MFA NEWS SCAN MARCH 24, 2014
- Wednesday, March 26, 2014
HOUSE COMMITTEE POLLING MEMBERS ON MINIMUM WAGE, UI PROPOSAL
On Tuesday, March 25 the House Committee on Ways & Means began polling its members to gauge whether they support or oppose a new minimum wage, unemployment insurance proposal that they have crafted. Both of these proposals have been added to a House bill that deals with rights for domestic workers (H3983). The domestic workers bill has already received approval from the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, and would be amended with the minimum wage change and U/I reform. Some of the major components contained in the proposal include the following:
· Would raise from $8.00/hour to $9.00/hour on July 1, 2014;
· Would raise from $9.00/hour to $10.00/hour on July 1, 2015;
· Would raise from $10.00/hour to $10.50/hour on July 1, 2016.
· There is no future indexing of the minimum wage contained in the proposal.
· Would raise the taxable wage base from $14,000 to $15,000 on January 1, 2015;
· Would freeze the experience rate at Schedule E for the remainder of the calendar year;
· Would freeze the experience rate at Schedule C for 2015, 2016 and 2017;
· Revisions in the Experience Rate Table effective January 1, 2015.
We are still in the process of analyzing the proposal and waiting to see whether or not the House Ways and Means Committee will approve the proposal. If they do, the House is expected to deliberate next week. If passed by the House it remains to be seen if the Senate will agree to address the bill We will keep you informed, please contact the office if you have any questions.
Warning: State Tax Lien Notices not issued by DOR
Caution communications are being sent to taxpayers with outstanding tax liens from those who may have criminal intent. Although these notices show amounts from actual tax liens, they are not from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Any notice from the MA Department of Revenue would be clearly marked as being issued by the agency and would not suggest a settlement amount, as many of these questionable notices do. The liens mentioned in the letters are real but the letters are not from the Department of Revenue or any other government agency. Please check the warning posted on the DOR website with samples of some of the false notices. If a notice is received, contact DOR at 617-887-MDOR (6367) to learn the facts about what is owed and options for resolving the situation.
GOVERNOR PATRICK SEEKS TO OFFSET SNAP CUTS
On Tuesday, March 25 Governor Patrick announced that the state will be investing $3 million in additional home heating assistance for families to avoid the potential loss of up to $142 million in food stamp benefits for 163,000 families. Under the Governor’s proposal, the Department of Transitional Assistance will be working with the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide at least $20 in heating assistance to eligible families through the H-EAT programs. The subsidy will qualify those families for an additional $80 in monthly Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits that might have been lost under new federal rules included in the farm bill that made qualifying for the SNAP benefits more difficult. Prior to the farm bill change, the minimum heating assistance amount was $1.
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