Maria Stephanos Headlines Northeast Regional Meeting

Veteran Boston news anchor Maria Stephanos will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Northeast Regional meeting being held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center on Tuesday, March 1.  Ms. Stephanos began her Channel 5 WCVB tenure on the anchor desk just last night.  She left Fox’s Boston affiliate last fall after 18…

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Airports and Minimum Wages

Speaking of Seattle and minimum wage, you will recall that the city of Sea-Tac in Washington state, encompassing the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, was the first in the nation to adopt a $15 minimum.  Not to be outdone, two Massachusetts legislators think airport workers need special protection and have filed bills (SD 2307 / H 3923)…

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GMO Issue Resurfaces

We haven’t heard much of it lately, but the GMO labeling issue is still very much alive in a number of states.  The state of Maine adopted GMO labeling back in 2014, however the law included two distinct and important caveats – a delayed effective date and an automatic repeal provision. Currently, GMO labeling requirements…

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DDIFO Member Meetings

We will begin our series of member meetings for 2016 next month with our first meeting scheduled for February 24 at the Tampa Airport Marriott, followed by our Northeast Regional meeting the following week on March 1.  We’re still finalizing the program content for both, but are excited about adding some new twists to our…

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States, Cities Still Looking to Raise Minimums

Notwithstanding the lesson from the impending Wal-Mart closings (and what might have caused them), state and local officials continue to look to mandate low-income workers into prosperity by increasing the minimum wage.  Advocates in the state of Maine have succeeded in securing the required number of signatures to place a question on the November ballot…

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Tax Burdens

It is a few years behind real-time, but always interesting to read when the US Tax Foundation annually releases its report on the State – Local Tax Burdens.  This week, the Washington DC based Think Tank released its report on FY 2012.  New York continued to maintain a death-grip on the highest tax burden in…

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Still Higher Minimum Wage Mandates

Since the $15/hour minimum wage mantra first rang out from Seattle, we have heard a fairly steady drumbeat advocating that communities set it as the new norm.  Over time, the effort has succeeded in a number of areas.  Just this week, Walmart, long a target for the $15/hour activists, announced that the company will be…

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No Earned Sick Leave In Maine

At least for purposes of the next legislative session, the state of Maine will not be considering mandating paid sick leave for private employers.  Filed by Senator Anne Haskell of Portland, the earned sick leave proposal was rejected by the Legislative Council which determines annually which legislative filing will be considered in the subsequent legislative…

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Massachusetts Millionaires in the Crosshairs

Speaking of Massachusetts laws, the front group behind many of the minimum wage issues in the state, Raise Up Massachusetts, is also pushing a new ballot initiative that seeks to impose a Millionaire’s Tax on those individuals earning $1 million or more per year.  The group held a rally earlier this week at the State…

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Competitor News

Tim Horton’s, the Canadian coffee and donut franchise, has rather unceremoniously vacated parts of the state of Maine and areas of upstate New York.  The brand closed 6 stores in Portland without any advance notice and another sixteen in the Syracuse area of New York.  Tim’s has long tried to expand their reach into the…

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