MFA NEWS SCAN MARCH 18, 2014
- Monday, March 24, 2014
MINIMUM WAGE, UI PROPOSAL IN HOUSE HITS ROADBLOCK
On Thursday, March 20 the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development was unable to release its version of a proposal for an increase in the state’s minimum wage, due to a parliamentary disagreement with the Senate. The Committee was expected to release a proposal that would have raised the state’s minimum wage from $8.00/hour to $9.00/hour on July 1, 2014, $9.00/hour to $10.00/hour on July 1, 2015 and $10.50/hour on July 1, 2016. Because the Senate did not agree with the request to report the House bill out after rules required its discharge on Wednesday, the Committee sits in limbo due to the delay. The House may be forced to release legislation to the House Ways & Means Committee as a vehicle to proceed with their proposal or amend a legislative vehicle to proceed. Also, the Joint Committee was not able to release a proposal that amends the state’s unemployment insurance system, which was supposed to be tied in with their minimum wage proposal. The Senate had previously proposed its own version of an unemployment insurance revision, raising the taxable wage base rate to $21,000 up from the present $14,000. The House was expected to release its proposal to raise the rate to $16,000. It remains to be seen how the House will react. We will keep you informed, please call the office if you have any questions.
MA COMMITTEES ACT ON BILLS DUE TO JOINT RULE 10 DAY
On Wednesday, March 19 each of the MA Legislative Joint Committees were scheduled to act on respective bills filed for the present legislative session, due to a rule called “Joint Rule 10 Day”. Committees must either send proposals out of Committee with a recommendation or request an extension to keep them in Committee for further consideration. Some of the bills acted upon include the following:
· Bottle Bill Expansion - Most legislative proposals dealing with bottle deposit expansion or alternative comprehensive approaches to deal with solid waste have been granted an extension to July 15. The House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy appointed a Committee of four legislators to develop a “compromise solution” to the proposed initiative petition for expansion of the bottle deposit law;
· Paid Leave - Legislative proposals to require paid leave has been discharged to their respective Ways & Means Committees, with House bills going to House Ways & Means and Senate bills being discharged to Senate Ways & Means.
We are still in the process of identifying the status of all legislation, please contact the office if you have any questions on a specific issue.
REMINDER: April 1, 2014 Deadline for Businesses to Certify Tax Status to be entitled to Local Property Tax Benefits
The Department of Revenue (DOR) requires most business entities to certify their tax status annually by April 1 in order to compile the annual Corporations Book, used by local assessors to determine which businesses qualify for various property tax exemptions afforded entities that are classified as corporations for federal and state tax purposes. Any corporation that does not complete the online application by April 1 may be omitted from the Corporations Book and may not receive personal property tax exemptions to which it would otherwise be entitled. For details see Directive 12-5or FAQs.
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