Labor & Economic Development Committee Federal Update

 

Legislative Summit RecaP

2016 NCSL Legislative SummitIf you were able to join NCSL in Chicago, we hope you had an enjoyable and informative experience meeting fellow legislators and staff, hearing about the most pressing topics in statehouses across the country, and experiencing the Windy City.

If you were not able to attend, or if you were there but could not attend the sessions you wanted, have no fear!  NCSL’s Summit Resources page has all of the information you need.

As for the Labor & Economic Development (LED) Committee, we had a number of productive discussions—from international trade to the role of the arts in workforce development in urban and rural areas.

You can access all of the 2016 Summit resources and information here.

eb-5 uPDATE

One of the new policies adopted by NCSL at the 2016 Summit calls for the reauthorization of the EB-5 visa program.  Following this call for congressional action, the organization sent a letter to members of Congress informing them of NCSL’s position on the issue and calling for swift action on legislation to renew the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

The letter, which can be viewed here, explains how the program results in billions of dollars in foreign direct investment in the United States every year and brings thousands of jobs with it. These impacts are felt in the districts of countless NCSL members. At the same time, the letter acknowledges common concerns about accountability and transparency within the EB-5 program and seeks long-term reforms to address these issues.

A renewal of the program’s authority was included in the most recent Continuing Resolution that funds the government and the program until Dec. 9.  However, the long-term future remains uncertain without intentional action on Capitol Hill.

LAWSUIT ON OVERTIME RULE

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), arguing that the federal government overstepped its authority when issuing new regulations seeking to expand overtime pay eligibility.

As NCSL summarized previously, the new rule would raise the maximum level below which salaried individuals must be paid time-and-a-half for any work in excess of 40 hours per week. That would move the threshold from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year.

DOL made a few suggestions of how state and local governments impacted by the decision could reach compliance but this lawsuit demonstrates that these suggestions do not allay the larger concerns of states and localities.

According to the lawsuit, as described in a blog post by Lisa Soronen, Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center, states “cannot reasonably rely upon a corresponding increase in revenue, [so] they will have to reduce or eliminate some essential government services and functions.”  Overall, states make five arguments against the rules in their suit.

To find out more about the new overtime rules, you can visit DOL’s overtime page.

CAPITOL FORUM PREVIew

Capitol ForumNCSL is hard at work planning the 2016 Capitol Forum, held Dec. 6-9 in Washington, D.C.  The presidential election will have just recently passed, and the NCSL Capitol Forum will be the perfect opportunity to talk about the states’ agenda as we approach a new administration and a new Congress.

As always, the Labor and Economic Development Committee is working to plan interactive, informative sessions on the issues most pressing to states in these policy areas.

For more information about sessions, registration, schedules, and more, please click here.  We hope to see you there!