TopofPageMidwest Food Processors Association News Bulletin  - May 17, 2016   
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Discussions Continue Regarding Federal Labeling Standards for GMOs
Discussions continue in Congress on a bill to preempt Vermont's GMO food labeling law slated to be implemented July 1.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has drafted legislation to address this issue. Stabenow has indicated her intent to protect manufacturers from the burdensome maze of requirements she believes would result from a patchwork of state laws, and to provide consumers with reliable, scientific-based product ingredient information.

Ag Committee chair Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has publicly announced his commitment to collaborate on a compromise bill that would create federal GMO-labeling standards. Stabenow has shared the language of her labeling bill with Roberts. He says the proposal most garner more votes than his compromise bill that failed in the Senate.

MWFPA has supported federal efforts to develop legislation to pre-empt the Vermont law which, if implemented, could lead to an expensive patchwork of confusing and contradictory state labeling laws ultimately raising the price of food and making things more confusing for consumers.
Final Week Of MN Session To Deal With Transportation, Budget and Paid-Leave Mandate
As the May 23 constitutional deadline for adjournment of the MN legislative session draws near, the focus has been on legislative leadership and Gov. Mark Dayton's attempt to negotiate an agreement on the major bills yet to be passed.

Both the House and the Senate have been working on passing a comprehensive transportation funding plan, a tax package, a supplemental budget, and a capital investment (bonding) bill, but wide divides remain between the proposals of the two chambers.

A conference committee has been established to negotiate a supplemental budget bill, HF 2749, and the committee members have been meeting to discuss the differences between the House and Senate proposals. The Senate has increased spending for a number of its priorities, while the House has shifted money to maintain the same spending levels from last year's budget, reserving the $900 million budget surplus for transportation and tax cuts, and possibly the bonding bill.

The Transportation Conference Committee continues to garner attention. Both chambers have issued counter proposals to start negotiations. The Governor, along with House and Senate leaders have agreed that a transportation package must be resolved prior to negotiating agreements on taxes, bonding and supplemental budget spending.

The House offered a proposal that would fund transportation projects by $6 billion over 10 years through existing taxes on auto parts and fees, while using money from the budget surplus. The Senate counter-proposal included a reduction of its initial 16-cent wholesale gas tax by phasing in over three years a 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase. 

In an effort to break the impasse on transportation discussions, Gov. Dayton offered to abandon his long-sought proposal to raise the gas tax Monday, instead recommending a steep increase in license tab fees and dipping into government coffers to pay for $600 million per year in road and bridge improvements.

House Republicans rejected the proposals, saying they amounted to unnecessary tax increases when the state has a $900 million budget surplus.

Senator Katie Sieben's proposal for paid family leave was included in the omnibus supplemental tax bill, which the Senate approved 37-30. DFL Senators Terri Bonoff, Minnetonka, and Vicki Jensen, Owatonna, joined all GOP senators in voting against the tax bill.

MWFPA opposes this proposed new payroll tax and new state program. Instead, we support giving employers the necessary flexibility to offer paid leave that works for both employers and employees and does not diminish other benefits already offered. The paid family leave proposal will be in play during conference committee negotiations and MWFPA will continue to monitor action on this provision.
 
 
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IL Legislature Returns To Work On Budget, Family Leave
The IL House and Senate are scheduled to convene today and work through Friday, May 20. Legislators and budget staff members from both parties have been meeting in an effort to put together a budget deal.

Last week a bipartisan group of legislators working toward a balanced budget agreement presented their plan to the Governor and legislative leaders. The plan reportedly included $5.4 billion in new revenue from an increase in income tax revenue, an expansion of the sales tax to include services and the closure of corporate tax loopholes.

Meanwhile, HB 4036 (Lilly/Hutchinson), which would require all employers to provide a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period, is now in the Senate.  MWFPA is working with other business organizations in an effort to limit the impact of this mandate.

         
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MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble Filling Up Fast
Golf Outing 2012
Don't wait as space is filling up fast for MWFPA's Spring Summit and Scramble set for June 1-2, 2016, at the Kalahari Resort and Trapper's Turn Golf Course in Wisconsin Dells, WI. For more information and on-line reservations, visit our event website:
   
This is a Members-Only event. On Wednesday evening, June 1st, a reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. in the Double Cut Grill at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center.  The shotgun style golf tournament will be played at Trapper's Turn June 2nd, starting at 8:00 am followed by lunch, awards and cash prizes. Register early!  This event fills up fast!
 
Last year over 200 golfers participated in this event and over $3,000 in cash prizes were awarded. 
 
The Spring Summit & Scramble also offers many opportunities to promote your company by sponsoring:
  • A hole
  • Wednesday evening reception
  • Cash prizes
  • Lunch
  • Donating items for drawings and goodie bags*
All sponsors will be recognized with signage at the event, on our website and social networking pages, and in our bi-monthly e-bulletin. The sooner you sponsor the longer your logo is displayed.
 
This year's golf outing will again afford participants the opportunity to help raise money for MWFPA Scholarships.  In 2016 MWFPA will award 18 $1,000 scholarships to the children of MWFPA member company employees. 
 
LODGING:
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Kalahari,  (608) 254-5466 at a rate of $99.00 per night plus room tax.  When you call be sure to indicate that you are with MWFPA
 
*If your company plans to bring a door prize, please contact Brian Deschane at: brian.deschane@mwfpa.org, or phone 608-255-9946 in advance of the event so your contribution can be included on the appropriate signage. A MINIMUM of 225 ITEMS MOST BE DONATED FOR GOODIE BAGS.

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MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
June 1-2, 2016: MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble. Kalahari Resort & Convention Center and Trappers Turn, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

October 6, 2016: MWFPA Sporting Clays Challenge. Milford Hills, Johnson Creek, WI.

November 29- December 1, 2016: MWFPA 112th Annual Convention and 89th Processing Crops Conference.  Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Other Educational Opportunities
June 7-9, 2016Food Preventive Controls Qualified Individual Training. Coborn's, Inc. Support Center, 1921 Coborn Boulevard, St. Cloud, MN.  This course is the standardized curriculum 
recognized by FDA. You can become a preventive controls qualified individual by successfully completing this course. Cost: $800 including materials, certificate and lunch each day.  For
more information and registration, please email Jan Lillemo at 
Jan@LillemoAssociates.com or call 952-334-9498.  Register at 
www.LillemoAssociates.com, link at top of "Contact Us" page.

June 13-15, 2016Iowa State University FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food. Iowa State University 1951 Food Sciences Building Ames, IA.  A three day Basic Preventive Controls training designed for people in the food industry desiring to understand and be trained in the Food Safety system for manufacturing safe food. This course will meet the FDA FSMA regulations as an Approved Course under Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance (FSPCA).  For more information, click here.

August 3, 2016: 2016 Midwest Buyers Mission.  Madison, WI.  Sign up for the upcoming Midwest Buyers Mission to position yourself and your products in front of pre-qualified international buyers seeking the latest food trends and products from the United States. Register early as meeting slots are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. It's the perfect low-cost opportunity to meet buyers from established and emerging markets in one place!  

September 26-30, 2016: Private Label, Food Service and Retail Products Trade Mission. Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico. Expand your export sales in Mexico by joining Food Export-Midwest and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture on the Focused Trade Mission to Mexico, for Private Label, Food Service and Retail food product companies.  Cost:  $400 by the Early Registration Deadline - May 23, 2016. For more information, contact Ashwini Rao/ 608-224-5119/ ashwini.rao@wi.gov.  Register here. 
 
Midwest Food Processors Assoc. | | brian.elliott@mwfpa.org | http://www.mwfpa.org
4600 American Pkwy.
Suite 210
Madison, WI 53718