication (SB11 – Dayton) – Permit challenges will be less of a circus – Boards won’t hear appeals of permits – ALJ will hear appeals, Executive Director to make decision Membership (SB21S01 – Dayton) – Will make boards more technical and effective 19
  • 20. States’ Rights Federal Lands: Sagebrush Rebellion 2.0 – Demanding the federal government turn over lands to state – Lands would be opened up to mining, drilling and grazing Health Care Compact – Asking federal government to cede control of health care programs 20
  • 21. Health Insurance Mandates Health Insurance Mandates – Important because if passed before 2014, become set in stone for state under federal health care reform – Many bills this session – Only autism pilot project passed • To serve 350 children at a cost of $30,000 annually per child • “Back-door mandate” 21
  • 22. Sexy Issues Tanning Beds – Not for minors Hookah and e-cigarettes – Outlaw them Sex Education – Don’t ask, don’t tell 22
  • 23. Protecting Your Business Get Involved – Participate in the political process – Educate yourself / Stay informed If you see an issue of concern, what can you do about it? – Build a coalition – Contact your legislator (le.state.ut.us) – Contact us…We will help 23
  • 24. Protecting Your Business Legislature has interim study committees that meet monthly Master study list gives some idea of issues to be studied What can we expect to see in 2013? 24
  • 25. New Faces are Coming in 2013 Redistricting just occurred – Some legislators lost their election or ran for other positions Retirements – Senate President Michael Waddoups – House Minority Leader David Litvack – Senate Minority Whip Karen Morgan – Rep. Todd Kiser 25
  • 26. “New” Makeup of Utah Legislature Republicans Democrats (80 + 3 + 2 = 85) (24 - 3 - 2 = 19) 61 24 14 5 House Senate House Senate 26
  • 27. Study Issues That May Affect Employment E-Verify / Immigration – Will Legislature revisit the guest worker law? Injured Worker Benefits – Study ways to coordinate benefits paid by workers compensation & group health insurance plans Revisit Sen. McAdams’ anti-discrimination bill (2012 SB51) 27
  • 28. Study Issues That May Affect Employment State Retirement System Study ways to incentivize wellness Modernization of Workforce Services Third-hand smoke in the workplace Guns 28
  • 29. Other Likely Study Issues Alcohol Employment Discrimination Subcontractors Water CO2 Emissions 29
  • 30. More Study Topics Privatization of Government (Prison, DABC) Government Competition with Private Sector Agency Retention of Fines and Forfeitures Coal and other severance taxes – Impact on utility rates Telecommunications Taxation Other Issues? 30
  • 31. Task Forces Economic Development – To include air quality issues Health System Reform 31
  • 32. Don’t Hesitate to Call We’re here to help – never be reluctant to call – About employment issues… – or immigration… – or even third hand smoke 32
  • 33. Thank you Mike Bailey direct: (801) 536-6777 cell: (801) 201-0115 email: mbailey@parsonsbehle.com twitter: @utahcounselor 33