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Two Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Partners Headline at International Foundation’s Annual Washington Legislative Update in D.C.

Katherine A. Hesse, Partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, and Chair of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ Government Liaison Committee recently chaired and introduced the keynote speaker, well-known political commentator Norman J. Orenstein, Ph.D. Mr. Orenstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and contributing editor and columnist for the National Journal and The Atlantic, opened the Foundation’s annual two day Washington Legislative Update at the Washington Hilton in Washington DC with an overview of the 2019 Political Landscape.

Kier Wachterhauser, also a Partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, gave the labor and employment law update. His topics included a U.S. Supreme Court and federal agency update, news from the National Labor Relations Board, sexual harassment, drug testing and leave law trends across the country.

Ms. Hesse also introduced and moderated the session on Single Employer Challenges and Opportunities, which was presented by Diann Howland, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the DC based American Benefits Council. Other topics covered in this conference included: a panel of the “Top Ten Benefits Issues Today”, a fiduciary update, movement toward state activity, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work, challenges and opportunities for multiemployer and public sector plans, health care plan issues and developments, retirement plan issues and developments as well as long term economic issues and policy implications, and communicating with stakeholders.

As Chair of the Foundation’s Government Liaison committee, Katherine and her Committee oversee the activities that will best educate Foundation members and Congressional representatives and staff with respect to employee benefits legislation and regulation. The Washington Legislative Update is its signature event each year. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization providing the employee benefits community, including its 31,000 members with solution-oriented education, research and information throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to Ms. Hesse, the Committee includes Phyllis Borzi, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), Jim Klein, President of the American Benefits Council, Lori Lucas, President and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Michael Scott, the Executive Director of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, (NCCMP) and others.

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  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, Partner Katherine Hesse gave a plenary presentation on Recent Developments in ERISA on Friday September 16 to members of the Group Legal Services Association (“GLSA”) at its annual meeting in New Orleans.  Among the topics she emphasized were what employers/plan sponsors need to know in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and lessons from the Court’s decision in Hughes and other class action litigation as to factors to consider Read More

Legal Updates

MARIJUANA REFORM BILL BECOMES LAW

On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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