MWFPA Partners In PACKEXPO East

MWFPA is again pleased to be partnering in PACK EXPO East as part of the PACK EXPO East Partner Program. MWFPA joins several top associations who are leading forces in the exchange of ideas and collaboration with an invested interest in the future of packaging and processing.  Read the news release here.  For more information on PACKEXPO East and to register, click here.

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Achieve Results Through Leadership Thursday

It is important that you have effective leaders in your workplace to empower and influence your people to achieve business and team goals.  Developing leadership skills can not only provide important business proficiencies and aid professional development, but also help develop interpersonal skills.

On Thursday, February 22, 2018 the Midwest Food Products Association is once again hosting the training seminar, Achieve Results Through Leadership. The program will be held in the lower conference room of the MWFPA offices, 4600 American Parkway, Madison, WI

The workshop is intended for managers and supervisors who are responsible for the performance and productivity of employees and coworkers.  It is recommended by the MWFPA Human Resources Committee which encourages you to consider attending or sending your managers and future managers!

Rauner Urges IL Pension Changes, Other Reforms In Budget Address

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner  unveiled his fiscal 2019 budget yesterday, a $37.96 billion blueprint calling for reforms to help get IL back on track. Rauner stressed having school districts share teacher pension costs, getting a handle on state employee health insurance, and various other reforms.

Besides again advocating for an overhaul of employee pensions, Rauner told lawmakers during his address to the Legislature that he wants to shift retirement costs to local school districts and dictate health insurance benefits for state workers.

The first-term governor, who is facing a tough re-election bid, said pension and health expenses consume 25 cents of every dollar the state doles out.

According to Rauner, the pension revamp would save $1 billion a year.  He added that although he wouldn’t count on that money in the 2019 budget that begins July 1, it ultimately would allow him to drop the income tax rate from 4.95 percent to 4.7 percent.  It’s likely to face a court challenge as have past proposals because the Constitution prohibits promised pensions from being “diminished or impaired.”

In addition to pension reforms, Rauner requested reforms to the criminal-justice system and completion of a 200-bed veterans’ home in Chicago.  Read the text of the Governor’s speech here.

WI Senate Panel Set To Hear Worker’s Compensation Reform Package

The WI Senate Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee has scheduled a public hearing on Senate Bill 665, the agreed-bill from the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council that contains a medical fee schedule for worker’s compensation injuries . The hearing is set for February 14 at 10:00 a.m. in room 411 South of the state capitol.

MWFPA supports the measure.  MWFPA is also a participant in the Worker’s Compensation Employers Coalition which includes 56 employer associations ranging from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities to the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association.   The coalition is actively working toward passage of the bill.

The Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council, a board comprised of five labor and five management representatives, unanimously supported a reform package last fall.

Worker’s compensation is a government mandated program that guarantees injured workers get the treatment they need for workplace injuries. In forty-four states, medical prices for worker’s compensation treatment are governed by medical fee schedules.

House Approves Budget Deal Ending Short Shutdown

The House approved a sweeping budget deal early this morning that would fund the government through March 23, sending legislation to President Trump that would end a brief shutdown of the government that began at midnight.  The Senate had earlier passed the measure 71-28.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has started the procedural hurdles to begin an open Senate debate next week on immigration. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pledged on the House floor early this morning that he also intended to address immigration.

House Passes Bill To Change Nutrition Rules

The House voted 266-157 to ease the menu labeling requirements that the FDA was mandated to implement under the Affordable Care Act. The regulations are set to take effect May 7.

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act would, among other things, delay the menu labeling requirements. Similar legislation passed the House in 2016 but failed to gain traction in the Senate.

Rauner Calls For Bipartisanship In IL State of State Address

IL Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his fourth State of the State address in Springfield on Wednesday, issuing a call for bipartisanship among lawmakers to improve the state’s financial standing through economic growth. He did not provide any specific proposals for achieving economic development.

He also said expressed a desire to roll back income taxes. He has previously said he wants to reverse the income tax increase the Legislature approved last summer.

It was his first such address since the end of the budget impasse last July, ending a two-year stalemate.

Rauner attempted to set an optimistic tone while also speaking to voters’ frustrations about the state’s economic and political climate.