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Hill Visits

    Fall 2017 Hill Visit

    Our Fall 2017 Hill Visit in September was a great success.  Our eleven attendees included four first-time attendees, and represented nine professional chapters throughout the state.

    The topics discussed on the Hill were:

    • Expansion of Section 127

    Section 127 of the IRS code allows employees not to be taxed on monies provided by their employer for education assistance up to $5,250 per year.  H.R. 795 would allow the repayment of student loan repayment to be included in that provision.  We talked with our Members of Congress about supporting this bill.

    • Workplace Flexibility

    We advocated for a 21st century approach to providing workplace flexibility – allowing companies to determine and design programs that work for their workforces rather than being restricted by a one-size-fits-all mandate.  Ninety-nine percent of all employers with 50 or more employees already provide paid leave options.  Current/expected bills would mandate paid FMLA or paid sick leave, funding those through various methods and adding further requirements.  Seven states and 30 jurisdictions have already passed their own versions of paid sick leave, saddling multiple-state employers with conflicting requirements, with more states and jurisdictions expected to do the same.  We asked our Members of Congress to support upcoming legislation soon to be introduced by Representative Mimi Walters from California that will provide voluntary opt-in of a minimum amount of paid leave and a minimum number of workplace flexibility options for which the employer would be granted safe harbor from all of the state and jurisdictional requirements.

    Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us continue our efforts to make our visits an ongoing conversation with Members and staffers.  We enjoyed staying within walking distance of the hill, appreciated the hospitality of the hotel and the city, and enjoyed the camaraderie and networking of our HR professionals.

    As always, having an attendee from each district in our group is necessary.  Our visits with each Congressional office were interesting and productive; we look forward to our next visit in March 2018, and co-director Blinda Walker and I hope to see you there!  Specific information about the Spring Hill Visit will be shared through chapter legislative directors as we get closer.

    Just a reminder that the State Council recommends that chapters make the chapter legislative position a two-year position and that the incoming person attend the Fall Hill Visit before they begin their term in January.

    My thanks to the State Council for giving me the opportunity to work in the legislative arena and to attend the hill visits.

    Juanita Phillips, SHRM-SCP, SPHR                   Blinda Walker
    2017 Co-director of Government Affairs              2017 Co-director of Government Affairs September 2017