Friday, March 1, 2024
Friday, March 1, 2024

House Passes E-Verify Bill

Today, the House passed four bills, amended two bills, and postponed action on two bills.

Senate Bill 269 removes all test strips from deadly drugs from the definition of drug paraphernalia.

House Bill 4205 gives the Legislature legal standing against election officials. It allows the Legislature to intervene in any lawsuit against state agencies, departments, and officials. The bill is effective January 1, 2025.

House Bill 4759 requires any employer with 15 employees or more to confirm employee can be legally employed in the U.S. status using e-verify. The process of e-verifying is entering information from the employee’s I-9 into the verification system. Required information is name, email, phone, and social security number. The employee must hire a third party to e-verify or train a designated employee. The designated employee must study the manual and take a mastery test to become certified to do the e-verifying. A third-party verifier costs about $100 annually plus $11.50 per employee verified. Results of employment status are instant once information is entered. The bill does preclude existing employees from being e-verified. All new hires must be e-verified. One can do a self-check on e-verify, but one cannot e-verify oneself unless certified to summit verifications.

Two competing amendments were offered to House Bill 4759. The first amendment would have removed the e-verify process completely. The intent of the amendment was to go after the businesses not abiding by immigration law. The amendment offered two penalties. Businesses that do not keep records and provide I-9 forms would suffer a 10-day business license unless it is rectified in those 10 days. This allows errors to be corrected and penalties to be lifted. The second penalty goes after those who are knowingly and willfully hiring illegal immigrants or fraudulently filling out documents to hire and employ illegal immigrants. The penalty for a first offense would have been a 180 suspension of business licenses. On the second offense, the penalty would be a permanent loss of licenses. This amendment failed.

The second amendment adds back a section that had been removed by the bill. The removed section requires all regardless of employment size to keep a record of I-9 forms. This amendment was adopted.

House Bill 4814 extends the reporting and sunset date for the State Advisory Council on Postsecondary Attainment Goals to December 31, 2027.

The amended House Bill 4783 updates the practice of optometry by allowing all licensees, who are trained and taught at an accredited school of optometry to perform any procedure taught to them. The bill also extends the prescription of glasses from 18 months to 24 months.

House Bill 4776 and House Bill 4777 had action postponed one day.

House Bill 4313 was recommitted to the Committee on Seniors, Children, and Family Issues.

Bills introduced today can be found here.

Resolutions introduced today can be found here.

The House is adjourned until Monday, January 29, 2023 at 11 a.m.

Committee Meetings, Monday, Jan. 29
The Rules Committee will meet at 10:45 p.m. behind the House Chamber.
The Committee on Government Organization will meet at 1 p.m. in Room 215E.
The Committee on Finance will meet at 1 p.m. in Room 460. Budget hearings to follow the meeting. Jan. | Feb.
The Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m. in Room 434.
The Judiciary Committee will meet at 2:30 p.m. in Room 410.

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