MFA NEWSCAN UPDATE July 29, 2013
- Thursday, July 25, 2013
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 23 JULY 29, 2013 Contact us at:
VOLUME 13 ISSUE 23
JULY 29, 2013
Contact us at:
MA LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES GOVERNOR’S
On Wednesday, July 24 the MA House of Representatives voted 123 to 33 to override the Governor’s veto of H3581, followed by the Senate’s override vote of 35 to 5 to also pass over the veto, sending the bill back to his office to become law. Originally the bill was passed by both branches on June 26 and sent to the Governor for his signature. The Governor returned the bill to the Legislature on July 2 with a recommended amendment to increase the gas tax in 2017 to make up for lost revenue when the toll booths are to come down in western MA that year. The House and Senate rejected the Governor’s suggested change and sent the proposal back to him. Now the Governor has ten days to sign it into law or it becomes effective without his signature. If this happens, the effective date of the law becomes August 3, making the effective date of the new taxes listed below August 10. H3581 calls for funding to be raised for transportation needs throughout the Commonwealth through the following:
· An additional excise tax of 50 mils per cigarette (100 ½ to 150 ½ mils) to be enforced seven days after the effective date of the bill when it becomes law (Sections 45 and 72);
· An additional excise tax of 10% of the wholesale price of cigars and smoking tobacco (30% to 40%) to be enforced seven days after the effective date of the bill when it becomes law (Section 47);
· An additional excise tax of 120% of the wholesale price of smokeless tobacco (40% to 160%) to be enforced seven days after the effective date of the bill when it becomes law (Section 46);
· Application of the state’s sales tax to “computer system design services” to be enforced seven days after the effective date of the bill when it becomes law (Sections 48 and 49);
· An additional three cents of tax per gallon (21 to 24 cents) of gasoline and indexing of future taxes per gallon, to be enforced seven days after the effective date of the bill when it becomes law (Sections 43 and 44).
PUSH TO PLACE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE,
PAID SICK LEAVE ON 2014 BALLOT
Supporters of an increase in the state’s minimum wage and paid sick leave announced on July 24 that they intend to place two initiative petitions on the November 4, 2014 election day ballot to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11/hour by 2015 and to allow employees to earn paid sick leave from their employers. By August 7 they must submit these petitions to the Attorney General’s office with ten original signers of the proposal, and can start collecting the required 68,911 registered voter signatures from September 15 until November 20. Signature gatherers may be contacting food stores soon for permission to collect signatures on their premises. Please call the office if you have any questions.
BOTTLE BILL HEARING SCHEDULED
A hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy is scheduled for September 17 on proposals to expand the state’s bottle deposit law and proposals to phase out the bottle bill, along with other recycling bills. MFA will be coordinating testimony for the hearing.
On Tuesday, July 16 the City of Chelsea, MA voted to ban trans fats in food effective January 1, 2015. The ban, which affects grocery stores and all other food establishments, does not apply to food or beverage in a manufacturer’s original sealed package that bears an FDA compliant nutrition label.
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