MA HOUSE RELEASES ITS VERSION OF FY ’12 STATE BUDGET
Nearly three months after Governor Patrick released his version of the state fiscal budget for 2012, the House released its version of the FY ’12 state budget. Unlike the Governor’s proposal, the House proposal does not rely on any new taxes, including the Governor’s proposed tax on candy, soft drinks, cigarettes and an expanded bottle bill to raise an additional $260 million. The $32.3 billion proposal instead reduces spending in certain programs, state agencies and services, including gang prevention, summer job programs, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, District Court budgets and private counsel compensation. The House proposal also relies on increased state tax collections and borrowing $400 million from the state’s “rainy day” fund. One outside section of the House budget seeks to further restrict the use of SNAP benefits, formally known as food stamps, so they may not knowingly be used for the purchase of such items as cosmetics (excluding soap), jewelry, travel services, health clubs, pornography, tattoos/piercing, firearms, theater/movie tickets, rental property, taxes/fees/penalties or gambling, along with the present provisions of alcohol, lottery tickets and tobacco products. This section does not impose any further restrictions upon retailers who unknowingly allow such purchases if purchased with cash obtained through SNAP benefit cards at ATM’s and other sources.
The Senate is expected to release its own proposal in June, which will begin the compromise
NLRB EMPLOYER POSTING REQUIREMENT EFFECTIVE APRIL 30, 2012
According to the National Grocers Association, barring a last minute Court injunction, employers will be required to post a 11 x 17 poster detailing an employee's rights under the National Labor Relations Act. N.G.A. joined other members of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace in filing legal challenges to the NLRB's rulemaking. While the Court did not rule that the NLRB overstepped its authority in requiring the posters, it did rule that the Board overstepped its bounds by including a provision that labels any failure to post the required notice, no matter the context and even without any evidence of intent, as interfering with employee's rights and as an unfair labor practice. The Court also ruled that the Board could not issue a rule that would toll the statute of limitations. To read a memo drafted by N.G.A.'s legal counsel at Epstein, Becker, and Green on the Court's decision CLICK HERE (member's only document). To access the NLRB poster CLICK HERE.
FDA REJECTS BANNING BPA IN FOOD PACKAGING
According to the Griffin E-News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently decided that it would not ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging, but rather that it would continue to study the health effects of the chemical. The decision rejects a petition by the Natural Resource Council (NRC), an environmental group, to ban the chemical in food and beverage containers immediately, though leaves the door open for future regulation.
EARTH DAY EVENTS AND OTHER NEWS FOR MFA WEBSITE
Is your company planning any special events for Earth Day on April 22nd? Perhaps a reusable bag contest/giveaway? If so, please let Megan in our office know so that we may post it on our website. Also, any news of your Community involvement can be posted. Contact Megan at email@example.com or call the office at (617) 542-3085
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MONDAY, APRIL 16, PATRIOTS DAY
OPEN ALL DAY, NO TIME AND ONE HALF REQUIREMENT, NON-VOLUNTARY WORK