Bill Introduced to Allow County Employees’ Collective Bargaining

As the session slows to a close, Senate legislators introduced a bill this week that would grant county employees the right to collectively bargain. Out of roughly 25 bills that have hit the floor for committee action in the past week, other bills of note include a bill that would require higher education faculty be added to the definitions for “key participants” applying for industrial hemp cultivation registration, a bill that would allow qualifying retailers to retain a portion of their sales taxes and a bill that would establish legal protections for donor-conceived people and families.

Description: Add Faculty To Key Participant Definition For Hemp

Sponsors: M. Lindsay 

Summary: To engage in industrial hemp cultivation in the state, a person is required to apply to the department of agriculture for registration. In applying for a registration, the person must include the names and addresses of all key participants. The bill amends the definition of "key participant" to include faculty at an institution of higher education to align with federal law requirements that all individuals authorized to grow hemp under a registration undergo a criminal history record check.

Description: Qualified Retailer Retain Sales Tax

Sponsors: L. Herod, D. Roberts and J. Coleman

Summary: After a 10-month hiatus, the bill renews for July, August and September a temporary deduction from state net taxable sales for qualifying retailers in the alcoholic beverages drinking places industry, the catering industry, the food service contractors industry, the mobile food services industry, the restaurant and other eating places industry and retailers operating a hotel-operated restaurant, bar or catering service in the state. The temporary deduction from state taxable sales for qualifying retailers is equal to the lesser of state net taxable sales or $70,000 for each month in the specified sales tax period.

Description: Programs To Develop Housing Support Services

Sponsors: P. Lee and J. Amabile

Summary: The bill establishes and expands programs within the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs to increase the capacity of communities across the state to provide supportive housing services to individuals with behavioral, mental health or substance use disorders who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and who have contact with the criminal or juvenile justice system.

Description: Collective Bargaining For Counties

Sponsors: S. Fenberg, D. Moreno and D. Esgar

Summary: Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, the bill grants the public employees of a county the right to organize, form, join or assist an employee organization or refrain from doing so; engage in collective bargaining; engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection; communicate with other county employees and with employee organization representatives and receive and distribute literature regarding employee organization issues; and have an exclusive representative at formal discussions concerning a grievance, a personnel policy or practice or any other condition of employment.

Description: Protections For Donor-conceived Persons And Families

Sponsors: S. Fenberg, B. Gardner and K. Tipper

Summary: The bill creates the Donor-conceived Persons and Families of Donor-conceived Persons Protection Act. The act defines who qualifies for the protection it would establish, which include requiring gamete banks to establish good-faith measures and ensure that a donor’s gametes wouldn’t be used to establish more than 10 families outside of the state. The bill would also require banks to receive licensure to operate from the Department of Public Health and Environment. 

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