Legislative Update: 2017 Midsession Review of Select Business-related Measures

02/22/2017

The following is a summary of certain bills that may be of interest to our business clients and friends. The bills are working their way through the legislative process and are discussed here as they stood at midsession. Only some will receive approval of both houses and the governor. The 60-day New Mexico legislative session began January 17, 2017, and will end at noon on March 18, 2017. The deadline for introducing bills was February 16, 2017. Bills that are enacted without an emergency clause or specified effective date will be effective June 16, 2017.

SECTIONS

  • Eonomic Development
  • Employment & Labor
  • Liquor Licensing
  • Creditor Rights
  • Entity Changes
  • Taxation

CONTRIBUTING LAWYERS (click name to read profile)

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Early in the 2017 Legislative session, Governor Susana Martinez signed a three-bill solvency package passed by the Legislature, but not before she line-item vetoed the Legislature’s cuts to the Local Economic Development Act program (LEDA). LEDA is the State’s “closing fund” used to recruit businesses to New Mexico. The funds are granted to new or expanding businesses to use for land, buildings, or infrastructure in exchange for job creation.

EMPLOYMENT & LABOR ISSUES

Employee Preference Act

House Bill 432 creates the “Employee Preference Act,” amending sections of the Public Employee Bargaining Act and prohibiting mandatory labor organization as a condition of public employment. The Act imposes a $1,000.00 penalty for violations.

Increasing the Minimum Wage

Three bills seek to increase the minimum wage by amending Section 50-4-22 of New Mexico’s wage statute. House Bill 27 has the largest proposed increase, seeking to increase the state minimum wage from $7.50 to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2018. The bill proposes to automatically increase the minimum wage on the first of each year to account for a cost of living increase using a percentage set by the United States Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for all Urban consumers (CPI-U). The bill eliminates the minimum wage provision for employees who regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips. Similarly, House Bill 67 seeks to increase the state minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.40 per hour on January 1, 2018, to $9.20 per hour on January 1, 2019, and to $10.10 per hour on January 1, 2020. It includes a cost of living increase of the previous year’s minimum wage rate using the percentage tied to the CPI-U. It also modifies the minimum wage provision for tipped employees from $2.13 per hour to a rate that is forty percent of the state minimum wage for non-tipped employees. Finally, Senate Bill 36 seeks to increase the state minimum wage to $8.45 per hour, effective July 1, 2017, with an annual cost of living increase on January 1 of each successive year. The annual increase would be set by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions based upon the CPI-U, and rounded to the nearest multiple of five cents. Small businesses are exempted from the increase, allowing employers with ten or fewer employees to continue to pay the current $7.50 hourly minimum wage, adjusted annually on January 1 of each following year there is a cost of living increase. The bill also includes a trainee exception which would permit employers with 10 or more employees to pay trainees a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour for the first six months of employment, again with that rate subject to a cost of living increase on January 1 of each following year, if any. The bill would also increase the minimum wage for tipped employees to $2.65 per hour, to be adjusted annually.

Caregiver Leave Act

House Bill 86 creates the Caregiver Leave Act, requiring employers offering employee sick leave to allow accrued sick time to be used by employees to care for sick family members under the same terms and procedures that the employer imposes for any other use of sick leave by the employee. “Family member” is defined as “a person related within a third degree of consanguity or affinity to the employee.”  The bill prohibits retaliation against an employee for requesting or using caregiver leave, filing a complaint with the Department of Workforce Solutions for violation of the Caregiver Leave Act, cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation of the Act, or opposing any policy, practice or act prohibited by the Act.

Military Reemployment Amendment

House Bill 83 extends New Mexico’s existing law protecting the reemployment of persons in the armed forces to those who have served in the National Guard of any other state or territory of the United States, clarifying that the protections are not limited only to members of the New Mexico National Guard.

Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act

House Bill 179 requires employers with four or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee with a known limitation arising out of pregnancy or childbirth or a related condition. If the employer demonstrates that the accommodation constitutes an undue hardship, no violation of the Act would be found. Reasonable accommodations include modifying or adapting an employee’s work environment, work rules or job responsibilities for as long as necessary to enable an employee with limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition to perform the job. The bill prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy-related conditions. The bill requires employers to provide written notice of an employee’s rights, pursuant to the Act, to job applicants, new employees, existing employees, and to employees who give notice of pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition.

Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act

House Bill 89 states that it should not be construed to change state and federal laws pertaining to employment matters, or affect New Mexico’s medical marijuana statute. However, the bill includes a section on employment protections. The bill states "unless an employer establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that an employee’s use of marijuana in compliance with the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act has impaired the employee’s ability to perform the employee’s job responsibilities, the employer shall not take any adverse action against the employee for: (1) the employee’s conduct that complies with the act; or (2) the employee’s drug test results that show the presence of marijuana components or metabolites.” The bill provides that an employer may consider an employee to be impaired if, while working, the employee manifests specific articulable symptoms that decrease the employee’s performance of the duties of the employee’s job.

The bill fundamentally changes the current interpretation of law as it concerns marijuana usage in New Mexico, and shifts the burden of proof from the employee to the employer when a termination for marijuana usage is challenged.

Criminal Offender Employment Act

Senate Bill 78 prohibits private employers from inquiring into an applicant’s conviction record on a written employment application. Employers can still consider an applicant’s conviction following review of the written application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant. Employers can notify applicants that the law or the employer’s policy may disqualify them from employment, in particular positions based on certain criminal histories.

Healthcare Non-Compete Agreements

Senate Bill 82 amends the New Mexico statute providing that non-compete agreements for health care practitioners are unenforceable by limiting the unenforceability provision so that it applies only to non-competes restricting the right to provide health care services in the State of New Mexico. The bill includes a clause rendering such an agreement void, unenforceable and against public policy if the provision “(1) makes the agreement subject to the laws of another state; or (2) requires any litigation arising out of the agreement to be conducted in another state.” Under the bill, this latter provision would be effective to agreements, renewals or extensions of agreements executed on or after July 1, 2017.

Worker’s Compensation, Appeals and Jurisdiction

This year, six bills have been introduced in the New Mexico House and Senate that, if adopted, would change New Mexico’s Workers’ Compensation Act. While some of these bills would negatively impact employers, for example, by providing workers with another forum for bringing suit, other bills would benefit the employer, for example, by providing the employer with avenues to collect monies paid to workers if the worker recovers from a third party.

House Bill 359, if enacted, would allow a worker to bring a bad faith claim, unfair claims-processing practices claim, or other similar common law or statutory claim against an employer, insurer, or other party outside the context of the Workers’ Compensation Act. In other words, the Workers’ Compensation Act would no longer bar such claims. The bill would also raise the maximum penalty for unfair claims-processing practices or bad faith practices from a $1,000 to $5,000 per violation. Finally, the bill would adjust the points awarded based on education and physical capacity when determining a worker’s partial disability.

Senate Bill 122, would establish an administrative appeals process. Currently, appeals from workers’ compensation judges’ decisions are appealed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals. If enacted, the bill would change the appeals process so that appeals from workers’ compensation judges’ decisions would be appealed to a panel of three workers’ compensation administrative appeal judges, with a final appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Senate Bill 155, if enacted, would clarify that a worker responsible for “separation from employment” unrelated to an on-the-job injury does not receive temporary total disability benefits. In such circumstances, the worker’s permanent partial disability rating would be equal to the worker’s impairment rating.

Senate Bill 156, if enacted, would allow an employer to recover monies paid to a worker for compensation and benefits if the worker recovers damages from a third party. The bill would take a step away from the current law, which currently prohibits a worker from receiving payments or recovering damages as well as claiming compensation from the employer. The change would result in the employer having a lien on any amount the worker collects from a third party up to the amount of compensation and benefits paid to the worker. However, the employer would not be able to collect the total amount of compensation and benefits paid, only the total recovery less expenses during the recovery. If the worker recovers monies for the aggravation of a previously compensable injury, the employer’s lien would “contribute only to the deficiency between the amounts actually collected” and the compensation and benefits provided. Further, the bill would change the current law so that a worker’s claims against third parties are assigned to the employer only if the worker does not file an action within one year of the accident or does not fully prosecute the action. Previously, the worker’s claims were assigned to the employer upon receipt of compensation to the worker.

Senate Bill 401, if enacted, would prevent workers’ compensation insurers from charging premium rates that exceed 4% of wages paid to employees.

New Mexico Works Act

Senate Bill 214 proposes to clarify that New Mexico Workforce Solutions, in place of the more general Human Services Department, is the department responsible for helping unemployed workers with various tasks. It also provides that Workforce Solutions shall establish a complaint procedure for grievances resulting from an individual responsibility plan, which are drafted for applicants seeking Workforce Solutions services. The bill proposes that Workforce Solutions shall work with other agencies to develop programs and job training for Native Americans and for the placement of applicants in new work activities. Finally, the bill proposes ways in which Workforce Solutions can sanction participants who enroll in and fail to participate in work programs.

Workforce Development Training

House Bill 147 proposes to reduce the residency requirement for trainees in Workforce Development training programs. As it exists now, trainees must have resided in New Mexico for one year before qualifying for training programs. The bill proposes instead to only require that the trainee be of legal status and either have resided in New Mexico for one year or have resided in New Mexico for at least one day before the training program and be in a program for a job with a guaranteed salary of at least $60,000 per year in or near a municipality with a population of at least 60,000 people or in a program for a job with a guaranteed salary of at least $40,000 per year in or near a municipality of 40,000 to 60,000 people. The purpose of the statute as a whole is for the Economic Development Department to retrain workers for “new or expanding industries, nonretail service sector businesses, and film and multimedia companies in New Mexico that have business or production procedures that require skills unique to those industries.” 

 

LIQUOR LICENSING

House Bill 296 amends the Liquor Control Act, NMSA 1978, §60-3A-1 et seq. by changing several liquor license provisions. Key parts of this bill restrict the transfer and lease of retailers’ and dispensers’ liquor licenses, change approval requirements for applications for new licenses, repeal limitations on numbers of retailers’ and dispensers’ licenses, and repeal provisions for restaurant, club and canopy licenses.

Senate Bill 37 amends the Liquor Control Act, NMSA 1978, §60-3A-1 et seq. It modifies the provisions concerning restaurant licenses to allow such holders to serve spirits distilled in New Mexico instead of beer and wine alone. If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 57 amends the Liquor Control Act, NMSA 1978, §60-3A-1 et seq. It allows holders of dispenser permits to lease the privilege of selling alcoholic beverages in unbroken packages to third parties. The bill is similar to Senate Bill 211. If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

 

CREDITOR RIGHTS

Uniform Property Note Transfer Enforcement

Following the issuance of various decisions by New Mexico’s appellate courts related to a mortgage holder’s standing in foreclosure actions, House Bill 182 proposes to amend New Mexico’s Uniform Commercial Code to adopt the Uniform Law Commission’s 2002 amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code. House Bill 182 is aimed at better protecting subsequent transferees in situations of a lost note. Currently, only the person who was in possession of a promissory note and entitled to enforce it when the loss of possession occurred can enforce a lost or stolen promissory note. However, the bill would specifically allow a note holder to prepare and file a “lost note affidavit” in situations where the loss of possession occurred before that person either directly or indirectly acquired ownership of the note. The note holder would still have to meet the other current requirements under the Uniform Commercial Code prior to having the standing to enforce the promissory note, but the amendment would provide additional clarification for creditors who were assigned lost or stolen promissory notes.

Home Loan Protection Act & Foreclosures

House Bill 203 proposes to amend New Mexico’s Home Loan Protection Act to permit the nonjudicial foreclosure of home loans where the home loan is secured by a deed of trust as opposed to by a mortgage. Currently, nonjudicial foreclosures are rare in New Mexico and can only be completed where the underlying loan is not a “home loan” under the New Mexico Home Loan Protection Act. Where a loan is secured by a deed of trust and is not a “home loan,” a creditor is permitted to foreclose non-judicially under the Deed of Trust Act so long as the creditor holds a valid deed of trust and complies with the requirements of the Deed of Trust Act and the terms of the loan documents.

 

ENTITY CHANGES

Revised Uniform LLC Act (“Revised Act”)

House Bill 180 is a wholesale repeal and replacement of the existing Limited Liability Company Act, NMSA 1978, §53-19-1 et seq., including new provisions concerning notice to third parties, transferring LLC interests, clearer laws concerning LLC management and procedures for merger, conversion, domestication, and interest exchanges, and direct and derivative actions brought by individual members. It applies to all New Mexico LLCs formed after July 1, 2018 and all foreign LLCs regardless of their date of formation, but New Mexico LLCs formed prior to July 1, 2018 may elect to be governed by the Revised Act. In addition to the LLC provisions that make up the majority of House Bill 180, it also includes amendments to the Business Corporations Act, NMSA 1978 §53-11-1 et seq., most notably provisions concerning the restatement of bylaws and clarifying the procedures and approval mechanisms for mergers, consolidations, interest exchanges, conversions, or domestications. If passed, the LLC provisions of the bill would become effective July 1, 2018, and the corporation provisions would become effective on January 1, 2018.

Public-Private Partnerships Act

House Bill 275 is a new act prescribing conditions for partnerships between public entities and private business, primarily for infrastructure and public welfare projects. The provisions include procurement and financing concerns, proposal requirements, and evaluation criteria. If passed, the provisions of the bill would take effect July 1, 2017.

Benefit Corporation Act

House Bill 467 adds a new statutory framework under which corporations may incorporate as “benefit corporations” and makes corresponding amendments to the Business Corporations Act, NMSA 1978 §53-11-1 et seq. Benefit corporations are for-profit entities that are typically incorporated with some particular social or environmental benefit in mind.

Resident Business Set-Aside Act

House Bill 25 creates new procurement requirements that state agencies and other bodies award at least 33% of agency contracts to resident businesses. “Resident businesses” are those that are certified by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department pursuant to the provisions of the Act. If passed, the bill would become effective on July 1, 2017. The bill is similar to Senate Bill 18.

Uniform Securities Violation Penalties

House Bill 325 amends the New Mexico Uniform Securities Act, NMSA 1978, §58-13C-1 et seq. to add new penalties for violations affecting senior citizens. Under the bill, willful violations of NMSA 1978, §§58-13C-501 and -502 involving persons over age 60 are second-degree felonies punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and nine years in prison. No effective date is listed in the bill.

 

TAXATION

Corporate Income Tax

The most significant corporate income tax bill is a proposal to change the state’s method of determining its share of taxable income of multistate corporations.

Senate Bill 1 was introduced by Peter Wirth (D), of Santa Fe County. New Mexico currently allows corporate taxpayers to file separately, but SB1 would require mandatory unitary combined reporting. A combined return would include all of the income of the members of a unitary group, or a large organization united through functional integration, centralized management, and economies of scale. Some form of a combined reporting bill every year since 2005, and in 2013 when the state began requiring corporations with a retail sales facility exceeding 30,000 square feet to file combined reports. SB1 would require multi-state corporations to file a water’s edge combined report or opt for filing a worldwide combined report. Proponents argue the long-term impact of the legislation would be positive because corporate income-shifting tactics would be eliminated. Skeptics, on the other hand, point to the difficulty in measuring profits and losses attributable to New Mexico under combined reporting, and argue the state’s long term economic performance may suffer if corporations shy away from states with such a system.

The Senate Corporations and Transportation Subcommittee February 14 substitute for the initial bill contains very significant language allowing exclusion of foreign source dividends from base income used to calculate New Mexico corporate income tax. New Mexico is one of only two or three states in the nation that do not exclude foreign dividends from net income in whole or in significant part.  The state’s position, based on internal policy rather than statute or regulation probably violates the Foreign Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, the subject of several pending administrative protests of corporate income tax assessments.

Senate Bill 274 proposes a change to the state’s method for determining when sales of intangible personal property and sales of services are taxable. Currently, sales of intangibles and services are considered to be made in New Mexico if the income-producing activity is performed in this state, or if a majority of the income-producing activity of the sale is performed in New Mexico. SB274 changes the current cost-of-performance measurement to a market source, meaning the sale of a service would be sourced to New Mexico if the service is delivered to a location in New Mexico. Similarly, if the sale, rental, lease or license of intangible property would be sourced to the state if the intangible property is used in New Mexico. The fiscal impact of the bill is unknown, but potentially positive due to the amount of services purchased in New Mexico from outside the state.

Senate Bill 389 proposes deleting a pending reduction of the corporate income tax rate. The deletion would keep the current top corporate tax rate at 6.2% instead of reducing it to 5.9%. New Mexico currently has a phased reduction of corporate income tax, meaning corporate income between $500,000 and $1,000,000 was reduced on January 1, 2017, from 6.4% to 6.2%. Another reduction to 5.9% is currently expected January 1, 2018, but would not occur if SB389 is passed.

Tax Administration Act

House Bill 408 proposes several changes to the Tax Administration Act, applicable to administration of most New Mexico taxes, with the most notable exception being property taxes.

Many of the changes appear to be insignificant clerical cleanup of prior legislation. However, the bill proposes some material changes. The legislation proposes that administrative fees, which it is entitled to charge for administration of various taxes, shall be retained by the department if not fully expended, rather than revert to the state general fund.

Section 22 would allow the department to not disclose information on how taxpayers are selected for audit, listing several specific methods.

Section 26 proposes several changes to NMSA 1978, §7-1-26, governing refund claims. Giving the bill the benefit of the doubt, it may be an attempt to tighten up the refund claim process and avoid what has become a torrent of administrative protests because the department has failed to timely act on a claim within, at most, 180 days from when the taxpayer submitted it. There are, however, some potential problems.

Following continuing moving-target disputes with the department attorneys about whether a claim for refund was “complete” and therefore timely, the 2003 Legislature made it clear that all that must be submitted is a “brief statement of the facts and the law upon which the claim is based.” Section 26, however, proposes to add to that requirement “documentation that substantiates the written claim and supports the taxpayer’s basis for refund.” Further, the suggested amendment states that a claim for refund is not “complete” until all additional information that may be requested by the department is “provided.” There is no time period for the department requesting information to make the claim complete. Given experience with the department, this suggests that processing of claims for refund could drag out for many months or years with protracted requests for information sought to be averted in 2003. In partial recognition of this fact, the bill would also provide that the statute of limitation for filing a protest or district court litigation when the department does not timely act on a claim for refund does not begin until the claim is “complete.”  But, apparently contradictory, the bill would also only allow a protest or suit within 180 days (extended from the current 120) of when a claim (not modified by the word “complete”) was delivered to the department, suggesting a potential trap for the unwary unless fixed.

Taxpayers Rights Advocate Office Act

House Bill 494 most notably creates an independent Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office to assist taxpayers in resolving disputes with the Taxation and Revenue Department. The head of the office would be the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate who would be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for a 6-year term. The Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate would be responsible for resolving taxpayer complaints and problems concerning the Taxation and Revenue Department. It would have the authority to direct the Taxation and Revenue Department to abate tax. It would also be responsible for developing and implementing a taxpayer education program. The bill also makes corresponding amendments to affected tax laws. If passed, the provisions of the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Personal Income Tax

Personal income tax changes include House Bill 324 and House Bill 310. Both seek to raise individual income tax rates. The bills propose an increase of the top marginal rate to 5.9% for each category of filer, this is 1% higher than the current rate for the top bracket in each category. House Bill 324 proposes the increased rate beginning at $109,091 for married individuals filing, $218,182 for married filing jointly, and $150,000 for single filers. Similarly, House Bill 310 proposes the increased rate beginning at over $75,000 (married filing separately), $100,000 (single, trusts and estates), and $150,000 (married filing jointly). Significantly, it also caps the capital gains tax deduction to $1,000.

Property Tax

Two property tax related bills have been introduced that may warrant attention if they continue to make progress.

Senate Bill 350 was introduced to establish a new method of valuing land previously used for agricultural purposes. The bill is aimed at what is believed to be improper usage of the agricultural method of land valuation in various counties. The new method proposes, in part, to value land by multiplying its capacity to produce agricultural products by a factor of two, but capping the value eat 50% of the market value of the property.

Senate Bill 454 introduces a new local option property tax to be imposed by school districts. Passage could result in an increase in property taxes by as much as four mills, but not without an affirmative vote of each district’s property owners.

Gross Receipts Taxes

Tax of Businesses without Physical Presence

House Bill 202 amends the Tax Administration Act, NMSA 1978, §7-1-1 et seq. and the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act, NMSA 1978, §7-9-1 et seq. to clarify that for a person engaging in business without a physical presence in New Mexico, the “place of business” of such person is the location where the property or product of a service is delivered. The bill also clarifies that persons without a physical presence in the state are not “engaging in business” if they have less than $100,000 in annual receipts and expands the definition of “gross receipts” to include receipts from sales of property made online through a multi-vendor marketplace platform (e.g., Amazon.com). If passed, the provisions of the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Nonprofit Gross Receipts Exemption

House Bill 332 amends the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act, NMSA 1978, §7-9-1 et seq. to exclude receipts of a prime contractor derived from operating a facility in New Mexico designated as a national laboratory by act of Congress from the gross receipts tax deduction available to nonprofit corporations. If passed, the provisions of the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Payment to Partners Gross Receipts

Senate Bill 100 amends the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act, NMSA 1978, §7-9-1 et seq. to expand the exemption from gross receipts for employee wages to include the receipts of partners from guaranteed payments. Treatment of guaranteed payments has been an ongoing issue with the department over the years. If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Muni Enviro Services Gross Receipts

House Bill 176 amends the Municipal Local Option Gross Receipts Taxes Act to expand the permissible uses of gross receipts tax revenue to include other types of infrastructure. The bill does not have an effective date.

Tax Reform

Senate Bill 123 is a broad amendment to several tax-related statutes, but most notably the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act, NMSA 1978, §7-9-1 et seq. Among other provisions, the bill allows withheld amounts to be credited against gross receipts tax due, allows a person to pay 0.75% of their gross receipts in lieu of income tax in certain situations, clarifies that persons without a physical presence in the state are not “engaging in business” if they have less than $100,000 in annual receipts, reduces the rate of gross receipts tax and allows for the adjustment of the rate based on revenue from the tax in the prior fiscal year, prevents the Department from taking action to enforce collection of sales taxes for periods prior to the effective date from persons who lacked a physical presence in the state and did not report taxable gross receipts during such periods, provides a flat income tax above certain income levels, repeals several credits, deductions, and exemptions, and provides new guidelines for municipal and county gross receipts taxes. If passed, most of the bill’s provisions would take effect on January 1, 2018, with others taking effect on January 1, 2019.

Taxation of Internet Sales

Senate Bill 264, in part, amends the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act, NMSA 1978, §7-9-1 et seq. to prevent the Department from taking action to enforce collection of gross receipts tax for a tax period prior to July 1, 2017 on persons engaging in business if, for those tax periods, such persons lacked physical presence in the state and did not report taxable gross receipts. If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Food and Medical Receipts

Among other provisions, Senate Bill 343 contains the Gross Receipts Taxes on Food and Health Care Practitioner Services Act, which imposes a 3.75% tax on the gross receipts from the sale of food at a retail food store and a 2% tax on the gross receipts from the sale of certain services of a health care practitioner. If passed, the new act would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Healthcare Receipts

Senate Bill 457, in part, amends the Gross Receipts and Compensating Tax Act, NMSA 1978, §7-9-1 et seq. to impose gross receipts tax on the “net patient care revenue” of a nonprofit hospital and to impose the governmental gross receipts tax on the net patient care revenue of a governmental hospital. The bill also modifies several gross receipts tax deductions pertaining to health care receipts. If passed, the new act would take effect on July 1, 2017.

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