MASSACHUSETTS FOOD ASSOCIATION NEWS SCAN UPDATE

 

Text Box: WHAT’S NEWS


VOLUME 13 ISSUE 35

 

DECEMBER 2, 2013

 

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14 BALLOT QUESTIONS CLEAR 1st SIGNATURE HURDLE

On Wednesday, November 4 the Secretary of State received the necessary amount of signatures from local officials certifying that seven initiative petitions may qualify for the 2014 November ballot.  Relevant questions include:

·       Raising the minimum wage to $9.25/hour effective January 1, 2015 then to $10.25/hour effective January 1, 2016 with indexing thereafter, effective each January;

·           Expand the bottle deposit law to include sports drinks and other beverages, effective April 22, 2015;

·       Allow employees to accrue earned sick time at the rate of one hour for every thirty hours worked.  Employers with eleven or more workers would be able to accrue up to 40 hours in a calendar year.  This law would take effect July 1, 2015.

concord defeats repeal of

bottled water ban, eyes plastic bags next

On Wednesday, December 4, Concord residents defeated an effort to repeal the sale of plastic water bottles in the Town.  An official tally was not even taken due to the overwhelming support shown for maintaining the ban, stating that upwards of 80 to 90% of the 1,127 voters at the town meeting raised their ballots against the repeal.  The ban was approved in 2012 by town meeting and a repeal of the ban was turned down last April.  Sponsor Jean Hill vows to go after a plastic bag ban next.  Click here to read more.

 

IRS 2014 Employer Withholding Tables Released

The IRS has released the federal income tax withholding table for use by employers in 2014.  The withholding allowance for 2014 increases from $3,900 in 2013 to $3,950 and the employee tax rate for the Social Security portion of FICA remains the same.

 

WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT

Remember to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for all of the targeted group employee categories listed on Form 5884, including veterans, if they were hired on or after Jan. 1, 2011, or before Dec. 31, 2013.  Related Link:

IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2013-15 IRS to Employers: Hire Veterans by Dec. 31 and Save on Taxes

 

House Passes Patent Troll Legislation:

According to FMI and NGA, on December 5 the House passed the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), which includes reforms to the patent litigation process with a final vote of 325-91.  The House-passed bill focuses on the actual patent litigation process, including heightened pleading standards, fee shifting language and reforms to the discovery process, along with strengthened demand letter language offered as an amendment that passed on the floor by voice-vote.  During House consideration, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE), gave a verbal commitment that his committee will take up demand letter litigation soon in the hopes that it will be included in a final package.

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MFA NEWS SCAN DECEMBER 2, 2013


- Tuesday, December 10, 2013



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