MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 21, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 21, 2014


- Monday, July 28, 2014

TO VIEW THIS AND PREVIOUS NEWS SCAN UPDATES VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT http://www.mafood.com

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MA LEGISLATURE NEARS END OF TWO YEAR FORMAL SESSION

On July 31 the MA Legislature will hold its last formal session of the year as the 2013 - 2014 legislative session comes to a close.  As required by the MA Constitution, the Legislature will continue to meet after the end of this month; however they will only deal with legislation considered non-controversial, mainly local, administrative and constituent related legislation.  Much of their work that remains in the last few days does not affect our industry, however still awaiting final action are the following:

  • H1474 - An act to improve criminal laws relative to organized retail theft - is presently in House 3rd reading awaiting approval before being sent to the Senate for approval.  It increases penalties for the use of theft deterrent devices, use of emergency exits to avoid apprehension/detection and other means of theft and fraud;
  • S858 - An act establishing uniform wage compliance and record keeping - passed the Senate and awaits House approval.  It seeks to create uniformity of a three year period for reporting with regards to limitation periods for filing complaints, record keeping and payment of wages;
  • S2263 - An act providing for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy in the Commonwealth, which contains language creating a Food Trust program to establish a financing infrastructure to increase access to healthy food options for underserved communities.  The bill remains before a Conference Committee with its counterpart proposal H4150.

 

GOVERNOR SIGNS LAW ALLOWING 10:00AM SUNDAY ALCOHOL SALES

Legislation signed into law by the Governor on July 23, 2014 (H228) will allow for the sale of alcohol on Sundays at 10:00AM (rather than the present noon restriction) and will go into effect ninety days after his signing the bill, making Sunday, October 26 the first allowable Sunday for earlier sales.

 

MA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE CONTINUES TO FALL

According to the MA Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development, Massachusetts added 3,700 jobs last month with the state’s unemployment level dropping .1 percent to 5.5 percent in the month of June, the lowest rate since August 2008.  The Office reported last month that 9,100 jobs were added in May and the state’s unemployment level dropped from 6 percent to 5.6 percent.  The national rate for unemployment was reported at 6.1 percent for June and 6.3 percent for May.

 

FEDERAL NEWS FROM FMI & NGA

  • On July 16, FSIS Published its Proposed Rule on Records to be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores that Grind Raw Beef Products;
  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has yet to issue the Final Rule on Menu Labeling "option 2" that would limit restaurant menu labeling regulations to establishments that primarily sell restaurant foods.  The 90 day deadline for the rule to be released was on July 3, and there has been no update on the status since that date has come and gone;
  • As part of the Agricultural Act  of 2014 (“The Farm Bill”), retailers will no longer be offered free EBT equipment, supplies and related services by the state, in order to participate in SNAP.  Retailers that become SNAP-authorized after March 21, 2014, must pay for their own EBT equipment and services.  Retailers authorized on or before March 21, 2014, and who have already been given free EBT equipment and services by the state, may, at the state’s option, continue to use the EBT equipment and services for free until September 21, 2014.
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MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 21, 2014


- Monday, July 28, 2014

TO VIEW THIS AND PREVIOUS NEWS SCAN UPDATES VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT http://www.mafood.com

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