Summing Up the Just Ended Massachusetts Legislative Session

Date: January 20, 2021

Issues of concern to small business

As reported in our last update to NFIB members, the 2019-20 legislative session drew to a close on January 6th. Following the passage of several last minutes bills, here are the end results of the various policies once the dust settled: 

Climate Change Bill 

Legislation that would result in higher energy costs, ban the sale or installation of certain appliances, and mandates net-zero construction was vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker. Baker feared the legislation would result in a reduction in residential and commercial construction as a result of the provision creating net-zero energy building codes. Although Baker vetoed the bill, House Speaker Ron Mariano vowed to refile the same language in the new 2021 session. 

Economic Development:  

A provision included in the economic development bill will finally end premium time-and-a-half pay for retailers on all holidays. To offset the $15 minimum wage in the 2018 Grand Bargain law, lawmakers agreed to phase-out premium time and-a-half-pay over a five year span, ending it completely in 2023. However, a drafting error resulted in three holidays (New Year’s Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans’ Day) being excluded. After several attempts to correct the language since 2018, the fix was finally made in the Economic Development bill. NFIB would like to thank all of the small business owners who responded to our earlier issue alerts demanding the Legislature honor what they promised in the Grand Bargain.  


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