MFA NEWS SCAN MARCH 11, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN MARCH 11, 2014


- Thursday, March 13, 2014



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MA HOUSE SPEAKER PROPOSES MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

At a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event this morning, House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced his proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage from the present $8.00 per hour to $9 per hour on July 1 of this year, to $10 per hour in 2015, and to $10.50 per hour in 2016, for a total increase of $2.50 an hour over the next two years.  The proposal does not include any indexing of future increases thereafter.  This proposal differs from the Senate proposal which seeks to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour this year, up to $10.00 per hour next year, and up to $11.00 per hour in 2016 with indexing starting annually thereafter for a total increase of $3.00 an hour over the next two years.  A proposal to place a question on November’s ballot would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.25 per hour as of January 1, 2015, and to $10.50 per hour as of January 1, 2016 with indexing starting annually thereafter for a total of $2.50 per hour over the next two years.  If the House approves its measure as proposed, a conference committee will be established to create a final compromise on the differences between the House and Senate proposals.  It is almost certain that Massachusetts now faces an increase in the state’s minimum wage to be at $2.50 per hour over the next two years at a minimum; and possibly $3.00 per hour over the next two years at a maximum, according to pending legislation and the proposed ballot question if approved by voters in November. 

 

FMI/NGA NEWS FROM CAPITOL HILL

U.S. HOUSE SCHEDULES VOTE ON FULL TIME EMPLOYEE DEFINITION

The U.S House has listed in its March agenda listing a vote to be taken up towards the end of this month on H.R. 2575 , a proposal to amend the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “Full-Time Employee” definition to change it from 30 hours/week to 40 hours/week.  We will keep you informed.

 

FDA MISSES DEADLINE ON FINAL NUTRITION LABELING RULES

On Tuesday, March 4 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration missed a self-imposed February deadline to issue final rules on an Affordable Care Act-mandated proposal to have restaurants and food makers post calorie counts and other nutritional information.  They have now stated they hope to release them by the end of the year.  According to the FDA's agenda, it had expected to release guidelines on the proposed rule — known as Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments — last month, but the agency is still reviewing comments submitted in response to the proposed rules.  The labeling rule would affect chain restaurants and other food vendors that have 20 or more locations, but the type of restaurants and businesses affected is still being reviewed.

 

ACA REPORTING PROVISIONS RELEASED FOR EMPLOYERS

On Wednesday, March 5 the U.S Treasury and IRS released final rules on simplified information reporting provisions under the ACA for employers (and insurers) beginning January 1, 2015.  Employers must provide information to the IRS (and employees) about coverage they offer to employees, and for those who offer self-insured plans they must report information on individuals enrolled in coverage.  The latter information reporting requirements generally also apply to employers with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees.  Self-insured employers must also provide information to verify whether individuals qualify for a health premium tax credit.  Employers with fewer than 50 employees continue to be exempt as they are now.  Please see the following link for more information: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2310.aspx.  

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MFA NEWS SCAN MARCH 11, 2014


- Thursday, March 13, 2014



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