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The Legislative Report blog provides timely information on federal and state legislation and regulations and state trends as well as the myriad issues affecting the private club industry. A companion to CMAA's Legislative website, this resource should be your first stop for any information regarding legal, tax or legislative club-specific issues.

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Expanding the Advocacy Resources

(501(c)(7) Tax Exempt Club Info, Health Care Reform, ADA, Congress, State Trends, Legal Issues, National Golf Day, Dept of Labor, OSHA, IRS, Immigration, WE ARE GOLF, Regulation, Budget, Tax Issues) Permanent link

Key State LegislationClubindustryvotes.org, CMAA’s Grassroots Advocacy website, has relaunched with expanded information and abilities. The new site adds dynamic state-level information with tracked legislation and legislators.

Through the website, all CMAA members will be able to easily access:

  • Currently Tracked Federal Bills and Regulations
  • Key State Bills (New!!!)
  • Directory of Federal and State Legislators (New!!!)
  • Action Alerts on CMAA-Tracked Issues
  • Non-Partisan Election and Voter Registration Information

As well, Chapters, through their Managing Directors and Legislative Chairmen, will have the opportunity to collaborate with CMAA on state-related Action Alerts (contact forms) and more.

This resource, coupled with the Legislative Report and webinar series providing timely compliance information on the regulations impacting clubs, will now comprise CMAA’s robust advocacy initiative. Get started now to make your voice heard.

States Tackle Increasing the Minimum Wage

(Congress, State Trends, Dept of Labor) Permanent link

04.19.16 - US MapThis topic is trending in Presidential campaign rhetoric. We’ve heard numbers like $15 an hour. While that rhetoric reverberates in terms of Congress and the federal government, it is most applicable at the state and municipal level where increases are already being enacted, and the financial impact experienced by businesses.

  • Oregon recently enacted the highest statewide minimum wage rate in the nation. In a phased-in approach through 2022, the minimum wage will range from $12.50 to $14.75 based on geographic area.
      
  • California and New York have passed measures that will gradually increase the minimum wage up to $15 over time.
      
  • Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wage rates. Cities like Baltimore, MD, are considering similar increases.

Many states are planning to put this issue to the voters in their state in November including Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Washington and Washington, DC. In 2014, seven states held ballot referendums on raising the minimum wage.

It is important to note that 29 states and the District of Columbia already have minimum wage rates which exceed the federal standard, 14 states have rates which equal the federal rate, 2 states have rates lower than the federal standard on the books and 5 states have no minimum in state statutes. See the Department of Labor’s handy guide. The last increase to the federal minimum wage was 2009.

States and FDA Tackle Regulation of E-Cigarettes

(State Trends) Permanent link

05_01_14_175wTen years ago, one of the most significant trends in the club and hospitality industry was the result of the enactment of legislation at the state and local level prohibiting indoor smoking. Today, states and municipalities have to adjust to a new smoking product, electronic cigarettes. These battery-operated products are designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals to the user. It is estimated that e-cigarettes are a multi-billion dollar industry.
 
On April 24, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new proposed rules to begin regulating the sale of these devices. Under the proposed rules, manufacturers would have to register with the FDA and submit to a product review. Like existing regulations for cigarettes, the sale to minors would be prohibited and all packages would have to be labeled with potential health warnings. The FDA cited public health as its main concern with these and other additional tobacco products. These proposed regulations will now be subject to comments and review before becoming final.

Given their prevalence, many states and municipalities have opted to expand their existing smoking bans to include the devices. More than 170 municipalities including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC, have already outlawed their use in existing smoke-free locations. To date, three states – New Jersey, North Dakota and Utah – have outlawed their use in all previously-regulated smoke-free facilities. Ten other states regulate their usage in other facilities, mainly state-owned properties. (Source: American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation) The trend is expected to continue to expand. Approximately 57 pieces of legislation are pending across the country in an effort to regulate e-cigarettes. Check your state to see what is pending with CMAA’s Legislative Summary.    

What about clubs not in these areas? How are they handling member requests? Based on informal polling and information shared in CMAA’s LinkedIn discussion group, many clubs already treat the e-cigarettes the same as traditional cigarettes and prohibit their usage within their facilities.

 

It Isn’t Too Soon to Start Thinking About the 2014 Elections

(Congress, State Trends) Permanent link

04_11_14_175wThough still seven months away, it is never too early to start thinking about the 2014 elections. Election Day will be Tuesday, November 4. On the state and local levels, voters will choose thousands of state and local officials and decide hundreds of ballot initiatives, including business issues like minimum wage. On the federal level, this year’s midterm Congressional elections will be highly contested as majority control of the US Senate is decided.
 
To keep you informed about the upcoming elections and make sure you have everything you need, CMAA’s Club Industry Votes website now features brand new 2014 Voter Resources, including:

•    A full listing of state and federal elected officials and candidates broken down by state
•    Localized voting information that matches your address to your federal and state district elected officials and candidates
•    Voter registration links
•    Important dates, including primary and general election dates as well as absentee ballot and early voting information and deadlines

It is a great time to make sure your voter registration is up to date, especially if you have recently moved. Most states require at least 30 days’ notice for changes to your registration.

The Race to Raise the Minimum Wage

(Congress, State Trends, Dept of Labor) Permanent link

03_28_14_175wIn January’s State of the Union, President Obama called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Following that announcement, the Department of Labor created a campaign to get out this message and is now conducting rallies across the county as well as via Twitter using the hashtag #raisethewage.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) held a rally on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to act on the President’s message and enact HR 1010, The Fair Minimum Wage Act. In March 2014, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced a similar measure in the Senate, S.460. First introduced in 2013, HR1010 would institute the minimum wage increase in three steps, from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. The rate will then be indexed to inflation each year thereafter. In addition, the legislation will increase the required cash wage for tipped workers in annual 85 cent increases, from the current $2.13 per hour until the tip credit reaches 70 percent of the regular minimum wage. At the end of February, a motion was filed to discharge HR1010 from the Committee on Education and the Workforce, but has yet to garner the required 218 signatures.  

Increasing the minimum wage is not just a federal initiative but is now also a state trend. It is expected that as many as seven states could put the issue before the voters in statewide referendums in November. Alaska and South Dakota voters will definitely have the opportunity to vote on increases in their states. Meanwhile, supporters for increases in Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan and Missouri are working to get these measures added to their state ballots. It is important to note that 21 states and the District of Columbia already have minimum wage rates which exceed the federal standard.  

Don’t Ask for That Facebook Password

(State Trends, Legal Issues) Permanent link

CMAA Facebook - 175In 2012, a trend emerged in state legislatures across the country which prevents employers from asking for their employees' social media passwords. Six states passed laws barring the practice: California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Legislators were attempting to keep employers from requesting access to their prospective or current employee’s social media accounts.

A similar effort was introduced in the 112th Congress known as the Password Protection Act of 2012 (HR5684/S3074) but never gained any considerable support and died in committee.  more...

 

What Will 2013 Bring? Annual Legislative & Regulatory Forecast

(501(c)(7) Tax Exempt Club Info, Health Care Reform, ADA, Congress, State Trends, Legal Issues, National Golf Day, Dept of Labor, OSHA, IRS, Immigration, WE ARE GOLF, Regulation, Budget) Permanent link

Pile of Papers - 175wForecasting is not an exact science. Take the weather for example. How many times does the TV weatherman get it right? But none the less, here are some issues clubs should pay attention to this coming year. Some of this might sound repetitive from 2012. Being a Presidential election year, 2012 was a year of inaction for both Congress and the regulatory agencies. The most significant events in 2012 for clubs were the Supreme Court’s action in upholding the Affordable Care Act and the deferrals of the H-2B Wage Rule and the swimming pool and spa provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. more...