With just a few days to go, the list of pending bills in both the state Senate and House continues to grow.
But it is worth updating readers on one uncontroversial employment law bill that passed the Senate over a month ago that remains pending.
Specifically, Senate Bill 216 would renew a labor law that permitted 15-year-olds to work in grocery stores as baggers, shelf stockers and cashiers. As readers will recall, this law expired last fall "apparently because lawmakers forgot to renew it."
The law has been on the books for 20 years, but had an automatic sunset provision in it that lawmakers overlooked when the session ended last year.
The new bill, which would also grant amnesty to those employers who have continued to employ 15-year-olds during the last six months or so, passed the Senate last month on the consent calendar and looked to have swift passage in the House.
And perhaps it will pass in the closing days. But given the full agenda of the House, it would be a shame if the General Assembly overlooked this important law again. House members would be wise to make sure this bill is put on the consent calendar again in the closing days. It’s passage will ensure valuable jobs for teenagers are open for years to come.
UPDATE 12 p.m.: The bill appears on the "Go List" for today, which is available here. There are two amendments that may potentially be raised today regarding home-schooled teens and apprenticeships. While both topics are interesting, the bill ought to be passed in its original form; otherwise, it will need to be returned to the Senate for further consideration.