MFA NEWS SCAN JUNE 15, 2015
- Wednesday, June 17, 2015According to the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association, House Republicans voted last week to repeal a law requiring country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken. Other commodities originally covered in the law such as fish, shellfish and nuts remain subject to the labeling requirements.
MA AG CONCLUDES HEARINGS,
REGULATIONS EXPECTED SOON, POSTER AVAILABLE
On June 5 the MA Attorney General’s office concluded its hearings around the state on its proposed earned sick time regulations 940 C.M.R. 33.00. The office is expected to release their final regulations as early as June 19. As soon as they are finalized, MFA will release a summary of the regulations. In the interim the office has released its poster, which must be posted in a “conspicuous location accessible to employees” (940 C.M.R. 33.09(4) Recordkeeping & Disclosure) in establishments subject to the law. The poster can be downloaded by clicking here, in both color and black and white. Note that the poster states that the smallest amount of sick time an employee can take is one hour, and sick time cannot be used as an excuse to be late for work without an advance notice of a proper use. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
REMINDER – LIQUOR LICENSE LIMIT INCREASES BY TWO
On January 1, 2016, the state limit on the number of liquor licenses an entity can hold increases from the present limit of five to seven. The limit of three licenses per entity increased to the present limit of five on January 1, 2012, with an increase to seven next January and another increase to nine licenses on January 1, 2020, due to legislation sponsored on behalf of MFA. To view the law click here.
HOUSE PASSES COOL BILL TO EXCLUDE BEEF, CHICKEN, PORK
According to the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association, House Republicans voted last week to repeal a law requiring country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken. Other commodities originally covered in the law such as fish, shellfish and nuts remain subject to the labeling requirements. The change was prompted by a ruling last month by the World Trade Organization, which said the labels stating where animals were born, raised and slaughtered are discriminatory against the two U.S. border countries of Canada and Mexico. According to Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI): “… Even the USDA’s own economic analysis of COOL found that it hurt producers, packers, retailers and consumers without offering any clear economic benefits in return.”
From the National Grocers Association’s (NGA) President Peter Larkin: “… Should the U.S. remain non-compliant with the WTO's rules, it will cause market and supply dislocations, adversely affect jobs, business operations, and international trade.”
The measure now awaits action in the Senate.
MA LEGISLATIVE UPCOMING HEARINGS
With state budget and administrative differences lingering between the House and Senate, Legislative Committees have been slow to begin their public hearing process. Some of the more relevant hearings scheduled/taking place include:
· Local ordinance restrictions - H1833 – Legislation prohibiting any city or town from making any rule, regulation, ordinance or by-law interfering with interstate or intrastate trade or commerce or regulating any product or consumer good. Hearing June 16;
· Definition of an employee – Legislation defining employees/contractors. Hearing June 23;
· Recycling – landlords, tenants, municipalities. Hearing June 16.
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