MFA NEWSCAN UPDATE July 22, 2013

MFA NEWSCAN UPDATE July 22, 2013


- Thursday, July 25, 2013



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MASSACHUSETTS FOOD ASSOCIATION NEWS SCAN UPDATE

 

WHAT’S NEWS


VOLUME 13 ISSUE 22

 

JULY 22, 2013

 

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MA LEGISLATURE REJECTS GOVERNOR’S TAX BILL ON TRANSPORTATION - GOVERNOR RETURNS WITH VETO

On Wednesday, July 17 the MA House of Representatives rejected the Governor’s request to increase the state’s gasoline tax to raise more funding for transportation as called for in H3535, followed by the Senate’s rejection the next day on July 18.  The Governor then vetoed the bill and sent it back to the Legislature on Friday, July 19.  Originally the bill was passed by both branches on June 26 and sent to the Governor for his signature to become law.  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 (by a vote of 123 to 31 out of 160) and Senate (by a vote of 29 to 9 out of 40) then rejected the Governor’s suggested change and sent the proposal back to the Governor.  The Legislature is expected to override his veto on Wednesday.  H3535 calls for funding to be raised for transportation needs throughout the Commonwealth.  The bill calls for:

·        An additional excise tax of 50 mils per cigarette (100 to 150 mils) to be enforced seven days after the effective date of the bill when it becomes law (Sections 45 and 72 of H3535);

·        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 of H3535);

·        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 July 1, 2013 as written (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 July 1, 2013 as written (Sections 43 and 44).

 

FISH PROHIBITION/LABELING BILL RELEASED FAVORABLY

HB1946 - An Act relative to strengthening the consumer protections and ensuring the proper labeling of fish sold in the Commonwealth was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health.  The legislation seeks to ban “escolar” and “oilfish” from the state and prevent mislabeling of Atlantic Cod, Atlantic Halibut, Grey Sole and Red Snapper.

 

We Card Awareness Month - September 2013.

We Card's goal is to create a big push for retailers to train or re-train their employees, order their 2014 We Card materials (calendars and kits) and raise the awareness of FDA regulation, state and local law compliance.  FDA is completing nearly 100,000 compliance checks nationwide for the second year.  Combined with state or local inspections, it's critical for retailers to invigorate their responsible retailing efforts.  Look for an August update providing a website address where you can download digital artwork; press release templates; talking points and other useful material.  If you have early deadlines for publications or other communication needs before these Awareness Month participation tools are available, please contact Doug Anderson at The We Card Program, Inc. at danderson@wecard.org or 888-872-4603 ext. 24.

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MFA NEWSCAN UPDATE July 22, 2013


- Thursday, July 25, 2013



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