MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 13, 2015
- Thursday, July 16, 2015
MA LEGISLATURE PASSES FY ’16 STATE BUDGET TO GOVERNOR
Late last Tuesday, July 7 the MA Legislature finished its work on the FY ’16 state budget, sending the bill to the Governor for his approval. Governor Baker has until Saturday to veto or approve all or parts of the proposal presented to him. Legislative leaders banned state funds from being used for the Olympic bid, and removed a Senate proposal to freeze the state income tax, according to the $38.1 billion budget accord they released. They also included a version of the House proposal to suspend the requirements of the Pacheco Law at the MBTA for three years, allowing them to seek more private contracts. The budget also included a $71 million increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is to be paid for by permanently repealing a business tax deduction — known as FAS 109 — that is expected to generate $76 million. Not included in the budget sent to the Governor was a Senate proposed tax increase on flavored cigars. The budget also includes language that authorizes the MA Office of Business Development to expend funds on the Massachusetts Food Trust Program to address food deserts in areas where supply does not meet demand
SUPPORT GROWS FOR MA SALES TAX HOLIDAY
House leaders have expressed support for a Massachusetts “sales tax holiday” once again this year, setting aside a weekend where no sales tax is collected on certain sales in the Commonwealth. The Joint Committee on Revenue has scheduled a hearing for July 21 to review legislation calling for the weekend of August 15 and 16 to be sales tax free for purchases under $2,500 in Massachusetts. The legislation filed calls for the sales tax on meals to continue to be collected through that weekend. We will keep you updated if and when the legislation is signed into law.
MENU LABELING IMPLEMENTATION DELAYED ONE YEAR
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has announced a one year delay on implementation of the Menu Labeling final rule to December 1, 2016 from December 1, 2015. The FDA has stated that they agree additional time is necessary for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered businesses and for covered establishments to come into compliance with the final rule. They also plan to issue in August 2015 a draft guidance document that provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions the agency has received and will label this guidance document a “draft” to reflect their openness to further comments and dialogue. The link to the extension of compliance time is posted here: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/07/10/2015-16865/food-labeling-nutrition-labeling-of-standard-menu-items-in-restaurants-and-similar-retail-food
MFA ANNUAL MEETING
Mark your calendar! Wednesday, October 28 at Lombardo’s in Randolph, MFA will host the Annual Best Bagger contest starting at 2:30 followed by its 109th Annual Meeting which begins at 4:00 (registration opens at 3:30). In preparation, the Association will be sending out a tribute journal contract in the beginning of August for those who wish to participate in the journal. Our Meeting guest speaker this year will be Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker. The recipients of the Association’s Hall of Fame award and Community Service Award will be announced prior to the tribute journal contract mailing. Ticket information will be mailed out in early September. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
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