State Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver recently met to discuss the upcoming legislative session. In particular, the issue of easing the economic burden on small businesses and contractors during these hard economic times was at the top of their agenda.
“We cannot expect small businesses, particularly those sole proprietors and small contracting companies, to emerge from what has been a devastating few years in the economy and housing market if the state and federal governments continue to burden them with regulations and fees,” said Sen. Beavers. “Self-employed contractors are hurting enough as it is; the state doesn’t need to help put them out of business.”
The particular law addressed was a bill passed in 2008 that required all contractors and subcontractors – even those sole proprietorships whose owner is the only employee – to carry additional workers compensation insurance. The law will go into effect in 2010 after attempts to delay its implementation until the current economic crisis subsides was defeated in committee this year.
Rep. Weaver was not a member of the legislature when the bill passed, but nonetheless feels it is her responsibility to her district in these hard economic times to sponsor legislation that repeals this law. “Part of the reason I was elected was to help small businesses in my rural counties. The last thing these self-employed people need are more hurdles to clear when our economy is in need of a boost,” Weaver said.
Sen. Beavers was one of only five Senators who voted against the bill on the floor last session. “You have to be aware of the economic climate and what effects that state mandates will have when the legislature passes bills,” said Beavers. “And whereas I do think this issue should be discussed further in the coming years, I believe many legislators, including Republicans, were quite short-sighted when they passed this law.”
Rep. Weaver added, “Now is not the time to start putting yet another fee, regulation, or tax on self-employed businesses.”
Both Sen. Beavers and Rep. Weaver urge everyone to call their other legislators and ask them to support the bill they will be filing to repeal the 2008 law, in particular those who voted aye for the 2008 bill.