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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Feb. 4, 2011
 
 
 


High Priority:
FDA: No Calorie Disclosure Enforcement for Vending until 2012

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The Food and Drug Administration issued information which indicates that no enforcement of calorie disclosure in vending regulations will occur until 2012. “In the Federal Register of January 25, 2011 (76 FR 4360), FDA announced the withdrawal of this draft guidance and its intention to complete the notice-and-comment rulemaking process for section 4205 before initiating enforcement activities based, in part, on extensive comments on the draft guidance submitted to the Agency.” The FDA indicates it will promulgate vending calorie disclosure rules by March 23, 2011, but Final Rules won’t be put into place until 2012. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Obama and Congress Working to Repeal New 1099 IRS Provisions
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On Wednesday, February 2 the U.S. Senate voted to remove the new IRS paperwork requirement for businesses, which President Obama and a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives also support. The House is expected to vote quickly to repeal the 1099 requirement. Unless repealed, next year all companies will be required to file 1099 forms with the IRS for transactions valued over $600 cumulatively. NAMA supports repealing this expensive new reporting requirement. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Senate Fails to Repeal Health Care Reform
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On a vote of 47 to 51, the U.S. Senate defeated an effort to repeal federal healthcare reform legislation. So, members of Congress will now begin to consider changes and amendments to the law, in an attempt to address public and business concerns. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org


First Lady Michelle Obama Views NAMA Fit Pick® Program
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On Thursday, January 27, 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama toured Ft. Jackson Army Base in South Carolina to review their healthy dining programs. As part of the tour and briefing, she was exposed to NAMA’s Fit Pick® program which helps customers recognize ‘better for you’ snacking selections. More than 1,200 organizations from coast-to-coast registered in 2010 for the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s (NAMA) Fit Pick healthy vending. According to figures compiled by NAMA, in 2010 1,215 organizations registered for the Fit Pick program including 162 government agencies, 99 schools and school systems, 247 worksites and 573 vending companies. For more information visit www.FitPick.org.


President Obama Calls for Corporate Rate Tax Reduction
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In one of the most discussed sections of President Obama’s State of the Union address, President Obama made a reference to eliminating “tax loopholes” in order to cut the current 35% corporate tax rate. It is possible that the tax rate could be reduced to 25%, and that “loopholes” would be repealed to make this revenue neutral. While the vending industry could support lower federal corporate tax rates, a full review of the final proposals will have to be considered. As one DC pundit pointed out “Somebody's loopholes are somebody else's important deductions." For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.



Federal Food Guidelines Released
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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 which provides recommendations for many federal food programs such as foods the government buys and food stamps. An important guideline in the report is that all people reduce their daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (from a current average of 3,400 mg) and that people 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease limit their daily sodium intake to 1,500 mgs. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Food Groups Unveil Front Of Packaging Labeling
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On Monday, January 25, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute announced a front of packaging nutritional labeling plan and artwork. Some of the nutrition information listed in government-mandated Nutritional Facts Panel will be repeated on package fronts. The voluntary “Nutrition Keys,’’ will list calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugars per serving. They will also be allowed to list two additional items. “Nutrition Keys,’’ will kick-off with a $50 million marketing campaign. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Coin Group Supports $1 Coin with DC Ad Campaign
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The Dollar Coin Coalition, a group of companies and associations which support greater use of the dollar coin has started a print advertising campaign in Washington DC. The group is stressing that replacing the $1 bill with a $1 coin will save the U.S. Treasury $5 billion over 10 years. The ad can be viewed at www.DollarCoinAlliance.org. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


President Obama Signs Executive Order Requiring Regulatory Review
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In a positive development, President Obama has signed an Executive Order calling on federal agencies to study and roll back excessive regulations that could hinder job creation and economic growth. NAMA and many other national trade associations have called on regulatory restraint in the current economic climate. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


IRS Mandates Tax Deposits Be Made Electronically Now
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The Howe and Hutton Legal Report informs us that “the Internal Revenue Service now requires as of January 1, 2011 that federal tax depositors make their payments by electronic funds transfer. The paper coupons formerly used by many depositors to make tax deposits are eliminated. The IRS has designated 2011 as a transition year to better enable smaller businesses to comply with the abrupt transition to electronic deposits in place of the former paper document deposits. The former terminology of “banking days” is replaced by “business days,” meaning any day Monday to Friday except statewide holidays that are also holidays in the District of Columbia. Businesses without computers or the ability to make electronic deposits are directed to use a telephone call to the IRS to schedule an electronic federal tax payment system (“EFTPS”) payment instead. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


NAMA Has Fund to Elect Federal Candidates
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Your association has a federal Political Action Committee, the NAMA-PAC, which raises personal donations from individuals at member companies of NAMA. The PAC helps elect members of Congress who support the legislative agenda of the vending, coffee and foodservice industries. Your NAMA-PAC is supervised by a bi-partisan team, and donations are approved by members. For additional information on your NAMA-PAC please contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.



Arizona: AAMC to Hold Annual Legislative Breakfast
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The Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council will hold its annual legislative breakfast on Thursday, February 24th, at Tom’s Tavern in downtown Phoenix at 7:30 AM. The speaker for the meeting will be Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard. AAMC will hold a Board of Directors meeting in conjunction with the breakfast. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Florida: Successful Networking Event Held in Ft. Lauderdale January 19
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The purpose of these events is to educate local vendors on the benefits of membership in the Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida (AMAF) and NAMA. The AMAF Board of Directors will continue to hold these events throughout the state to reach as many vending operators as possible. The next event is planned for May 18th, 2011 in the Orlando area. Mark your calendars; details for this event will be shared as they become available. For additional information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Hawaii: Soda Tax Bill Introduced
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During his state of the state address, newly elected Democratic governor Neil Abercrombie proposed establishing a tax on soda and sugar sweetened beverages. The governor told lawmakers that they can no longer ignore that sugary drinks and other such products contribute to rising health costs. The new tax would generate an estimated $50 million in new revenue for the state, $10 million of which would be used for programs related to obesity and diabetes. On January 26, 2011 HB 1216 was introduced. The bill establishes a tax on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages and creates a children's health promotion special fund. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Illinois: Appeals Court Strikes Down $31 Billion Capital Program, No Raise in Candy and Soft Drink Taxes
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In an unexpected blow to Governor Quinn’s administration, an Illinois appeals court has tossed out a $31 billion construction program (passed in 2009). The action invalidated a boost in sales tax on candy and soft drinks, the legalization of video poker, a partial privatization of the lottery, an increase in liquor taxes and higher vehicle registration fees, all of which were included in the package. The appeals court ruled unanimously that the passage of the tax and fee increases which underwrote the construction program violated the single-subject clause of the Illinois Constitution, which prohibits a bill from dealing with a multitude of issues. Quinn has vowed an immediate appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Illinois: Chicago School Board Adopts Free School Breakfast Program
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The Chicago school board has adopted a program to offer free breakfast in the classrooms of 410,000 students in the Chicago Public School district. This program will expand on a federally funded initiative to offer children from low-income families a healthier start to their day. “Breakfast in the classroom” is already offered in 199 district schools. Beginning next month, breakfast will be provided to an additional 299 elementary schools. The majority of these public schools have at least 80 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Illinois: House Bill Calls For Trans Fat Elimination in Schools
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A bill has been introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives that would require the State Board of Education to adopt rules for the elimination of vegetable oils containing trans fats in foods served in all public school cafeterias, beginning on July 1, 2016. The elimination of all foods containing trans fats from public schools, including foods sold in vending machines, would be required beginning on July 1, 2017. The bill provides that the State Board of Education shall adopt rules to require schools to provide healthy menu options. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Kansas: Public Funding Overhaul Efforts Announced
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Governor Sam Brownback and other Kansas legislative leaders announced their intent to overhaul the current state Medicaid program, the public school funding system and the public pension system in 2011. The governor said that by tackling these three major projects, they would be taking a step toward solving the state’s fiscal problems. Kansas has a projected $550 million deficit for the next fiscal year. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Michigan: 6% Corporate Income Tax Would Eliminate Many State Business Tax Credits
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The proposed Michigan Corporate Income Tax would replace the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) 4.95% income tax rate, .8 percent gross receipts tax and 21.99 percent surcharge. The tax would apply to any in-state company with sales over $350,000, the same floor set by the MBT, which represents roughly a quarter of Michigan businesses. The proposed Michigan Corporate Income Tax would bring in approximately $1.5 billion less than the MBT brings in. The proposal's only tax credit is for small businesses with receipts lower than $20 million and adjusted (income minus allowed deductions) of less than $1.3 million. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Law Requires That Items Sold at Retail Be Individually Priced
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This law requires that most items sold at retail must be individually priced, usually with stamped figures or stickers. Exceptions are: items sold from vending machines, live plants and animals and items sold by weight or volume that are not prepackaged. S ome items are exempt if prices are well marked (such as a price on a shelf for items above it). The Department of Agriculture enforces the law. Customers charged more than the individual item price are entitled to a refund and a bonus payment of up to 10 times the difference between the charged and marked prices (minimum of $1 and maximum of $5). The Attorney General's Office has pursued cases alleging widespread unmarked or mismarked items by retailers, at times collecting large fines from violators. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: New Health Commissioner Says No New Tax on Soda
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Dr. Nirav Shah, NY’s new health commissioner, has said that Gov. Cuomo’s pledge of "no new taxes" extends to soda and other sugary drinks at this time. The former health commissioner supported a tax on sugary drinks in hopes of combatting childhood obsesity. The new commissioner acknowledges that obesity is a problem affecting 40% of children in the state, and said that addressing the epidemic will require engaging all parts of the system, including schools. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Ohio: Bill Would Permit Private Employers to Award Time Off Instead of Overtime Pay
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The proposed bill, sponsored by state Rep. Jarrod Martin, R-Beavercreek, would apply mainly to small “mom and pop” businesses. Most larger employers would be exempt because of federal and state wage and hour laws. The compensatory time would be subject to employee approval and other conditions. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oklahoma: Bills Filed to repeal HB 2359 Which Increased Per Machine Tax by 300%
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The Oklahoma Vendors Association (OVA) has appointed a Legislative Committee and hired a lobbyist to protect the vendor’s interests before the legislators in Oklahoma’s state capital. OK HB 2359 recently raised the tax per vending machine 300%, from $50 to $150 per machine. OVA’s Legislative Committee has considered the reasoning behind the tax increase and has concluded that the Tax Commission will be more receptive to $75 per machine tax, rather than a total repeal of the increase. Therefore, OVA’s position will be to move forward to decrease the current $150 per machine to $75 per machine. For additional information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Tennessee: NAMA Fit Pick® Program to Be Used as Model for Vending on State Property
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On Aug. 6, 2010, Governor Bredesen issued Executive Order No. 69, "An Order Promoting Healthy Food and Beverage Options in Executive Branch State Public Properties," more commonly known as "Healthy Vending." Members of the Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association (TAMA) and its lobbyist, Martha Gentry, along with NAMA members and staff, have been working together to promote the use of NAMA’s Fit Pick standards to fulfill this Executive Order. Specific guidelines, which use the Fit Pick model, have been laid out and the final order was signed for implementation on Jan. 7, 2011 by the TN Finance and Administration Commissioner. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Tennessee: TAMA Legislative Day
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The Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association (TAMA) will hold their 2011 Legislative Day Tuesday February 22, 2011. If you are interested in attending, please plan to meet at 8:00 AM in the cafeteria of Legislative Plaza, at the corner of 5th & Union. Meet with your legislator and help distribute ‘Goody Bags’! For additional information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Vermont: Bottle-Redemption Measures under Consideration
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H.74 would expand the bottle bill to include wine and all carbonated and noncarbonated drinks except rice milk, soy milk, and milk. The bill would require beverage manufacturers and distributors to remit abandoned beverage container deposits to the state for deposit in a jobs fund established to provide grants and loans to businesses engaged in solid waste management or recycling. It would also require certain manufacturers to implement a product stewardship plan for the collection, transport, recycling, and disposal of designated products that are discarded by consumers. Designated-product manufacturers that fail to implement a stewardship plan would be prohibited from selling the designated product in the state. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Washington Legislation Would Set State Food Purchasing Policy
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Washington Senate Bill 5653 introduced Feb, 3rd would establish a Washington State food purchasing policy. The goal is for the state to be the model for efficient and healthy food purchasing by improving the nutritional quality of food purchased by the state for employees and guests as well as those who reside at a department of corrections or department of social and health services institution. The bill would apply to food made available to employees of state agencies in vending machines or through on site vendors. The bill sets nutritional guidelines for beverages and snacks and requires that at least 50% of the items offered by January 1, 2012 meet these standards and 80% by January 1, 2015. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Wyoming: Senator Seeks to End Tax on Vending Purchases
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Wyoming State Senator Marty Martin (D) has proposed legislation that would remove the sales and use tax on food sold through vending machines. The bill has passed the second reading in the Senate. If passed, the bill will help vendors to compete and level the playing field with other retailers including grocery and convenience stores where food items are not taxed. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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