- Monday, March 09, 2015



On Friday, January 16 the 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts reached its deadline for the timely filing of legislation for the new two year session.  On behalf of the MFA membership, the Association filed the following legislative proposals:

·         AN ACT IMPROVING RECYCLING IN THE COMMONWEALTH – This proposal creates a dedicated Municipal Recycling Enhancement Fund, controlled by an independent board to ensure new investments in recycling and litter control provide the most environmental gain in the most efficient manner and at the least cost.  The proposal is modeled after the Delaware model and seeks to phase out the state’s forced deposit law.  The bill was filed by Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and Representative Mark Cusak (D-Braintree).  A duplicate version of the bill was also filed by Representative Colleen Garry (D-Dracut);

·         AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE EARNED SICK TIME BALLOT QUESTION – This proposal seeks to clarify requirements of the new law, such as earned paid sick time compensation at straight time, regardless of when taken, computing earned paid sick time for salary employees, defining a “seasonal” employee and a “break in service”, defining “allowed increments of earned sick time” employers can use, at the discretion of the employer, and a delay in the effective date of the law until January 1, 2016.  MFA will continue to work with the Associated Industries of MA (AIM) and Senator Rodrigues, who filed the bill, on passage of this proposal.  We will also continue to work with the Attorney General’s office on the regulatory implementation of the new law.

·         AN ACT RESTRICTING THE SALE OF CERTAIN ITEMS AT FLEA MARKETS – This proposal would restrict the sale of OTC drugs, cosmetics and certain medical devices at flea markets and would spur discussion with law enforcement officials on organized retail crime, also filed by Representative Garry.  It is filed on the heels of passage of a new MA law designed to deter organized retail crime and theft in the retail sector (Chapter 451 of the Acts of 2014);

·         AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHILD LABOR LAWS – This proposal seeks to differentiate between the severity of violations between “willful” and “non-willful” violations with regards to the civil fine structure and violations for child labor laws (i.e. having a minor operate a fork lift as opposed to punching out a minute late passed allowable work hours), also filed by Representative Garry;

·         AN ACT CREATING A FINE STRUCTURE FOR THE THEFT OF BULK MERCHANDISE CONTAINERS – This proposal establishes a fine structure for the theft of bulk merchandise containers used to transport items such as dairy and bakery items, milk, eggs, etc. that are stolen and redeemed at recycling facilities, also filed by Representative Garry;

·         AN ACT PROHIBITING CREDIT CARD COMPANIES FROM UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES – This proposal would allow merchants to offer and advertise discounts to customers if they are willing to pay their purchase with credit cards other than Visa or MasterCard and other provisions to eliminate the monopoly these cards have upon merchant acceptance of credit cards, filed by Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport);

·         AN ACT ALLOWING RETAIL STORES TO OPEN ON THANKSGIVING DAY – Non-MFA bill filed by request of certain MFA members by Representative Garry.

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- Monday, March 09, 2015

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