Prime Sponsor of SB 100 – Sen. Bradley – Doesn’t Know Difference Between Payroll Cards and Direct Deposit
Bradley Confuses Forms of Payment in Committee and on the Senate Floor Despite Being Previously Corrected; SB 100 Seeks to Abolish Paper Paychecks
Concord, NH – The prime sponsor of SB 100 – Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) doesn’t know the difference between payroll cards and direct deposit. Alternatively, it’s possible he just doesn’t care.
SB 100 seeks to abolish paper paychecks in New Hampshire, pushing employees over to direct deposit or payroll cards. Payroll cards act as a form of debit cards, often carrying a brand such as Visa or Mastercard, and are used as such – right down to the fees for withdrawals, payments and balance checks. SB 100 would allow an employee to withdraw their full salary once per pay period, but multiple withdrawals would cost an employee out of pocket to collect their salary. An amendment to SB 100 provided by a DC lobbyist from the American Payroll Association additionally removes the requirement that employers show employees a list of fees associated with the cards, and that they no longer need to collect a signed form demonstrating that this step had been taken.
In testimony opposing SB 100, the Department of Labor spoke about fees associated with payroll cards that may come at a cost to employees. It is important to note that not all cards are the same and that each card has its own rules. Examples of payroll withdrawal caps and fees can be found here and here.
Introducing the bill in Senate Commerce, Senator Bradley told fellow lawmakers that the State of New Hampshire requires state employees to use payroll cards as part of their contract; an assertion which helped secure a 5-0 committee vote.
That is simply not true. There is no such requirement in the contract – a fact which an official from the State Employees Association told Bradley the next day. In that conversation, Bradley assured the staffer he knew the difference and that the confusion had been cleared up in committee.
On the Senate floor last week, however, Sen. Bradley told fellow lawmakers the same thing regarding payroll cards – this time saying a SEA official had told him about it.
Senator Bradley’s False & Misleading Information on Senate Floor
“Now, I would just say that one of the provisions of the latest contract with the State Employees Association insisted on this provision. And it’s been implemented and accepted from what one of the representatives of the SEA has told us quite well.”
NH Senate Session, March 14, 2013 AM at Audio Mark 1:26:16
The statement was quickly corrected by Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) who had a copy of the state contract with her.
“Senator Bradley either doesn’t understand how his legislation would actually work, or he just doesn’t care. In any case, the Senate should absolutely not move forward with this bill under these conditions,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Payroll cards can be a viable alternative for both employees and employers if everyone understands the fees associated with them and there are significant consumer protections in place to assist the less financially savvy. Senator Bradley’s aim, however, is to eliminate paper paycheck options and force employees without bank accounts to move to payroll cards. No one should have to pay to collect their salary or be concerned about their payroll card expiring.”
“Moreover, SB 100 removes all requirements that employees be informed of these potential fees. That alone should raise red flags about why this legislation is wrong for workers in New Hampshire.”
A Consumer’s Union analysis of the pros and cons of payroll cards can be found here: http://defendyourdollars.org/pdf/Payroll_Issue_Paper_2011.pdf.
Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems. Press releases and other information available online at www.GraniteStateProgress.org.