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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Jan. 13, 2012
 
 
 


ADA compliance date is March 15
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The compliance date set forth in the revised ADA rules is March 15. NAMA has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document that addressed many of the issues related to these new rules. A copy of this document can be found on the NAMA website at www.vending.org.

The new regulations change the reach range requirements for vending machines. They provide that the side reach range must now be no higher than 48 inches (instead of 54 inches) and no lower than 15 inches (instead of 9 inches). The side reach requirements apply to operable parts on accessible elements, to elements located on accessible routes, and to elements in accessible rooms and spaces.

The regulations apply to "public entities." "Public entities" include any federal, state or local government. It also applies to private entities that operate public accommodations. If an operator provides several banks of machines at one location, at least one of each machine type (snack, food, beverage, coffee) must be ADA compliant. Operators will not have to replace existing machines with new ADA compliant machines at a location, unless the location undergoes alterations or new equipment is brought in. The requirement applies to "Fixed equipment." For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



No confirmed publication date for calorie disclosure rules
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The FDA cannot confirm a publication date for the final rule for Vending Machine Calorie Labeling. They are currently working on the final rule. When the final rule does publish, FDA will advise in the preamble when the rule will become effective. In establishing an effective date for the final rule, the FDA is considering all of the relevant comments that were received in a timely manner. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



California: Gov. Brown introduces cap-and-trade spending plan
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In his proposed budget for 2012-13 Governor Jerry Brown has included $1 billion in revenue from auctioning credits to allow California companies to emit greenhouse gases. Business groups are already denouncing Brown's plan as a back-door tax increase that they intend to challenge in court if the proposal is approved as part of the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The so called cap-and-trade system is a critical piece of AB 32, California's landmark legislation aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Modeled on a European program, it sets a cap on emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases for each industrial polluter or electric power plant. Facilities can exceed their cap only if they buy credits of other plants that have extra ones after reducing their own releases into the atmosphere. The first auction, tentatively set for August, is projected to raise as much as $1 billion, which would be earmarked to "create jobs and deliver public health, economic and environmental benefits" as part of the state's effort to curb global warming. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Florida: 2012 budget would increase public school spending
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Gov. Rick Scott has introduced a budget for 2012 that calls for increasing public school spending by slightly more than $100 per student or $1 billion overall. Scott came under fire a few months ago for pushing school funding cuts. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Georgia: Immigration law requires changes to hiring process
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The New Year has brought changes to how some Georgia companies hire new employees. A part of Georgia's new immigration law went into effect Jan. 1. It requires businesses with more than 500 employees to use E-Verify, a federal database, to check a prospective hire's legal status to work in the U.S. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from Georgia officials to delay legal arguments over the state's new immigration law pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the similar measure in Arizona. The court is expected to hear the case in late February. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Kentucky: Child obesity draws attention
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Approximately one-third of the nation's schoolchildren are overweight or obese and two-thirds of adult Kentuckians fall into one of those categories. 40 percent of the country's health care expenses are spent on obesity and related conditions. The YMCA Y5210 initiative focuses on eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day; devoting two hours or less to "screen time"; getting at least one hour of physical exercise and consuming zero sugared beverages. Two bills have already been pre-filed for consideration in the 2012 General Assembly to combat childhood obesity. BR 165 is designed to gather additional information by requiring the body mass index to be collected on schoolchildren and then aggregate reporting be done by schools to the state Department of Education. BR 281 proposes minimum requirements for time spent in physical activity for students in kindergarten through grade five. Some advocacy groups are calling for changes in how food is grown and processed. In other states, attention to the obesity issue has led to "sugar tax" proposals targeting both sweetened beverages and candy. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Michigan: Worker's compensation bill moves to governor
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The Legislature gave final approval to HB 5002, a bill that would overhaul the state's worker's compensation system. The measure would tighten up eligibility standards for work-related disability payments and streamline the hearings and appeals process for workers who seek to qualify for benefits. The measure now moves to republican Gov. Rick Snyder for review. For more information contact, Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Nebraska: Lawmaker seeks tax on soda and energy drinks
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Nebraska could soon end its sales tax exemption for soft drinks and energy beverages. A bill introduced by Sen. Bill Avery would shuttle the funds raised from the tax to encourage healthy living among children. The measure would generate an estimated $11.3 million annually. Avery said his bill is a public health measure, that only food and medicine should receive sales tax exemptions. The Nebraska Grocery Industry Association and Nebraska Beverage Association have both registered their opposition to the measure. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


New York: Vending Industry urged to contact legislators in support of tax exemption bill
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The New York State Automatic Vending Association urges vending industry members to contact their legislators in support of A05718, and S 3445, amendments to the Tax Law, which would increase the exemption for food and beverages sold through vending machines from 75 cents to $1.50. Nearby states, including Connecticut and Maine have sales tax exemptions for products sold for $3.50 or less. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


North Carolina: Schools offer al a carte snacks to offset operating losses
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School districts in Haywood County, N.C., have found they need to offer a la carte items to cover the operating losses they incur. It costs $3.75 to fix a lunch, including the food and labor. The federal government pays only $2.79 for students receiving free or reduced lunches, for a loss of nearly $100,000 a month. To make up the difference, schools sell a la carte items including chips, cookies, ice cream and sports drinks. In all, the sale of snacks generates a little more than $1 million a year in Haywood County to cover the losses on the lunch side. The chips are the baked variety only and the cookies and ice cream are low-fat. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Ohio: Minimum wage rises to $7.70 an hour
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On Jan. 1, 2012, the state's minimum wage rose 30 cents to $7.70 an hour, the biggest gain in three years. Ohioans voted in 2006 to change the way minimum wage is calculated. Before that, state legislators had to vote to raise it. Now it is linked to inflation; as the cost of living rises, the minimum wage rises. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oregon: Group seeks soda tax in Multnomah county
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Multnomah County voters could see a measure to tax soda pop, energy drinks and other sugar-added beverages at one cent per ounce on their November ballots. The measure is an effort spearheaded by Portland doctor Gregg Coodley to raise money for children's health programs. About half of the estimated $35 million per year the tax would raise would be set aside for to after-school and P.E. programs administered at school districts within the county. The other half will go toward county-run jobs programs for the unemployed. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Wisconsin: Deadline to force governor recall election is approaching
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Organizers of the effort to recall Governor Scott Walker over his anti-union policies have collected 507,000 signatures in 30 days. In order to force a recall election, they will need to submit 540,208 valid signatures by January 17. For additional information, contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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