MA LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES VOTE ON RESPECTIVE BILLS
On Wednesday March 21 the Massachusetts Legislature’s twenty-eight Joint (House and Senate) Committees took action on all respective legislation before them as called for by state constitution’s Joint Rule 10 day, the last day for which all bills must be reported on by each Committee. Bills are voted on by each respective Committee’s members, and are usually voted on either favorably, not favorably, to a study, or granted an extension for more time to remain before the Committee. Committees have been slow to release the status of all bills before them, but following is a status listing of bills that we have seen the polling results for to date. We will be compiling a more comprehensive list as they become available. Please contact the office if you have any specific questions on any legislative proposal(s):
* Paid sick leave - H3995 would allow employees to accrue 1 hr. sick time for every 30 hours of work, maximum 7 days annually, reported favorably out of the Committee to the Health Care Financing Committee;
* Increase tobacco taxes - H2452/S1075 raise taxes on all tobacco products, including cigars, smoking and smokeless tobacco, etc. released favorable by Public Health Committee to Health Care Financing;
* Minimum wage - S951/H2291 would Raise minimum wage to $8.75/hr. on 7/1/11 to $10/hr. by 7/1/13 released favorably out of Committee (destination TBA, most likely Ways & Means Committee);
MA DEP CREATES WEBSITE TO HELP BUSINESSES
WITH PROPOSED BAN ON LANDFILLING OF ORGANICS
In anticipation of the state’s July 1, 2014 ban on organics going to landfills, below is a message from John Fischer, Branch Chief, Waste Planning and Commercial Waste Reduction of the MA Department of Environmental Protection:
DEP has established the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program, a new initiative to help Massachusetts businesses and institutions to reduce waste and to increase recycling and composting. The program is funded through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Sustainable Materials Recovery Program and administered by the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), a non-profit organization based in Northampton and Pittsfield.
The program will provide a comprehensive set of statewide services as well as targeted business assistance services. Statewide services include a hotline and email address to help businesses answer their questions and either start new programs or improve existing programs. The RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts website (www.recyclingworksma.com) includes a searchable recycling service provider database and guidance materials by material type and business sector. Additional content will be added to the site over the coming months, so I encourage you to check back frequently. In addition, the RecyclingWorks program will coordinate the Massachusetts WasteWise program, a free, voluntary program that provides networking, tools and recognition to help businesses to advance recycling initiatives.
In addition to the statewide services, the program will provide site visits, technical assistance and workshops to work with specific businesses, business sectors, and chamber of commerce partnerships. The short-term program focus will be increasing diversion of food waste from large generators such as supermarkets, colleges and universities, and hotels. To connect with RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts you can: Call (888)254-5525, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.recyclingworksma.com.