Jeb Bradley and the American Payroll Association would have subjected
New Hampshire workers to fees to collect paychecks
Concord, NH – Granite State Progress praises the bi-partisan decision of the New Hampshire House to vote SB 100, abolishing paper paycheck options, inexpedient to legislate. The House voted 235-93 today to reject SB 100, legislation which follows a dangerous pattern supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
“SB 100 sought to abolish paper paycheck options in New Hampshire and push employees without bank accounts over to payroll cards with few to no consumer protections,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Jeb Bradley and a DC lobbyist from the American Payroll Association fought hard to push this bill, but the House wisely recognized that it would have hurt New Hampshire workers.”
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. An amendment to SB 100 provided by the American Payroll Association removed the requirement that employers collect a signed form demonstrating that employees have been given an updated list of all of the fees associated with the cards. In committee, the NH Department of Labor testified that fees associated with payroll cards may come at a cost to employees, and noted that not all cards are the same and that each card has its own rules. Examples of payroll withdrawal caps and fees can be pages long, and include things like a $5 fee for a balance print-out.
“SB 100 would have been purposefully harmful to employees, creating additional fees and expenses for them to collect and use their paycheck, and specifically avoiding sharing that information upfront,” Rice Hawkins said. “Granite State Progress is proud of the House members who stood strong to protect workers and small businesses in our state.”
Corporations like Visa have been eager to transition workers to payroll cards to collect more fees from the transactions, including transaction fees charged at local businesses who accept the cards for payment. At an ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force meeting in 2011, a lobbyist from Visa brought forward a resolution in support of payroll cards. Rep. Gary Daniels, a long-time ALEC member and current ALEC State Co-Chair, is a member of that ALEC task force. Daniels wrote the minority blurb in support of SB 100 and spoke in its favor on the House floor.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, allows corporate special interests to sit next to legislators and draft legislation that specifically benefits their bottom line, often at the expense of everyday Granite Staters.