MASSACHUSETTS FOOD ASSOCIATION
2009-2010 Legislative Wrap-Up -Archive
MASSACHUSETTS FOOD ASSOCIATION
2009 – 2010 LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAP-UP
At midnight on July 31, 2010 the second year of the two year Massachusetts legislative session ended its formal sessions and is not scheduled to formally reconvene until January 5, 2011 for the first of the next two year session of the 187th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In 2009, 204 legislative proposals were signed into law out of nearly 4,300 House proposals and more than 2,100 Senate proposals filed. Of the 204 new laws: 58% of them (119) were local approval bills (bridge naming, proposals specific to a city/town); 17% of them (34) were constituent bills (sick leave); 15% of them (30) were administrative; 1% of them (3) were reform bills (pension, transportation, ethics); and only 1 affected business (increase in the sales tax). The remainder dealt with miscellaneous issues, from economic recovery, transportation, mortgage licensing, public employees, CORI for wall climber instructors, life sciences investment, health care facilities, advisory committees, oral health, history month, Kennedy’s open Senate seat, clean energy, public assisted housing, fishing licenses, simulcasting, public utilities, insurance and allowing mixed martial arts in MA.
Legislation filed for this session at the beginning of 2009 continued through the legislative process through 2010. Joint Rule 10 day, the last day for all proposals to be voted upon by their respective committees and discharged was March 17, 2010. The end of formal sessions was July 31, after which only “non-controversial” proposals could be debated through the end of the calendar year.
In 2010, a total of 476 legislative proposals were signed into law out of more than 5,000 House proposals and more than 2,600 Senate proposals filed in 2009 and 2010. Therefore, a total of 680 bills were signed into law over the entire 2009 – 2010 legislative session.
On the last day of the session, more than 100 bills were acted upon and sent to the Governor for his approval. Of the 476 2010 laws: 63% of them (299) were local approval bills(bridge naming, proposals specific to a city/town); 11% of them (53) were constituent (sick leave, etc.) bills, 4% of them (18) were administrative bills, 2% of them (12) affected business, including: a freeze on the unemployment insurance rates, mandating insurance coverage for autism, banking law reform, further regulating qualified financial contract changes, an economic development package (which established the MA Sales Tax Holiday and included a veto of a wholesale club item pricing exemption), prohibit the granting of dual retail and wholesale/manufacturing alcohol licensing after January 2011, legislation relative to workers compensation insurance, CORI reform affecting employment applications, legislation affecting health care for individuals and small businesses, legislation relative to fairness in private construction contracts, legislative relative to group health insurance and liquor sales tax repeal, which was approved on the November ballot.
The remaining 20% of them (94) were miscellaneous bills dealing with such issues as education, no-text safe driving, unpaid municipal fines, liability insurance, requiring bittering agents in anti-freeze, regulate explosives, floor finishing products, hoisting machinery, transportation of telephone poles, school nutrition, credit unions, protection of children, dentistry, access to mental health services, etc., all legislation that does not directly affect the business community of the Commonwealth.
STATUS OF RELEVANT LEGISLATION FOR THE 2009/2010 SESSION
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