"> NEWSCAN UPDATE 5/27/13

NEWSCAN UPDATE 5/27/13


- Thursday, May 30, 2013



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VOLUME 13 ISSUE 15

 

MAY 27, 2013

 

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MA SENATE PASSES ITS VERSION OF FY ’14 BUDGET

Late Thursday, May 23 the MA Senate finished deliberations on its version of the FY ’14 state budget, calling for $34 billion in spending.  The Senate approved its version on a 36-3 vote.  With the introduction of 725 amendments offered to the budget, the Senate approved an additional $68.4 million worth of spending, making its final version nearly identical to the House version of the budget which was approved in April.  The following is the status of some of the more relevant amendments from the 728 offered through the Senate budget process:

·        2 - Sales Tax Rollback - Ruled unconstitutional;

·        4, 7 - Sales Tax Holiday - Ruled unconstitutional;

·        24 - Cigar Excise Cap - Ruled unconstitutional;

·        35 - Item Pricing - Accepted;

·        197 - Buy Local Programs - Rejected;

·        222 - Update the bottle bill - Adopted;

·        236 - Item Pricing - Adopted;

·        641 - Reduce EBT Cash Access - Rejected;

·        643 - Reduce Lottery Littering - Rejected;

·        678 - Food Protection Program - Not accepted;

·        699 - Tobacco Cessation - Not accepted;

·        713 - Boston Emergency Preparedness - Not accepted.

As of this writing the Senate budget has yet to be introduced in the House, which most likely will non-concur (disagree) with the Senate’s proposal, thus forcing the House and Senate proposals to both be reviewed by a Conference Committee to work out the differences before going to the Governor for his signature.  Please contact the office if you have any questions.

 

FEDERAL UPDATE

According to the National Grocers Association:

On May 23, the USDA issued a final rule on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) effective immediately with a six month educational period for retailers.  Read the NGA analysis here and the press release here.

 

The Food and Nutrition Service announced an extended public comment period for the WIC EBT Proposed Rule.  The comment period has been extended and comments are now due June 29, 2013.

 

Congress is in recess this week and will return to Capitol Hill on June 3.  The Senate will use most of its first week back to finish up amendments to the farm bill (S. 954) and is expected to vote on final passage by the end of next week.  Senator Coburn (R-OK) and Senator Harkin (D-IA) have introduced an amendment, which NGA opposes, to allow two pilot projects in states that agree to plan and implement programs to eliminate "unhealthy foods" to SNAP recipients which would drastically increase cost and administrative burdens on grocers.  Though this amendment can still change before next week, NGA strongly recommends looking over NGA’s talking points and letting your Senator know you oppose restrictions to SNAP. 

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NEWSCAN UPDATE 5/27/13


- Thursday, May 30, 2013



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