Wednesday, 30 September 2015

US Franchise Owners storm Capitol Hill

Overnight Regulation:
Franchise owners storm Capitol Hill
September 30, 2015

It’s Wednesday evening here in Washington, and small business owners are flocking to the capital to complain about what they see as heavy-handed regulations.
Here’s what is happening.

Small business owners are storming Capitol Hill on Wednesday, pushing lawmakers to strike down a contentious labor policy imposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
As part of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) fly-in day, some 400 small business owners are lobbying against the NLRB's new joint employer ruling. They're meeting with 124 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).
The NLRB handed down the controversial joint employer ruling last month, deciding that companies can be held responsible for labor violations committed by their business partners. Franchise owners say this could force them out of business and devastate a business model that cuts across multiple industries.
The franchise owners are hoping to build support among Democrats for legislation that would roll back the ruling.
“This isn’t a Republican issue or a Democratic issue,” said IFA spokesman Matthew Haller. “It’s a local business issue.
“We’re looking to get our message in front of every congressional office — and we’re looking to build largely Democratic support for the bill,” he added.
The Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act introduced earlier this month by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) would draw a distinction between an employee’s direct employer and any other companies they work alongside.
Dozens of the franchise owners met with Kline and Alexander Wednesday morning to kick off the fly-in day.
“Many of you in this room have worked like crazy to establish your small business to achieve your American dream,” Kline said. “Now you find out that you have some bureaucrats here in Washington, who don’t know anything about your business, they might not know anything about business at all, but they’re determined to tell you how to run yours."
The legislation has drawn early Republican support, but Democrats have been slow to sign on.
In the Senate, the legislation has 44 co-sponsors, but no Democrats. In the House, one Democrat has signed on.
Lawmakers say the success of the legislation hinges on how many Democrats they can get on board. That’s where the franchise owners are focusing their efforts Wednesday.
The Obama administration will publish 191 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday’s edition of the Federal Register.
—The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will look into safety standards for children’s play yards.
The CPSC is issuing an information collection request to examine the impact of the play yards safety standard it rolled out in August 2013.
"The standard is intended to address hazards to children associated with the misassembly of play yards and play yard accessories,” the agency wrote.
 —The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will issue new protections for certain butterflies.
The FWS is designating critical habitats for the Dakota skipper and Poweshiek skipperling.
The Dakota skipper’s critical habitat will span 19,903 acres across Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 
The Poweshiek skipperling’s critical habitat will span 25,888 acres across Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 
—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will exempt 65 truck drivers who are partially blind from vision requirements that would otherwise prohibit them from driving.
The FMCSA is also considering exempting another 59 partially-blind truck drivers.
These truck drivers often suffer from poor vision in one eye, but can see well enough in the other eye to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. 
News Edited By:
Kanwal Abidi    - 063 News *Global Press Agency
- Political Analyst & Journalist