SENATE PASSES HEALTH CARE COST CONTAINMENT LEGISLATION,
HOUSE CONSIDERS ITS OWN BILL
On May 17 the Massachusetts Senate passed its version of a proposal (S2270) designed to improve the quality of health care and reduce costs in Massachusetts. It also passed with an amendment that seeks to correct a problem faced by many small and independent business owners who offer insurance and employ many part time or seasonal employees, and/or employees who have insurance from other sources, such as parents, spouses, veterans or retirement. Many of these businesses that offer quality insurance to these workers are still subject to the fair share contribution penalty, because they don’t meet the threshold of enrolled employees in their health plan due to alternate coverage. The House took action on S2270 on May 30 by striking the language and replacing it with their own version, of which Representative Forry offered the same amendment as offered in the Senate to address the fair share contribution assessment. The House is expected to deliberate this week on the legislation, which is ultimately to be decided by a Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions. If the House bill passes with the amendment intact, it will have been given approval in both branches and would ultimately have to appear in the final Conference Committee report. Other amendments offered in the House included:
* Amendments 154, 174, 197 - Also seek to exempt employees who already have coverage somewhere else;
* Amendment 267 - Seeks to implement the state’s sales tax on so-called “soft drinks”, with funds collected by their sale to be placed in the state’s “Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund”;
* Amendment 40 - Seeks to require anyone under eighteen caught with any tobacco and/or cigarette rolling papers to enroll in a tobacco education and cessation program.
ENGLISH WORKS CAMPAIGN IS THERE TO HELP YOU
The English Works Campaign would like to work with your business help address English language and other skills training needs in your establishment. The Campaign can help connect you with workplace English language training providers in your area, as well as public funding resources like the Workforce Training Fund Program that will allow you to improve workplace communications, customer service, and error reduction.
The statewide ENGLISH WORKS Campaign promotes public and private investment in English language learning opportunities that benefit immigrant workers, the businesses that employ them and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The MA Food Association, along with 75 other business, labor, community and educational entities, is a member of the English Works Campaign.
Please contact Franklin Peralta or 617.350.5480 x203 if you would like to learn more about how English Works can support your business, or if you would like to hear from other employers in your field that are currently hosting English language trainings for their employees. Please also visit www.english-works.org where you can also review: FAQs about Operating a Workplace ESOL Program and other useful resources, or contact MFA if you have any questions.
- REMINDER -
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY - OPEN ALL DAY
TIME AND ONE-HALF PAY FOR HOURLY EMPLOYEES, WITH WORK TO BE VOLUNTARY
OFF PREMISE LICENSEES FOR ALCOHOL SALES MAY BE OPEN UNTIL 11:30PM THE DAY BEFORE ALL HOLIDAYS