The Legislative session ended with some positive and negative results. I would like to commend Speaker Mattiello, House Finance Chair Marvin Abney and the leadership team for formulating a good budget for the business community. This was a tough budget to negotiate through. I believe that the Speaker’s leadership was a major factor in producing a pro-business budget.
Major items that were discarded were the Medicaid tax bill, service tax bill, the lobbyist tax bill and marijuana legislation was not approved. RIMA made our position against passage of these items and we are pleased that these additional tax revenues were removed.
We asked for full funding of Real Jobs. On this issue, we fell short of achieving our goal. In addition, the Commerce economic program was downsized. These types of decisions have many factors involved. The data supporting these decisions is extensive. I do know that due diligence of these issues was done. I hope that these decisions will not impact our training capability nor our ability to grow our economy.
The ReBuild Rhode Island Program legislation passed that now allows for S-corporations and LLC to participate. RIMA testified in support of this change.
The FY 2020 Budget allows tax relief for pass through entities by allowing a pass-through entity to pay the state income tax at the entity level the same as a C-Corporation and deduct it from the federal income tax passed through to the owners. This legislation was presented by House Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi.
The first time in many years, the business community will not face a minimum wage increase as the Senate bill died in House Labor Committee.
RIMA working with Rep. Deb Ruggiero put together legislation on Sustainability. This legislation passed both the House and Senate. We will be explaining this legislation to our manufacturers in the near future. Manufacturers who wish to participate at no-charge and can show how they are doing sustainability within their company and will receive a document noting such by the State of Rhode Island. Those of us whose customers monitor our efforts for recycling, carbon reduction, energy reduction and many other items will now be able to show your customer a state document noting your company’s efforts.