CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada state senator is trying for the second session in a row to repeal a health insurance-related minimum wage requirement that’s part of the state’s constitution.
Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, presented SJR 2 to members of the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections Thursday. It is the same resolution Hardy sponsored last session that never made it out of committee.
This year, however, is different because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s imminent start next year, Hardy said.
“There’s a new upside-down economic landscape and opinions change,” Hardy told committee members. “Now that it’s not a sword hanging over their head, we ought to let them vote again.”
The resolution would repeal a constitutional provision that requires employers that don’t provide health insurance to pay $1 more than the federal minimum wage. Voters adopted the increased wage law by wide margins in 2004 and 2006.
Under the PPACA “play or pay” “shared responsibility” provisions, employers with more than 50 full-time employees that fail to provide health insurance will be required to pay a $2,000 fine per employee, after the first 30 workers. For example, if a company had 51 employees, the fine would be equal to $2,000 multiplied by 21.
The proposed resolution would “allow the health insurance we are now covered by to take effect and prevent employers from a double penalty,” Hardy said.