MFA NEWS SCAN JUNE 9, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN JUNE 9, 2014


- Friday, June 13, 2014



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MA MINIMUM WAGE U/I PROPOSAL RELEASED

Late Wednesday evening on June 11 a Conference Committee appointed to work out differences between House and Senate proposals to increase the state’s minimum wage and reform the unemployment insurance system released its proposed compromise bill (S2195).The proposal calls for the following changes to the state’s minimum wage:

  • Increases the state’s present minimum wage of $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour effective January 1, 2015, to $10.00 per hour effective January 1, 2016 and to $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2017 - a $3.00 increase over three years starting next year;
  • Although called for in the Senate proposal, there will be no automatic increases (indexing) in future minimum wage rates after 2017;
  • Although an effective date of July 1 beginning this year was called for in both the House and Senate proposals, the effective date was pushed off six months to January 1 of next year.

MFA was successful in its lobbying efforts to delay the effective date and to eliminate indexing for future increases, and thanks all its members who participated in these discussions.  With regards to unemployment insurance reform, the proposal includes the following changes:

  • The unemployment insurance taxable wage base increases from the present level of $14,000 to $15,000.  The Senate proposal sought an increase in the wage base to $21,000;
  • A freeze of the experience rating at Schedule “C” for the calendar years 2015 - 2017;
  • Beginning January 1, 2018, a three year period preceding the computation date for an employer’s experience rate and taxable wages will be used to determine future rates as opposed to the present one year period.

This proposal was passed by the Senate on Thursday, June 12 and is expected to be taken up in the House next week, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday when it is expected that they will also approve the bill.  It is not yet known if proponents of the minimum wage ballot initiative will withdraw their efforts to put their ballot question before voters in November.

 

MA HOUSE PASSES ECONOMIC BILL WITH SALES TAX HOLIDAY

Also late Wednesday evening on June 11 the House passed an economic development bill (H4165) that calls for the creation of a sales tax holiday on August 16 - 17.  The bill also includes funding for a middle skills job training grant fund, “brownfields” redevelopment, and funding to boost jobs in Gateway Cities and municipalities outside of Rte. 495.  Republicans offered an amendment to also create a meals tax holiday and make the sales tax holiday permanent, but were rejected.  The Senate is expected to soon file its own version of an economic stimulus bill.  The Governor had earlier filed his own version of such a bill, which contained provisions to prohibit non-compete agreements in the state used by certain employers and give cities and towns more power to determine the number of liquor licenses they may distribute, two stipulations not included in this House proposal.  The Governor’s proposal did not include any provisions calling for a sales tax holiday.

 

EBT TEMPORARY SHUTDOWN FOR MAINTENANCE

According to the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association, Xerox will be performing a planned maintenance on Sunday, June 22 from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. EDT. During this time, there will be a short period when WIC/EBT transactions will not be able to be processed. For more information on this scheduled maintenance, click HERE.

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MFA NEWS SCAN JUNE 9, 2014


- Friday, June 13, 2014



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