The MN Senate Environment and Energy Committee has recommended a measure to ban bisphenol-A (BPA) in certain food containers. A companion bill in the MN House has been scheduled for a hearing tomorrow.
SF 379, authored by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Katie Sieben (D-Hastings), would require manufacturers to stop using bisphenol A (BPA) within a year for all food packaging intended for children less than 12 years old. As usual, supporters of the measure said that BPA in children’s food containers contribute to health and development concerns for children. Tony Kwilas, representing the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, appeared in opposition to the measure. MWFPA and the Can Manufactures Association submitted written testimony.
The bill was re-referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee is chaired by Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) who is also a cosponsor of the bill.
A companion bill to the Senate measure is HF 459 and is sponsored by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights). The bill has been referred to the Health and Human Services Policy Committee and has been scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2 p.m. in Room 200 of the State Office Building. Health and Human Services Policy Committee members Reps. Diane Loeffler (DFL- Minneapolis) and Will Morgan (DFL-Burnsville) are cosponsors of HF 459.
MWFPA has in the past opposed such bills because a myriad of American and European studies have indicated that BPA is not harmful to adults or children. Its safety was reaffirmed last year by the refusal of the Food and Drug Administration to ban it. A recent analysis conducted by the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of almost 150 BPA exposure studies showed that people's exposure to BPA are many times too low for it to effect human health.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that if Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget passes, the trucking industry in Minnesota will be looking at some sizeable changes, including a 5.5 percent sales tax for trucking services. Read the article here.
WI Governor Scott Walker delivered his budget address Wednesday night which featured an income tax cut, an expansion of private school vouchers and a tightening of Medicaid eligibility.
The $343 million income tax cut would lower rates for income up to $161,180 for individuals and $214,910 for married couples filing jointly. The lowest rate, for individual income up to $10,750, would drop from 4.6 percent to 4.5 percent. The rate on income in the next bracket, for individuals earning up to $21,490, would decrease from 6.15 percent to 5.94 percent. And the third bracket, for individuals making up to $161,180, would decrease from 6.5 percent to 6.36 percent.
The Governor proposed expanding school choice and implementing performance incentives for K-12 school districts and technical colleges. He also promoted reducing the number of people on BadgerCare, state-run health insurance for Medicaid recipients.
Walker’s budget proposal did not contain any of the recommendations of a task force that considered ways to fund road maintenance, repair and other transportation projects. The task force released a report last month recommending an increase in the gas tax and heavy truck registration fees among other proposals. Walker said he would look into selling the state's power plants and other assets to pay off bonds for transportation projects. The Governor's budget calls for $6.4 billion in spending on Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure.
The $68 billion two-year budget Walker delivered to the Republican-controlled Legislature would increase state spending 3 percent the first year and 2.1 percent more the second. The proposal now goes to the Legislature's budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, then needs to be voted on by both the Senate and Assembly sometime before it takes effect in July.
In a memorandum to the Minnesota Senate Environment and Energy Committee, the Midwest Food Processors Association (MWFPA) strongly urged the Committee to move cautiously before passing legislation that would ban Bisphenol-A (BPA) in some food containers. Read the association's news release here. See the memorandum released to the Committee here.
The MN Senate Committee on Environment and Energy will be holding a public hearing on a measure to ban the sale of any children’s food container containing bisphenol-A (BPA).
The measure, SF 379, is sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport) and will be part of a public hearing taking place in Room 107 of the State Capitol beginning at 12 Noon on February 21. Sieben is a member of the Committee which consists of 9 DFLers and 5 Republicans.
MWFPA opposes the bill because a myriad of American and European studies have indicated that BPA is not harmful to adults or children. Its safety was reaffirmed last year by the refusal of the Food and Drug Administration to ban it. A recent analysis conducted by the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of almost 150 BPA exposure studies shows that people's exposure to BPA are many times too low for it to effect human health.