The Fight Goes On: NFIB's Focus on State Efforts

Date: February 03, 2017

Major state action in 2016 will continue this year.

Big Labor went on offense in 2016, pursuing a grab bag of anti-small business policies across the country. But NFIB fought back, protecting your right to own, operate, and grow your business. “NFIB matched Big Labor step by step, beating back major efforts that would be harmful to small business in a number of states,” says Steve Woods, NFIB’s vice president of state policy. “We were very successful in holding the line on those issues, and we’ll continue to fight for small business in 2017.” Here’s a closer look at three of those key issues.

Fight against ‘The Fight for $15’

The so-called Fight for $15 minimum wage battle raged on in 2016. Both California and New York voted to implement a $15 an hour minimum wage. In New Jersey, NFIB members saw a victory when Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a $15 minimum wage bill. “Minimum wage increases should slow down this year; all of the states where it’s easy to increase it have already increased it,” Woods says. 

Action against mandated paid leave

NFIB will remain on defense on mandated paid leave in 2017. New York small business saw a defeat on that issue in 2016. “We will continue to make our case against it,” Woods says. “This mandate has a much more negative impact on small businesses than on their larger counterparts.

Efforts for right-to-work laws

NFIB also has made headway on right-to-work laws, which give employees the right not to join a labor union. 

Twenty-six states now have a right-to-work law. Since 2012, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia have become right-to-work states, an effort driven in part by NFIB. “Our mem-bers aren’t looking for much help out of their state government,” Woods says. “They’re just looking for them to leave them alone.”

The Push for a Balanced Budget Amendment

NFIB made progress on persuading state legislatures to pass resolutions that call for a constitutional convention on the federal balanced budget issue. This would clear the way for a possible amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ninety percent of NFIB members support a balanced budget amendment.

  • Twenty-eight states have already passed resolutions.
  • Six more states must do so to trigger a constitutional convention.

“This will change the debate in Washington about spending and deficits,” Woods says.


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