TopofPageMidwest Food Processors Association News Bulletin  - June 17, 2015   
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Budget Bills Pass In MN Special Session
Minn Capitol

The MN Legislature met in a special session this past weekend and completed the nearly $42 billion budget and averting a partial government shutdown.  

 

The special session was needed to pass three budget bills vetoed by Governor Dayton last month. All three bills were passed and Governor Dayton signed them last Saturday. By generally large margins, the House and Senate approved measures to fund education and economic-development budget plans to replace those Dayton vetoed.

 

It was not smooth sailing for the environment and agriculture budget bill. The DFL-controlled Senate, which had needed Republican votes to approve the environmental regulation measure in May, came just one vote shy of approving the measure Friday.  

 

While a personal plea from Dayton led several DFLers to add their support, Republican support had dropped off since the bill passed in May.

 

DFLers in the Senate moved to restore a pollution control agency oversight board and prevent other regulatory changes amid pressure from environmental groups. But House Republicans rejected those changes. Senate DLFers joined with almost all Republicans to pass the original bill which Dayton then signed into law.

 

Not contained in the bill was language opposed by MWFPA relative to the Toxic Free Kids Act, which would have removed a food and beverage packaging exemption from the law.

 

The bill did contain an expansion of the "Farm to Foodshelf" program which compensates agricultural producers and processors for  the harvest and transport surplus fruits and vegetables. MWFPA supported this language. 

 

The House and Senate also passed a small bonding bill that funds road and bridge projects along with other important public works projects across the state. Despite recognizing that the state's road, bridge and transit infrastructure needed about $7 billion more in spending over the next decade to serve the state, Dayton and the Legislature were unable to agree on whether to tax or borrow to find that money.

 

IL Lawmakers Return, Budget Stalemate Continues
IL Capitol

Illinois lawmakers are returning to Springfield amid a stalemate over a new state budget.  

 

But neither chamber is expected to take up proposals Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants passed before he'll sign a 2016 spending plan. The House and Senate have spent time on non-budget hearings.

  

Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature have been battling over the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Democrats approved a plan that's more than $3 billion short of anticipated revenue. They want Rauner to agree to a tax increase to avoid severe cuts to areas such as higher education. Rauner first wants lawmakers to pass pro-business measures such as a property tax freeze.  

 

There are two weeks to go before the fiscal year runs out and Gov. Rauner has indicated his office has been contingency planning should a partial government shutdown become necessary. MWFPA will continue to monitor developments in IL through the summer. 

 

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WI Lawmakers Continue To Struggle With State Budget

WI CapitolThe WI Legislature's budget-writing Joint Finance Committee has not met since May 29.  Agreement on several key issues in the state budget remains elusive.


One of the biggest unresolved issues is how to pay for ongoing transportation projects. Walker proposed borrowing $1.3 billion over two years, and has refused to consider tax or fee increases. Republicans are also struggling with financing for a new Milwaukee Bucks stadium and changes to the state's prevailing wage law.  

 

The current budget runs through the end of June, but state government will continue operating into July under terms of the old budget if Walker has not signed a new one by then.  

 

MWFPA continues monitoring the State Legislature in order to insure that its actions do not impede business and economic development for food processors in the state.

  

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The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp.

U.S. House Votes To Repeal COOL
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to remove country-of-origin labels from meat imported from Canada and Mexico.

MWFPA joined with a coalition of business and agriculture groups in sending a letter to all members of the House of Representatives in support of the repeal. The letter urged support for the bill as the best option in preventing retaliation by Canada and Mexico against U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing.


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FDA Clamps Down On Trans Fats In Food Items
FDA The FDA has ruled that trans fat is not "generally recognized as safe" for use in human food. The department gave food manufacturers three years to remove the partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, from their products.

The food industry has begun preparing an application seeking approval for limited use of trans fats in certain products, such as sprinkles, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

A news release on trans fat is available here. The Federal Register Notice provides key information on the final determination. 

 

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Focus On Energy And Utility Partners Exceed Electric, Natural Gas Savings Goals

Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities' statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, has exceeded the four-year (2011-2014) electric and natural gas energy savings contractual goals by 121% and 111%1, respectively, according to a program evaluation report released this week. 

 

The Cadmus Group, which conducted the study, analyzed the program's performance and calculated the benefits for the state of Wisconsin.  The independent report concluded that every dollar invested in energy efficiency in 2014 yielded $3.33 in benefits for the state of Wisconsin.  That number is 35% higher than it was in the beginning of the four-year planning period in 2011.  The report also showed that investments in renewable energy technologies in 2014 achieved $1.52 in benefits for every dollar invested.  That number is 192% higher than it was in the beginning of the four-year planning period in 2011.

 

From 2011 to 2014, nearly 300,000 Wisconsin residents and businesses chose to use energy smarter by completing projects with the Focus on Energy program.  

 

To view the 2014 Focus on Energy Evaluation Report, click here  

    
Registration Now Open For Food Safety Preventative Controls Forum October 19-22, 2015
Registration is now open for the 2015 Food Safety Preventive Controls Forum sponsored by AFFI and the Midwest Food Processors Association, scheduled for Oct. 19-22 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis.

Presented by top experts these two Forums, one and one half day food safety workshops, will address fundamental Food Safety Modernization Act requirements and provide guidance on how these requirements can be blended into existing in-plant food safety programs.
   

MWFPA Partners On Food Expo       

   

MWFPA is a proud partner of Process Expo 2015. This event features expertise at every link in the supply chain in the form of exhibits and the education from the nation's leading academics. See what PROCESS EXPO has to offer for your business.

 

Register Now!  

    

MWFPA Partners On Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit     

   

MWFPA is a proud partner in the 10th Annual Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit being held in Minneapolis September 30 - October 2, 2014.

 

The Oilseed and Grain Trade Summit provides unique and valuable perspectives, such as the relationship between geopolitics, global trade and agriculture!

  

For more information, to the summit website.  REGISTER by June 30, 2015 to receive an early bird rate of $800!

   
MWFPA Events
October 6, 2015: Sporting Clays Challenge. Whispering Emerald Ridge Game Farm, N3954 640th St., Menomonie, WI.

October 19-22, 2015: AFFI/MWFPA Food Safety Preventative Controls Forum, Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI.  Register.

October 28-29, 2015:  MWFPA HACCP Seminar, LaCrosse, WI.

December 1-3, 2015 - MWFPA 111th Annual Convention and 88th Processing Crops Conference.  KI Convention Center, Green Bay, WI.
 
Other Educational Opportunities

July 22, 2015: Foodborne Illness Outbreak Training. Continuing Education and Conference Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force, this training will cover a foodborne illness outbreak investigation from beginning to end. Topics will include epidemiological investigation, traceback record collection, and recall best practices. Insights will be shared by industry and government experts. For more information and registration materials, click here

 

 
Midwest Food Processors Assoc. | | brian.elliott@mwfpa.org | http://www.mwfpa.org
4600 American Pkwy.
Suite 210
Madison, WI 53718