MFA NEWS SCAN AUGUST 3, 2015
- Thursday, August 13, 2015PAY EQUITY, DISCRIMINATION BILLS RELEASED FAVORABLY
On Thursday, July 30 the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development released several bills favorably that address pay equity and discrimination in the workplace, including:
GOVERNOR SIGNS TAX HOLIDAY INTO LAW
On Thursday, August 6 Governor Baker signed into law H3659 which creates the state’s sales tax holiday next weekend, August 15 and 16. The law is similar to those passed in past sessions, which exempt sales tax collection for certain items purchased under $2,500. Items that continue to be taxed include meals, tobacco products under M.G.L. Ch. 64C, telecommunications, gas, steam and electricity. As soon as the Department of Revenue issues its Technical Information Release outlining the specifics of the law it will be distributed. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
35 INITIATIVE PETITIONS SUBMITTED TO AG FOR 2016 BALLOT
On Wednesday, August 5th, thirty-five initiative petitions were submitted to the MA Attorney General’s office for certification to appear on the November 2016 ballot for voter approval, including 26 proposed changes to Massachusetts laws and nine constitutional amendments. Some of the petitions address issues such as non-partisan election of the MA AG, abortion funding, animal rights, taxation of millionaires, health care changes, legalizing fireworks, marijuana legalization, renewable energy, tobacco taxation, charter schools, gaming and the last petition filed, which addresses the scheduling of workers at certain stores and restaurants. Petition, 15 – 35, seeks to require “fast food restaurants” and “retail stores” who make changes, cancellations additions or reductions to the schedule of an employee’s work schedule within 14 days of a scheduled shift, to pay not less than one additional hour and no more than four additional hours in addition to wages earned for hours worked. The Attorney General’s office must now certify the questions that are “constitutionally acceptable” for them to proceed through the process of being placed upon next year’s ballot. The Office will announce their decisions as to whether each question can proceed on September 2, the deadline for certification. For changes in law (rather than for the certification process for proposed constitutional amendments) following certification, proponents of proposed changes are required to gather and file the signatures of 64,750 registered voters by Dec. 2, 2015. Once the requisite signatures are obtained, the proposal is sent to the state Legislature to enact before the first Wednesday in May 2016. If the Legislature fails to enact the proposal, its proponents must gather another 10,792 signatures from registered voters by early July 2016 to place the initiative on the November 2016 ballot. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
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