As the 2018 calendar turns to April, it marks the beginning of the downhill side of the majority of state legislative sessions, with some having already come and gone for this year. Through the first quarter, IFA has travelled across the country advocating in a number of state capitals and city halls on behalf of franchising. Below is a mid-session "report card."
Continuing successes in 2015, 2016 and 2017, IFA continues to advocate for joint-employer legislation in state houses across the country. With 19 states having already enacted bills addressing the issue, the majority mark is in reach by the end of the 2019 session. Through early March 2018, legislation is currently active in:
* Idaho (signed by governor in March
* South Carolina
* Pennsylvania (expected introduction later this year)
A number of states introduced franchise relationship bills this session, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. The Florida legislature adjourned March 9 once again without advancing franchise relationship legislation past a single Senate committee hearing, which is the same result as 2017. IFA again partnered with local leaders along with numerous Florida franchisees to oppose the legislation. While it's too early to predict, there is a good chance we'll be back on the same merry-go-round again in Tallahassee in 2019.
Similar legislation in Harrisburg, Pa. and Trenton, N.J. has also failed to gain momentum. IFA was successful in working with legislators in Harrisburg to have its bill referred for further study, effectively ending its chances for advancement in 2018. With New Jersey still in active session, IFA will continue opposition efforts there. Democrats now control all three branches in New Jersey (House, Senate and Governor), which adds an extra layer of complexity to the issue should it gain steam in the statehouse.
IN THE CITIES
* Minneapolis: Last summer, Minneapolis followed in the footsteps of Seattle and passed a minimum wage ordinance, increasing the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour. However, franchise establishments have...