MA HOUSE OFFERS OVER 800 AMENDMENTS TO FY ’13 BUDGET PROPOSAL
As of the deadline on Friday, April 13, 870 amendments were offered to the MA House of Representative’s proposal for the state’s FY ’13 budget. Although leadership has indicated there is very little room for any changes to the proposed budget due to the anticipated $1.3 billion budget gap, members of the House offered various proposed changes and/or additions to the bill (H4100), including those listed below. The House started working on the budget April 23, with the Senate expected to begin its work on its version of the state budget in June. To date the House has taken the following action on submitted relevant amendments to the budget:
* 169 - Sales tax holiday August 18 - 19, 2012 - WITHDRAWN;
* 203 - Meals tax holiday March 17 - 22, 2013 - WITHDRAWN;
* 250 - Reduce sales tax back to 5% - WITHDRAWN;
* 405 - Reduce gas tax in MA - WITHDRAWN;
* 594 - Unpaid sick time - NO ACTION YET - Sponsored by Representative Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield);
* 637 - Meals tax holiday October 7 - 12, 2012 - REJECTED;
* 742 - Generate MBTA revenue by reducing minimum cigarette prices - PASSED, however amended into a study;
* 802 - Update the bottle bill - NO ACTION YET - Sponsored by Representative Stanley (D-Waltham);
* 846 - Raise revenue from abandoned gift cards - WITHDRAWN;
Several amendments were also offered to increase the tax of tobacco products, further regulate electronic benefit cards (EBT), and reform unemployment benefits. The House is expected to deliberate on these amendments and the state’s budget through this week. We will keep you updated as action is recorded.
NLRB EMPLOYER POSTING REQUIREMENT DELAYED
According to the law firm Hirsch, Roberts & Weinstein, in August 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final rule requiring most private-sector employers – even those who are not unionized – to post a notice informing employees of their right under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to organize.
After two postponements, the rule was set to go into effect on April 30, 2012. On March 2, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the notice-posting requirement but struck down certain sections of the rule’s enforcement provisions. That decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On April 13, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina struck down the notice-posting rule in its entirety. As a result, the D.C. Court of Appeals has issued an order prohibiting enforcement of the rule while the appeal is pending.
Oral arguments are scheduled for September 2012. The issue, therefore, is “back-burnered” at least until that time, and employers are not required to post the notice on April 30, as previously scheduled.
MFA CONVENTION FAST APPROACHING!
MFA’S 31st Annual Convention & Family Reunion is almost upon us! We are on target to meet last year’s crowd, and limited space is still available at this time. Come celebrate MFA’s “Trip Around the World” as this year’s theme, and join in our honoring of Chip O’Hare of JOH as our Person of the Year. Please contact the office for room reservations and information. We hope to see you there!