Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
House Finance Committee to Hear Sales Tax
On Thursday, February 28th at approximately 4:30 pm in Room 35, the House Finance Committee will take testimony on Article 5, Section 9 of the Governor’s budget. This is the Article that expands the 7% sales tax to the following items:
- Digital Downloads ($2.6 million) such as Audio Works like Netflix, on-demand movies, games, movie streaming; Digital Audio Works such as audio book downloads; Ringtones; Digital books
- Hunting, Trapping and Shooting Services ($.6 million)
- Lobbying Services ($.9 million)
- Interior Design Services ($.5 million)
- Commercial Buildings Services ($6.2 million) which specifically includes extermination services, commercial cleaning services, landscaping and maintenance services, carpet and upholstery clearing services and janitorial services. These services, if performed in a private residence with a home office, are not taxable.
If you wish to testify, please come to Room 35 at the State House and sign your name on the sheet that is available.
What’s in the Governor’s Budget
Article 20 – Marijuana
Marijuana legalization is being discussed in so many forums that UTD has decided to skip ahead to provide an overview of this 126 page budget proposal addressing both medical marijuana and adult legalization.
The stated goal of Article 20 is to gain better control over the medical marijuana system, set limits on the potency of product sold to individuals not experiencing a medical need for cannabis, and to create a system for addressing the expected negative consequences of marijuana use. It establishes the Office of Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Business Regulation (DBR) to regulate and enforce the provisions of the law. Interestingly, according to the Department of Business Regulation, 20% of the population uses 80% of the marijuana in Rhode Island.
Medical Marijuana changes:
The following bills were filed last week:
Senate Bill No. 268 Miller, Sosnowski, McCaffrey, Ruggerio, Goldin, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY - PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION ACT (Prohibits retail sales establishments from providing plastic checkout bags and all retail establishments from providing expanded polystyrene disposable food containers and would be enforced by municipal designees, with an opt out provision.)
Senate Bill No. 279 DiPalma, Seveney, Coyne, Euer, Goldin, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- SALES AND USE TAXES -- LIABILITY AND COMPUTATION (Exempts from sales tax any amount a construction contractor charges clients for materials and supplies in connection with a construction contract.)
Senate Bill No. 283 Picard, AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC PROPERTY AND WORKS -- DISABILITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES (Expands the existing disability business enterprises program.)
Senate Bill No. 290 Bell, Nesselbush, Quezada, Seveney, Murray, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (Establishes a universal, comprehensive, affordable single-payer health care insurance program .)
Senate Bill No. 316 Goldin, Cano, Goodwin, Quezada, Miller, AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS - CONDUCT OF ELECTION AND VOTING EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES (Requires employers to give their employees, who make a timely request, two (2) hours of paid leave to vote. This act would be enforced by the department of labor and training.)
Senate Bill No. 330 Cano, Goldin, Euer, Murray, Lynch Prata, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES -- SEXUAL HARASSMENT (Extends protection to domestic servants/includes retaliation as unlawful practice and requires employers of 4 or more employees to conduct sexual harassment programs for new employees within 1 month of the date of hire/all employees by September 1, 2019.)
Senate Bill No. 369 Lawson, Euer, Goodwin, McCaffrey, Ruggerio, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- MINIMUM WAGES (Provides health care employers with at least 18 employees, which receive certain state funding or pay an executive $1,000,000 or more annually, pay a minimum wage of $15.00.)
Senate Bill No. 370 McCaffrey, Goodwin, Ciccone, Cano, Lawson, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - EMPLOYMENT SECURITY - BENEFITS (Increases the maximum weekly unemployment benefit rate to the higher of fifty-seven and one-half percent (57.5%) of the average weekly wages paid to workers in the prior calendar year or six hundred thirty-six dollars ($636) per week.)
Senate Bill No. 373 Lombardi, Ciccone, Lombardo, Archambault, Lynch Prata, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - TEMPORARY DISABILITY INSURANCE - CONTRIBUTIONS (Permits employees who are covered by employer sponsored disability insurance programs to elect to be exempt from the state temporary disability insurance program, provided the employer has submitted documentation to the director confirming such coverage)
Senate Bill No. 374 Goldin, Goodwin, Quezada, Euer, Murray, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- MINIMUM WAGE--GRATUITIES (Incrementally increases from the $3.89 per hour subminimum wage for tipped workers to $9.00 per hour on January 1, 2023, Starting on January 1, 2024, the minimum hourly wage for tipped workers would be equal to the state's regular minimum hourly wage.)
Senate Bill No. 375 Felag, AN ACT RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS -- ELECTRICIANS (Electrical apprentices qualify for journeyperson "B" exam by successfully completing 288 hours of classroom training in a recognized trade school.)
Senate Bill No. 379 Ciccone, Lombardo, Gallo, McCaffrey, Goodwin, AN ACT RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES - RETAIL LICENSES (Allows holders of a Class P license to purchase alcoholic beverages from either a retail or wholesale establishment in the state of Rhode Island.)