We Take Rhode Island Manufacturer’s Issues to the Top, Where Real Changes are Made
Rhode Island Manufacturing Association (RIMA) is the trusted source and partner to Rhode Island government and community leaders interested in supporting a thriving manufacturer sector. As the unified voice of over 1,600 Rhode Island manufacturers, RIMA advocates for sensible legislative and policy solutions at the federal, state, and local level that support and empower manufacturing’s unique role as the Economic Engine for Rhode Island.
RIMA’s 2019 Legislative Positions:
- Marijuana in the Workplace: RIMA is against legalization. While the revenue may tilt the passage of this bill at the State House, RIMA has been proactive in establishing several key points to ensure manufacturers are protected under the regulations that the Department of Business Regulations are compiling. We want our employers to have a strong voice on what goes on in their workplace. Our position has and will continue to be expressed with the State House Leadership.
- Medicaid: The proposal to require companies that employ 300 or more employees to pay a fee of $1,500 or 10% of pay is a challenge for manufacturers. The bill could eventually be reduced to affect those with employees of to 200, 100, and 50. The assessment of a fee for having part time employees who are on Medicaid is the most concerning of this proposal. In the bill’s current form, employers will not be able to differentiate between employees on Medicaid and ones that have refused health care. With this set up, the employer also runs the risk of being blind-sided with a variable assessment fee that may or may not be warranted at no set time of the year.
- Service Tax: There is a service tax bill being considered on lawn care, office cleaning, pest control and overall property maintenance. RIMA has stated that it is against another “cost of doing business” tax.
- Pay Equity: Legislation for this has been submitted again for 2019. Last year, RIMA had requested to discuss the proposal with the bill sponsor. Unfortunately, the sponsor has declined. RIMA finds issue in the “comparable job” verbiage which will create a legal quagmire, and has noted that manufacturing companies hire based on the value of a position to the company’s budget. It is not necessary to inquire about what the applicant is currently making, as most inflate that information. Under this proposed bill, employers can also recommend that new hires refrain from discussing their hiring package. In reality, this is unenforceable.
- *Sustainability: RIMA has submitted legislation calling for sustainable practices among manufacturers. This bill calls for volunteers and will not burden companies with additional costs. The program addresses employee worth, work environment, renewables and carbon reduction. This bill was submitted to demonstrate the positive influence manufactures are exhibiting on the general public and state government. RIMA will take a leading role in the explanation of embracing sustainability with manufacturers. House Bill #H-5145 & S-0395
- *S-Corp & LLC Legislation: RIMA has submitted legislation to “level the playing field” with C-Corporations. This bill would allow S-Corporations and Limited Liability Companies to gain access to the same benefits and programs offered by the state. House Bill #H-5630.
- Support of H-5576: This bill provides tax relief for pass-through entities that would be unable to take a federal income tax deduction for state and local income taxes they pay on their personal tax returns.
RIMA continues to monitor proposed legislation that affects businesses and manufacturers. Representatives of RIMA meet regularly with leadership from the House and Senate, to review and comment on proposed legislation. Every Monday, RIMA also participates in the legislative session to review proposed bills.
*Items that are policy proposals.