This is our final Legislative News Update for 2019. IBPSA is proud to have launched additional legislative support for our membership this year and we’ll keep it rolling in 2020! We’re here to help you stay on top of what could affect you, as well as offer our assistance in educating your legislators on the facts of owning and operating a safe and prosperous pet care business.
The Animal Policy Group’s final legislative report for the year (December 1, 2019) is available as a PDF via your IBPSA Member dashboard in the Legislative News Workspace. Here, you can also post and discuss legislative-related topics relative to your area.
We have added “plastics bills” to our legislative report watch list. These bills may be slightly outside our industry, but IBPSA Members with retail sections in their facilities could benefit from following these bills. Generally speaking, these bills will be focused on single use plastic bags. For example, in the most recent report, a bill aimed at reducing single use plastic bags has moved forward in the Massachusetts legislature.
Is the minimum wage going up in your area?
The U.S. federal minimum wage remains at $7.25, the rate it’s been since 2009, but you may have a rate increase in your state or your city. The Labor Law Center has put together a handy chart of minimum wage rates by state and by city or county, if applicable. There are 26 states with minimum wage changes effective January 1, 2020. For more information visit the Labor Law Center here.
The Retail Council of Canada has compiled minimum wage rate by province. A few may see a change in 2020. Get the overviews with links to more information from the council here.
The government set indicative rates of $18.90 from April 1, 2020. Information on current minimum wage rates are available from the New Zealand government here.
The Living Wage Foundation announced the new U.K. living wage in November: £9.30 across the UK and £10.75 in London. Employers registered as Living Wage employers have until May 2020 to implement the changes. The foundation’s living wage is distinct from the legal minimum wages which are £8.21 for workers aged 25 or over with lower rates for younger workers and apprentices. As described by UNISON, the U.K.’s largest union: “Both Labour and the Conservatives have announced minimum wage policies ahead of the general election. The Conservative pledge is to reach a minimum wage of £10.50 by 2024 for workers aged 21 or over. Labour’s pledge is for £10 for all workers, regardless of age in 2020.” More from UNISON here.
A California bill known as the “Pets for Vets Act” goes into effect January 1, 2020. The bill, signed into law in August, allows U.S. military veterans to adopt a cat or dog from a public shelter. The person adopting the animal needs to present a valid driver’s license or identification card with the word “veteran” printed on its face. More information on the act here.
A man in Orlando is pushing for “Allie’s Law” to mandate animal abuse reporting by veterinarians. The Florida state bill is expected to go to committee in January. More on the story and Allie, the dog who inspired the action, here.
Ontario has passed new animal welfare legislation that will be enforced by a specialized team of provincial inspectors. The new law, named the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and includes stiffer penalties for cruelty offenses. Repeat offender corporations found guilty of animal cruelty may be fined up to $1 million. The new law will also allow inspectors to save pets left in cars in extreme weather conditions. More on the new law from CBC here.
Legislation was introduced in Michigan last week to ban “pet leasing.” House Bill 5273 tackles the practice of pet stores retaining ownership of pets while purchasers make payments. Under the financial contracts, the stores can repossess the animals if the purchasers fail to make payments. Further, purchasers often end up paying significantly more than the original cost of the animal. Nevada, New York, Indiana, Washington, New Jersey, and California have already passed legislation banning the practice of pet leasing. (Source)