Student Success Act negotiations push into other business issues
Monday, May 6, 2019
While business stakeholders and legislators focused intently on the education tax package last week, many of the other hotly contested bills got pushed to the back burner.
Topics such as workplace discrimination, tobacco tax and cap and trade saw little to no movement as legislators turned their attention to the Student Success Act. Although many issues were on hold for the week, paid family leave and the employer assessment were part of the revenue negotiations and ultimately included in a deal cut by legislative leadership and some in the business community.
Paid family leave, which has been contentiously debated since the beginning of the session, has finally reached an agreement that provides a more stable leave program for employees while maintaining flexibility and sensibility for employers. The detailed language for the concept is being drafted now and is expected to be released this week.
The proposed $500 million employer assessment, originally intended to fine employers with employees or their dependents on state assistance, will not advance as a result of the agreement. This deal is a way to help lift some of the burden from employers impacted by the new commercial activity tax in the Student Success Act.
Although it is unclear exactly how hard legislators will want to push on business issues following the education-focused tax, businesses expect to see many of these conversations pick up steam.