MA LEGISLATURE WRAPS UP TWO YEAR SESSION
- Monday, August 06, 2012
At midnight on Tuesday, July 31 the Massachusetts Legislature wrapped up the formal portion of its two year 2011 - 2012 legislative session. The next two year legislative session begins in January of 2013, and between now and then the Legislature will only deal with non-controversial bills. We are still sorting through the flurry of activity that took place in the closing days of the session, however here is the status of some of the more relevant legislation we have been tracking that was dealt with in the last few days of the session:
· Job growth legislation/Sales Tax holiday - (H4532) Signed this morning by the Governor, this proposal seeks to stimulate community and jobs growth, and contains a section that creates the state’s sale tax holiday. As soon as the Department of Revenue issues a Technical Information Release (TIR) on the measure we will distribute this information. The measure also contains language to study the taxation and definition of “independent contractors” and the processing and sale of frozen lobster parts.
· Mandated paid and unpaid leave - (H3995, S918, H1409/S1863) Several of these proposals were gaining traction as the session progressed and reached the end, however none of them were signed into law including: mandated paid leave for victims of domestic violence, unpaid family leave and earned sick time;
· Health care cost containment - (S2400) Legislation that was signed into law today by the Governor seeks to lower health care costs by tying its growth to the rate of growth in the economy and increasing the number of employees from 11 to 21 for companies subject to the fair share assessment (penalty). The proposal also contains language that does not penalize employers who do not enroll certain employees in their company health plan because they are on another plan such as a spouse, a parent, Medicare or certain other plans, which goes into effect next July 1. The law also calls for the development of (through the regulatory process) additional incentives for employees to participate in wellness programs;
· Public access to restrooms - (H2366) Last week the Governor signed a new law that gives people with medical conditions access to employee-only bathrooms at
Also not signed into law towards the end of the session were plastic bag tax/ban legislation, bottle bill expansion and any legislation creating changes in the Commonwealth’s tax policies. We will be compiling our 2011 - 2012 legislative session update and will distribute and post it when it is finished. Please contact the office if you have any specific questions on the session.
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