MFA NEWS SCAN MAY 30, 2014
- Sunday, June 01, 2014
USDA Publishes Additional snap Guidance on Farm Bill Implementation & bottle deposits for retailers
According to the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association, USDA has released the first in a series of questions and answers associated with the retailer, issuance and EBT provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014. These are posted to the FNS public web Farm Bill Implementation page and to the SNAP “what’s new” section. Among other guidance, USDA provides a Q&A section on bottle deposits, EBT state equipment, Interchange fees and manual vouchers. With regards to beverages that require bottle deposits, SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay for any deposit fee unless the State requires customers to pay such a fee in order to purchase food in a returnable bottle, can or other container. Also, the container must be of a type and size covered by the State law and the amount debited from the SNAP account for that container may not exceed the value established in the law. SNAP funds may only be used to pay the five cents of the bottle deposit covered by the State law. If the deposit originator is adding a fee beyond the State fee, the SNAP customer must pay that additional amount in cash. If a fee is charged for a container or product not covered by State law, the SNAP customer must pay that fee in cash. Cash may also be returned to SNAP customers when redeeming their deposit on covered containers.
SENDS BUDGET PROPOSALS TO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
With The MA House of Representatives finishing its work on its version of the FY ’15 state budget last month and the Senate completing its work on its version last week, a Conference Committee has been appointed to work out the differences between the House proposal (H4001) and the Senate proposal (S2160). Conference Committee members include: House Ways & Means Chair Representative Dempsey (D-Haverhill), House Ways & Means Vice Chair Representative Kulik (D-Worthington), Representative deMacedo (R-Plymouth), Senate Ways & Means Chair Senator Brewer (D-Barre), Senate Ways & Means Vice Chair Senator Flanagan (D-Leominster) and Minority Whip Senator Ross (R-Wrentham).
SOLICITATION OF SIGNATURES FOR BALLOT QUESTIONS & CAUSES RAISES CONCERNS
As proponents of the proposed initiative petitions in MA are busy soliciting and gathering signatures for their questions to appear on November’s ballot, other groups may also be attempting to solicit charitable contributions and donations for their causes. According to the MA Attorney General’s office, any and all charitable organizations and solicitors must have a current, valid Certificate of Solicitation issued by their Division of Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities. They have received reports that the Veteran’s Community Foundation (VCF) has been soliciting inside and in front of supermarkets and other stores for donations without authorization, since they do not have a current, valid Certificate of Solicitation from the Division. The MA AG has reported that the VCF may provide a Certificate of Solicitation that suggests it is authorized through November 15, 2014 to solicit, however the AG’s office states that such a certificate is invalid. Please contact the office if you have any questions or the MA Attorney General’s Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division directly at (617) 727-2200.
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