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  HB 1367: Paycheck Fairness Act (Passed)
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Author Topic: HB 1367: Paycheck Fairness Act (Passed)  (Read 808 times)
Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812
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« on: January 24, 2019, 06:32:20 pm »
« edited: February 14, 2019, 01:10:30 pm by Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812 »

Quote
A HOUSE BILL
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted in both Houses of Congress
Quote
Section 1; Title
1. This bill may be cited as the "Paycheck Fairness Act"
Section 2; Findings
Congress finds the following:
1. Women have entered the workforce in record numbers over the past 50 years.
2. Despite the enactment of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, many women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities exist in both the private and governmental sectors. In many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination.
3. The existence of such pay disparities—
a) depresses the wages of working families who rely on the wages of all members of the family to make ends meet;
b) undermines women's retirement security, which is often based on earnings while in the workforce;
c) prevents the optimum utilization of available labor resources;
d) has been spread and perpetuated, through commerce and the channels and instrumentalities of commerce, among the workers of the several States;
e) burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce;
f) constitutes an unfair method of competition in commerce;
g) leads to labor disputes burdening and obstructing commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce;
h) interferes with the orderly and fair marketing of goods in commerce; and
i) in many instances, may deprive workers of equal protection on the basis of sex in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments.
4. a) Artificial barriers to the elimination of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex continue to exist decades after the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.).
b) These barriers have resulted, in significant part, because the Equal Pay Act of 1963 has not worked as Congress originally intended. Improvements and modifications to the law are necessary to ensure that the Act provides effective protection to those subject to pay discrimination on the basis of their sex.
c) Elimination of such barriers would have positive effects, including—
i) providing a solution to problems in the economy created by unfair pay disparities;
ii) substantially reducing the number of working women earning unfairly low wages, thereby reducing the dependence on public assistance;
iii) promoting stable families by enabling all family members to earn a fair rate of pay;
iv) remedying the effects of past discrimination on the basis of sex and ensuring that in the future workers are afforded equal protection on the basis of sex; and
v) ensuring equal protection pursuant to Congress’ power to enforce the 5th and 14th Amendments.
5) The Department of Internal Affairs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have important and unique responsibilities to help ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
6) The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for—
a) collecting and making publicly available information about women’s pay;
b) ensuring that companies receiving Federal contracts comply with anti-discrimination affirmative action requirements of Executive Order 11246 (relating to equal employment opportunity);
c) disseminating information about women’s rights in the workplace;
d)helping women who have been victims of pay discrimination obtain a remedy; and
e) being proactive in investigating and prosecuting equal pay violations, especially systemic violations, and in enforcing all of its mandates.
7.The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the primary enforcement agency for claims made under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and issues regulations and guidance on appropriate interpretations of the law.
8.With a stronger commitment by the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to their responsibilities, increased information as a result of the amendments made by this Act to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, wage data, and more effective remedies, women will be better able to recognize and enforce their rights.
9. Certain employers have already made great strides in eradicating unfair pay disparities in the workplace and their achievements should be recognized.
Section 3; Enhanced Enforcement of Equal Pay Requirements
1. Section 6(d)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(d)(1))link is amended—
a) by striking “No employer having” and inserting “(A) No employer having”;
b) by striking “any other factor other than sex” and inserting “a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience”; and
c) by inserting at the end the following:
Quote
(B) The bona fide factor defense described in subparagraph (A)(iv) shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor (i) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation; (ii) is job-related with respect to the position in question; (iii) is consistent with business necessity; and (iv) accounts for the entire differential in compensation at issue. Such defense shall not apply where the employee demonstrates that an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential and that the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.
“(C) For purposes of subparagraph (A), employees shall be deemed to work in the same establishment if the employees work for the same employer at workplaces located in the same county or similar political subdivision of a State. The preceding sentence shall not be construed as limiting broader applications of the term ‘establishment’ consistent with rules prescribed or guidance issued by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission..
2. Section 15 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 215)link is amended—
a) in subsection (a)—
i) in paragraph (3), by striking “employee has filed” and all that follows and inserting “employee—
Quote
(A) has made a charge or filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action under or related to this Act, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or has testified or is planning to testify or has assisted or participated in any manner in any such investigation, proceeding, hearing or action, or has served or is planning to serve on an industry committee; or
(B) has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the wages of the employee or another employee;
;
b) in paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; or”; and
c) by adding at the end the following:
Quote
(6) to require an employee to sign a contract or waiver that would prohibit the employee from disclosing information about the employee’s wages.;
and
d) by adding at the end the following:
Quote
(c) Subsection (a)(3)(B) shall not apply to instances in which an employee who has access to the wage information of other employees as a part of such employee’s essential job functions discloses the wages of such other employees to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information, unless such disclosure is in response to a complaint or charge or in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action under section 6(d), including an investigation conducted by the employer. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the rights of an employee provided under any other provision of law..
3. Section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 216(b))link is amended—
a) by inserting after the first sentence the following: “Any employer who violates section 6(d) shall additionally be liable for such compensatory damages, or, where the employee demonstrates that the employer acted with malice or reckless indifference, punitive damages as may be appropriate, except that the United States shall not be liable for punitive damages.”;
b) in the sentence beginning “An action to”, by striking “either of the preceding sentences” and inserting “any of the preceding sentences of this subsection”;
c) in the sentence beginning “No employees shall”, by striking “No employees” and inserting “Except with respect to class actions brought to enforce section 6(d), no employee”;
d) by inserting after the sentence referred to in paragraph (3), the following: “Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, any action brought to enforce section 6(d) may be maintained as a class action as provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”; and
e) in the sentence beginning “The court in”—
i) by striking “in such action” and inserting “in any action brought to recover the liability prescribed in any of the preceding sentences of this subsection”; and
ii) by inserting before the period the following: “, including expert fees”.
4. Section 16(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 216(c))link is amended—
a) in the first sentence—
i) by inserting “or, in the case of a violation of section 6(d), additional compensatory or punitive damages, as described in subsection (b),” before “and the agreement”; and
ii) by inserting before the period the following: “, or such compensatory or punitive damages, as appropriate”;
b) in the second sentence, by inserting before the period the following: “and, in the case of a violation of section 6(d), additional compensatory or punitive damages, as described in subsection (b)”;
c) in the third sentence, by striking “the first sentence” and inserting “the first or second sentence”; and
d) in the last sentence—
i) by striking “commenced in the case” and inserting “commenced—
“(1) in the case”;
ii) by striking the period and inserting “; or”; and
iii) by adding at the end the following:
“(2) in the case of a class action brought to enforce section 6(d), on the date on which the individual becomes a party plaintiff to the class action.”.
Section 4; Implementation
1. All provisions that do not have a specified date of implementation in this Act shall be implemented 6 months after the passage of this legislation into law.
2. The Secretary of Internal Affairs and the Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall jointly develop technical assistance material to assist small businesses in complying with the requirements of this Act and the amendments made by this Act.
3. A small business shall be exempt from the provisions of this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, to the same extent that such business is exempt from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) of section 3(s)(1)(A) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 203(s)(1)(A)).
Section 5; Rule of Construction
1. Nothing in this Act, or in any amendments made by this Act, shall affect the obligation of employers and employees to fully comply with all applicable immigration laws, including any penalties, fines, or other sanctions.

People's House of Representatives
Passed in the House of Representatives 8-1-0-0

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Sponsor: LouisvilleThunder
House Designation: HB 1367
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Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 06:32:58 pm »

HB 1367 is now on the House floor. Debate on this legislation has begun and shall last for no less than 72 hours.
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 06:45:08 pm »

This is a sad example of dirty tricks. This bill is an amended version of the Sebate bill that has not yet passed-the amendment was already offered and rejected by the Senate, and the House should pass the proper version of the bill as that does more to achieve paycheck fairness.
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Mr. Reactionary
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 07:02:12 pm »
« Edited: January 25, 2019, 07:53:32 am by Mr. Reactionary »

This is a sad example of dirty tricks. This bill is an amended version of the Sebate bill that has not yet passed-the amendment was already offered and rejected by the Senate, and the House should pass the proper version of the bill as that does more to achieve paycheck fairness.

It is not at all improper for each house to consider a topic contemporaneously, it happened all the time in past Atlasian congress and IRL that is the only real way to get things done at all. If there are differences between the 2 then those differences can be debated. Why is a Senator attacking the House for considering a very good bill that was introduced by a duly elected member of the House? "Dirty Tricks" is unnecessarily inflammatory and poisons intelligent discussion in a deliberative body.  


Edit: BTW this also passes paygo.
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 05:15:13 am »

I'd prefer if the title was changed to avoid confusion since as VP, I need to keep tabs on everything.
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Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 07:12:04 pm »

Do any other representatives have anything to add?
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Mr. Reactionary
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 11:11:51 am »

Not a representative, but just wanted to add that this version is common sense and bipartisan and will hopefully pass quickly.
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Senator LouisvilleThunder
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 09:51:05 pm »

I move for a final vote.
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Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 10:14:34 pm »

I move for a final vote.

I object.
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Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2019, 10:15:01 pm »

A vote on whether to start a final vote on this bill has started. Please vote AYE, NAY, or ABSTAIN.
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Senator LouisvilleThunder
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2019, 10:16:16 pm »

Aye
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Esteemed Speaker Jimmy7812
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2019, 10:16:32 pm »

Nay
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2019, 10:17:23 pm »

Nay
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2019, 10:30:14 pm »

Nay
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2019, 10:52:44 pm »

NAY
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2019, 12:35:07 am »

Aye
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Mr. Reactionary
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2019, 06:57:21 am »

This is pathetic to oppose given the total lack of debate and the noncontroversial nature of the bill. Not a single problem has been identified with this particular bill. I fully expect a robust PUBLIC discussion on this bill since clearly secret partisan debates must be occurring behind the scenes. There is no way so called "Labor" Reps would oppose this bill without instructions/threats from on high.

Again, what's the problem with this bill as written?
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2019, 11:12:30 am »

Can we discuss the differences between the two versions? There's been a whole lot of nothing in this thread...
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Mr. Reactionary
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2019, 08:00:35 pm »

Can we discuss the differences between the two versions? There's been a whole lot of nothing in this thread...

Some companies include gag orders in their contracts prohibiting employees from revealing/discussing their salaries. The argument goes that some of the "pay gap" between women and men employees results from these clauses since women employees dont get to see what their men coworkers are making, and resultingly dont realize they are being underpaid for the same work. Banning these types of gag orders is a policy I have heard some democrats discuss in campaign speeches. Both versions of the bill repeal these gag orders.

The main difference comes down to bloat and whether or not this bill should have a budgetary impact. The Senate bill (which is unfortunately where most of this bills language also comes from) was just a copy/pasted version of a real life bill and so it included a bunch of junk attached to it which has been removed in the above version. The junk is either useless or totally unrelated and unnecessary. Spoiler alert, only $15 Million would be appropriated to fund the entirety of this bill:

Sec 4 of the Senate bill would create a program to spend money educating corporations "on matters involving discrimination in the payment of wages." That is a very vague criterion and would have very little impact even if it had the full $15 Million budgeted, but remember that money is split between this and the below stuff.

Section 5 of the Senate bill is the segregation stuff I keep pointing out. It would spend federal money on grants for "negotiation skills training programs for girls and women." With such little money it is probable that most women will never get to sit through what basically sounds like a glorified powerpoint presentation on being assertive. And you know, its also segregation. At this funding level a few well-connected activists would get paid to read powerpoints to a group, maybe even do a roleplaying game for a minute or 2, and that would be it without providing any real tangible benefit or change in the "pay gap".

Section 6 of the Senate Bill is pretty much exactly Section 4 except it lists more groups that can be eligible for the useless grants and also calls for spending money on "recognizing and promoting the achievements of employers, labor organizations, and professional associations that have worked to eliminate the pay disparities" I.E. an awards program for the NEA and other unions, as well as "convening a national summit" which is again really laughable considering how little money is appropriated. Remember only $15 Million to convene a super important and effective National Summit, a labor union awards program, 2 grant programs for telling corporations not to discriminate in pay, and 1 grant program for training women and only women in salary negotiation, plus the stuff below.

Section 7 of the Senate Bill would create the "National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace" which would be an awards program for " a corporations ... partnerships ... professional associations ... [and TA DA] labor organizations." So both Section 6 and Section 7 of this bill create redundant awards programs for labor unions. Why create such an awards program? According to the Senate bill "to encourage proactive efforts to comply with [the law]". The Senate bill is literally spending money and creating another permanent appendage of the bureaucracy to give awards to corporations and labor unions for obeying the law.

Section 8 of the Senate Bill imposes a record keeping requirement on businesses requiring them to make a list divided by race (for some unexplained reason) and sex of any person the business ever hires, promotes or fires. This isnt just burdensome and intrusive, it doesn't really prove anything about actual pay discrimination. If a company fires 5 male and 1 female employee does that show that the company isnt discriminating? The race topic wasnt brought up a single time by Pericles so Im not sure why he kept that in a bill about the gap between the unweighted average of male and female incomes.

Section 9 of the Senate Bill is basically just a policy statement that the super important bureaucrat that is the "Commissioner of Labor Statistics shall continue to collect data on women workers", something it currently already does, and also requests that half of all non-construction employers be responsible for even more federal recordkeeping by completing a survey with no current questions and which may be off no benefit to anyone, since there are no questions, and also tries to sneak through changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence that basically let in some wage discrimination cases even if there is no direct or statistical evidence.

Section 10 of the Senate Bill imposes a $5,000 fine on any employers who "rely on the wage history of a prospective employee in determining the wages for such prospective employee." If the goal of this bill is fair bargaining rights, it is certainly not fair for only 1 side to be armed with knowledge of what the other side if willing to offer. Eliminating the gag orders (which both the Senate Bill and the above House Bill do) allows employees to know what the employer is willing to offer. This aides them in salary negotiation. Section 10 of the Senate Bill however then removes that same knowledge from the employer (I.E. what the employee is willing to work for). Considering this bill literally has the word "fairness" in its name, how is it in anyway fair to extend a tactic unfairly denied to one side while simultaneously unfairly denying the same tactic to the other side?

Section 11 of the Senate Bill is the stupid stealth tax increase. The House bill eliminates unfair gag orders in contracts and costs nothing. The Senate bill was hastily copy/pasted and so stuff that really doesnt apply in Atlasia got left in, unnecessarily bringing paygo into the mix. So Section 11 appropriates a negligible amount of money to grossly underfund useless programs that would likely have not been effective at doing anything to remedy a "paygap" and therefore requires funding of its own. And so buried at the bottom of an unnecessarily long, 2 post copy/pasted bill is a tax increase. Putting aside the fact that in other circumstances I might be amenable to increasing the estate tax, this is a really dumb way to do it. In case anyone missed it, Pericles "wrote" a missing alzheimers alert bill I never saw until I was doing the audit as GM and it had already passed. The purpose of the bill was to fund a $6 Million grant program for missing alzheimers patients. Pericles tacked on an estate tax increase of $23 Billion. So like 99.97% of that tax increase had nothing to do with the cost of the bill. While the discrepancy wont be AS huge in the Senate bill, it cheapens the meaning of this bill to hide a large tax increase in it when its unnecessary. Again, Im not saying an estate tax increase might not be necessary in the future (even if it was just increased by a third a few months ago by Pericles), but that should be a separate debate.

In conclusion, a Paycheck Fairness Act that prohibits employer contracts with gag orders on sharing salary information and doesn't impact that budget would garner broad, bipartisan support and would not purposefully create disharmony. Instead, the Senate Bill rejects that premise without ever addressing any of the above points despite repeated requests to the supposed supporters who I can only imagine must be too embarrassed to defend the bad ideas. No evidence was ever offered as to how redundant, useless, underfunded grant programs, segregated classes, awards for unions and corporations and unions that obey the law, a work conference, requiring businesses to keep separate lists of black and white employees, a survey without questions that will never be simulated in-game, a stimulus for trial lawyers, or unfair fines on employers who do homework will realistically diminish the "paygap" between men and women. Several persons asked Pericles what evidence he had that these useful programs would actually do what he claimed they'd do. His evidence was to state that "The bill works best when taken as a full package." ... "the different components of the bill are important." ... "The steps in this bill are appropriate, and a gutted bill would be less effective." Those comments were the closest he even came to acknowledging the specific policies of concern. It appears that he didnt even know they were in there and didnt care to research. That they were in there was enough that they SHOULD be in there without any need for explanation or justification. Instead of debate on the specific sections identified we got 2 rushed show votes where no one in support of the unamended Senate Bill was willing to say a single thing in support of those polices at issue.

This above House Bill is a good bill that everyone can support and it contains only the parts that people are actually willing to expressly defend. If you are too scared to defend your crappy bill, it probably shouldnt pass. But that is exactly what is happening with the Senate Bill. I'd even be only somewhat annoyed about this if the Senate Bill passed but at least the parts I think are stupid and pointless had someone try and explain why those stupid pointless parts are needed. Instead we just get treated to rushed votes along party lines without any discussion so as not to appear stupid in advocating for stupid policies.
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HenryWallaceVP
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2019, 08:37:58 pm »

Nay
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2019, 11:32:26 pm »

Okay, first of all thanks for replying Reactionary. The past few days hasn’t been easy for the game, in which we saw a Fremont MP resign, resulting in a SOS opening while we had while the senator who sponsored this bill is getting BTFO in a Labor primary while there was an unexpected change in the Fed nominee for president and all these take time and energy and require sufficient attention even if for a short while. So I appreciate that someone spent a sufficient amount of time and energy for many players and I’d be surprised if Reactionary wasn’t one of them to a certain extent.

So, with that aside let’s get to the bill. People in this game don’t have high attention spans so I’m not really a fan of long bills that are complex or have many parts to it that some here may not fully understand. So, on principle bills like this even if the substance is good is something I’m weary of. I’d point out that IRL corporate Democrats love to talk about equal pay for equal work because it sounds good yet doesn’t piss their Wall Street donors off.

Principles about the process aside, let me give my thoughts on the changes.

Section 4 - seems kind of vague but it’s not the end of the world if that gets included in the final bill.
Section 5 - tend to agree with Reactionary but I’d see why someone would be in favor of some broad training of sorts for disadvantaged woman to at least make them aware of the current pay problems.
Section 6 - Considering it’s not a lot of money I’m not personally opposed to it per se but it’s more the kind of thing I’d expect to debate on the Fremont Parliament floor and not in Congress.
Section 7 - see Section 6
Section 8 - useless, at least for small businesses, but I can see why someone would favor making large corporations do this although fairness can be challenged.
Section 9 - useless except for maybe the wage discrimination cases bit but let’s just say it risks opening the doors to abuse as well
Section 10 - probably doesn’t belong in this bill but given the tax system is in limbo in a bill in the Senate I’d be okay if we kept that in the House version.

Now, there’s a number of ways to move forward we this. We could have a principle vote or a formal vote on each section except maybe the last. Or we could just scrap the Senate version although by honoring the earlier principle listed in my second paragraph. Or we can continue further debate. What I don’t want to see is another 5-3 vote; it’s just not good for the game to blindly ram stuff through on party line votes. There’s enough of that IRL; I play this game as an escape from IRL politics after all. Now to be fair, this isn’t all of Labor fault and I’d argue the attempt to introduce an amendment of the failed Senate amendment to not be ideal because the sponsor and honestly introducing a separate bill just creates confusion with the headers that will just create more work for me. Or for that matter the useless attempt to table a bill after an honest mistake from the sponsor that he‘s already fixed.
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2019, 06:28:13 pm »
« Edited: February 02, 2019, 11:41:28 pm by Secretary Ninja0428 »

Nay on voting, due to clear confusion, but I am inclined to support this bill.
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2019, 06:29:46 pm »

The motion to hold a final vote fails 2-6.
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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2019, 12:13:09 pm »

Since there has been no further debate, I motion for a final vote. Representatives have 24 hours for objections.
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Mr. Reactionary
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2019, 02:04:48 pm »

Really? No one? Whats the point of doing anything if no one is gonna participate? I spent like an hr working on my explanation after an invitation from the VP and i fear we're about to just get another partyline vote rejecting something I actually put effort into without a single comment from anyone else. I hope this passes since literally not a single house member has raised ANY problems with this bill. But its just straight up bad legislating if no one says anything and then votes no on this without even addressing legitimate points. Why is everyone so quiet/lazy/scared?
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