Feb 8, 2006

HB1142 -- Training Fund Assessment

SUPPORT: A victory for the small business owners came packaged in HB1142. The bill exempts employers with fewer than 20 employees from payment of the Skills 2016 Traning Fund assessments. The program, never utilized by these small businesses, previously required them to pay an assessment and file additional paperwork with the state. Apparently 45 Democrats like the idea of the government stealing from these small business owners as the vote barely passed out of the House in a party line vote, 51-45.

STATUS: Passed out of House. Referred to Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor. Sen. Young sponsoring.

HB1113 -- Obesity Liability Protection

SUPPORT: Rep. Ralph Foley has impressed us yet again. Foley authored HB1113 which grants immunity from civil liability for those in the food and beverage industry if they are faced with a claim concerning weight gain, obesity or a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity that likely resulted from the long term consumption of certain foods or beverages. Legislating personal accountability? It's a shame we have to go there, but it's nice to see our legislators providing some common sense shield to potential nusiance lawsuits.

STATUS: Passed House 76-21. Assigned to Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters, Sen. Bray sponsoring.

Feb 7, 2006

SB127 -- Campaign Finance Reform

OPPOSE: This bill essentially protects incumbents from open speech and fair criticism. The fact that the Senate passed this 50-0 should scare everyone of us. The bill no longer allows a related group of individuals to form a political action committee. It also provides for increased paperwork requirements for an individual or group with deep pockets who would like to point out the misbehavior of our elected officials. I guess if you can't stifle free speech, why not bureaucratize it?

STATUS: Passed Senate 50-0. Referred to House Committee on Elections and Apportionment.

SB117 -- Workplace Incentives for Curbing Tobacco Use

SUPPORT: What's amazing is we need a bill in our General Assembly to state that an employer is allowed to offer financial incentives to employees as an enticement to stop smoking. While it's crazy we would need the government to allow something that just makes sense, so long as it's necessary, we support it. Private incentives to stop versus prohibition of a legal substance? We choose incentives every time.

STATUS: Passed out of Senate. Sponsored by Rep. T. Brown in House. Assigned to Committee on Employment and Labor.
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