MA LEGISLATURE PASSES ITEM PRICING OPTION BILL
On Monday, June 25 the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation that would allow retailers to apply for a waiver to the state’s item pricing laws in lieu of utilizing technology to disclose the prices of items in a food store and in a food department within a store.
The legislation (H4089) was approved by the House of Representatives on May 17 and was passed by the Senate on June 25. It was given final approval by both branches that same day and sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature into law. The Governor now has ten days to either sign the bill into law, not sign the bill and allow it to become law without his signature, send the legislation back to the Legislature with suggested changes, or veto the bill. A bill vetoed by the Governor can be overridden with a two thirds approved vote by both branches of the Legislature.
If the bill becomes law, the regulatory process will begin with the Division of Standards drafting regulations and circulating them for public comment. The effective date of the new law is scheduled for January 1, 2013. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
PLASTIC BAG LEGISLATION SENT TO SENATE WAYS & MEANS
Legislation requiring all plastic bags distributed almost every retail location in Massachusetts to be compostable and marine degradable has been redrafted and discharged to the Senate Ways & Means Committee. S353, which was a re-draft of previous plastic bag legislative proposals, was further amended to S2314, which was then sent to Senate Ways & Means. MFA will be closely monitoring this legislation.
- REMINDER -
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 HOLIDAY - INDEPENDENCE DAY
Open all day with hourly wages to be paid time and one-half and work to be voluntary
- FURTHER REMINDER -
NO FIRWORKS SALES ALLOWED IN MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 148 Section 39 prohibits the possession, use or sale of any fireworks in the Commonwealth. By definition, fireworks include: any “…compositions, substances or other articles and shall also include blank cartridges or toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of toy balloon which requires fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, cherry bombs, silver salutes, M-80’s, torpedoes, sky-rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, rockets, wheels, colored fires, fountains, mines, serpents, or other fireworks of like construction or any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.”
SUPREME COURT DECISION ON UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE LOOMS
A decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s universal health care law has not yet been declared by the U.S. Supreme Court; however a verdict is expected to be announced this Thursday. The Supreme Court could throw out the law entirely; declare it all constitutional or reject portions of it, such as mandated insurance for most Americans. The decision for Massachusetts, however, either way, will have little to no effect. If the individual mandate is thrown out at the federal level, the MA state law will remain intact. Current state law would still be enforced and the state’s Health Connector, where individuals and small businesses can purchase plans to meet coverage standards would remain in place. Although the decision could greatly affect the plans of other states such as California, Massachusetts could be affected the least, due to its own health care system.