State Issues Report

  • Food/Ag Companies and NGOs Launch Sustainability Initiative in Three States

    Late last month, a group of food and agriculture supply chain companies in collaboration with several environmental organizations announced the launch of a new initiative to promote water quality stewardship in critical watersheds across Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. 
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  • KY Pre-File Bill To Increase Minimum Wage

    Earlier this week, Kentucky Democratic state Senator  Reginald Thomas pre-filed a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, incrementally. The bill calls for a gradual increase from $7.25 an hour to $8.20 beginning July 1, 2018, then to $9.15 in July 2019, and finally to $10.10 in July 2020.
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  • PA Bill Expands Alcohol License to Include Spirits

    Yesterday, Rep. Mike Reese, a Pennsylvania Republican, introduced legislation to make purchasing spirits more consumer friendly and to withdraw Pennsylvania from the business of selling alcohol. Fast on the heels of Act 39 of 2016, which was enacted in June and opened wine sales to hotel and restaurant licensees, which captured some grocery stores, HB 2357 would allow any business with a valid restaurant or hotel license to purchase an expanded permit for liquor sales.
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  • Plastic Bag Preemption Bill Advances in Michigan

    A bill that prohibits localities from regulating, taxing, banning, or otherwise restricting plastic bags and other “auxiliary containers” cleared a legislative hurdle this week in the Michigan State House. On Tuesday, the House Committee on Commerce and Trade approved the bill (S.B. 853) with recommendation and without amendment, and referred it to its Second Reading. 
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  • Governor’s Deadlines and Other State Session Info

    As of September 6, 2016, only 7 states remain in session: Alabama, Massachusetts*, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania (*MA ended its formal session on July 31). Governor’s deadlines are pending in Alaska (9/14), California (9/30) and Delaware (11/19).  For more information, consult FMI’s 2016 Regular State Session Calendar.
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  • Virginia Governor Announces Big Budget Shortfall

    Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has announced that Virginia’s budget will have a projected shortfall for the current two-year budget at $1.2 billion, which is in addition to a shortfall of about $280 million carried over from the budget year that ended June 30. 
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  • New Jersey Governor Vetoes Minimum Wage Increase

    Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed a minimum wage hike. Assembly Bill No. 15 would have raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2021. Three years ago, New Jersey residents voted to raise the minimum wage to $8.25, along with annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This bill would have made New Jersey only the third state, behind California and New York, to adopt a $15 minimum wage.
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  • NYC WIC Vendor Meeting September 20

    The Food Industry Alliance of New York State has announced that the New York Department of Health will hold a WIC Vendor Forum on September 20th, 2016 from 11:00am to 12:30 pm Eastern. Read the full story for more details. 
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  • 2016 State Minimum Wage Ballots

    While New Jersey will aim for a 2017 minimum wage ballot, there are four states that have a minimum wage increase on the 2016 ballot, and one state with a decrease. Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington have similar proposals, see the accompanying chart.
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  • West Virginia Increases Tobacco Tax to Avoid Shutdown

    Looking down a $270 million dollar hole in the FY 2017 West Virginia budget, the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association reports that the legislature reached a compromise this week in the form of a tobacco tax (S. 1012) to fill it and avoid a government shutdown.
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