MFA NEWS SCAN APRIL 6, 2015
- Friday, April 10, 2015
MA ATTY GENERAL REGULATIONS
ON EARNED SICK TIME EXPECTED SOON
The MA Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division under its Business & Labor Bureau is expected to soon release draft of regulations on the new earned sick time law scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2015. According to reports from the office, they hope to publish their draft regulations within the next week and are looking to hold a hearing in mid-April to mid-May, so that the regulatory process can be completed by early to mid-June. As soon as the draft regulations are published we will send them out and review them accordingly. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
MA HOUSE AND SENATE STILL AT ODDS ON HOW TO PROCEED
The Massachusetts House and Senate still remain at odds as to what rules should be established to govern all bills through the Committee process. The Senate wants more autonomy and authority in the process, explaining that since they are outnumbered by their House counterparts four to one, they have less clout and therefore less control over the fate of legislation generated in the Senate. This conflict has prevented the Senate Clerk’s office from assigning any Senate bills to their appropriate Committee, thereby delaying the scheduling of any public Committee hearings. We will keep you updated, please contact the office if you have any questions.
April is usually a busy month for towns across Massachusetts. As required by state law and the Constitution, all towns must hold at least one Town meeting in the spring. Many of them conduct another in the fall, sometimes known as a Special Town meeting. Some of them have Representative Town meeting, where citizens of the town are chosen to vote on behalf of their precinct. Others conduct Open Town meeting, where all registered voters in the town can directly vote on proposals (warrants). Some proposals up for vote soon include:
Brookline ban on bottled water town purchases – This proposal would prohibit the sale or distribution of bottled water at an event held on town property or Town Street, and prevent the purchase of bottled water with town funds. The proposal is up for a Representative Town meeting vote& on May 26;
Greenfield ban on plastic bags, bottled water & polystyrene – The proposed ordinance would ban: non-compostable plastic bags 2.5 mils thick or less; non-compostable take-out food containers and bottled water in containers less than one liter and require a minimum 10¢ fee for paper bags to be collected by retailers. Larger retailers (7,500 gross square feet or more) would have to turn the fee over to the town. Proponents hope to pass it through Town Counsel, however if rejected, they would work to place it before Greenfield voters at the November Town Meeting;
Hamilton ban on plastic bags – This proposed Article would ban thin plastic bags and polystyrene food and beverage containers. The proposal is up for Open Town meeting vote April 11;
Natick ban on plastic bags – The proposed ordinance would prohibit the distribution of plastic bags under 2.25 mils thick unless they are both compostable and marine degradable at almost all retail locations in the Town. This ordinance is up for a Representative Town meeting vote on April 14.
Plastic bag bans have recently passed in the cities and towns of Cambridge, Falmouth, Newton and Provincetown, and is under consideration in Somerville.
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