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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Feb. 8, 2013
 
 
 


Federal rules for calorie content labeling of food sold in vending machines have not been released
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NO FEDERAL REQUIREMENT IS IN EFFECT AT THIS TIME
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (The Act), includes language that requires any business which owns or operates 20 or more vending machines to disclose the caloric content of vended food and beverage products prior to the point of sale. It requires the Secretary (and by designation, the FDA) to establish requirements for calorie labeling of article for food sold from covered vending machines. The FDA HAS NOT YET RELEASED THE RULE FOR COMPLIANCE. Once the rule is released, there will likely be a time period for compliance. NAMA will keep you informed of any information and details as they are released. As previously stated, there is no federal requirement in effect at this time. For further information, please contact Eric Dell at edell@vending.org.



USDA proposal for implementation of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in schools
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On Feb. 1, the United States Department of Agriculture issued proposed rules that would enact nutrition standards for "competitive" foods not included in the official school meal. The rules are a result of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The rules would apply to any school, public or private, that participates in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. The proposed changes are intended to improve the health and well-being of the nation's children, increase consumption of healthful foods during the school day and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits. Click here to read more on these proposed rules. For further information, please contact Eric Dell at edell@vending.org.


Small Business Administration: Disaster loans deadline for Hurricane Sandy damage
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The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $1 billion in loans to more than 16,800 homeowners, renters and businesses for damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy. Congress has approved an additional $520 million to support up to $5 billion in low-interest disaster loans.

Together with FEMA, disaster loan application deadlines have been extended for three states with the highest demand: The new deadline for Connecticut is Feb. 12; New York's deadline is now Feb. 27, and March 1 is the deadline for New Jersey.

Additional deadlines are: Virginia — Feb. 5; Rhode Island — Feb. 13; Maryland — Feb. 12 (Somerset County), March 4 (Worcester County); and Puerto Rico — March 11.

Please complete and send in disaster loan applications as soon as possible. Don't wait on your insurance payout. Your policy may not cover all the replacement, repair and rebuilding costs — and the SBA disaster loan can offset the difference. In addition, the SBA will use any insurance proceeds to reduce the loan amount.

You may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application. If you have questions about what documents are required to complete the process, call SBA's Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email the center at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Visit SBA's Hurricane Sandy website for more information.



Great Britain proposes tax on soft drinks
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Health experts in Britain have called for a 7-pence (11 U.S. cents) tax on each can of soft drink sold. An alliance of 61 organizations, including physicians and the Royal Society for Public Health, is urging the tax to be included in the spring budget. They believe the 20-pence-per-liter (31 U.S. cents) tax on bottles and cans of soft drinks would result in less consumption. Money raised through the tax would be allocated to a fund which would be spent on improving children's health. The proposal has the support of the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges. The British Soft Drinks Association opposes the tax and maintains it would not curb obesity, stating that obesity is a serious and complex problem, and that soft drinks contribute just 2 percent of the total calories in the average diet. In the past ten years in Great Britain the consumption of soft drinks containing added sugar has fallen by 9 percent while obesity has increased by 15 percent. NAMA monitors legislative and regulatory issues in the U.S. and internationally which may affect the vending, coffee service and refreshment industries.



Arizona: High school nutrition guidelines proposed
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A bill has been introduced in Arizona, SB 1257, which would require the development of nutritional standards for high schools by July 1, 2014, including food sold through vending machines. The bill requires that guidelines be established that at the minimum meet the federal guidelines for food and beverages sold in high schools. Beginning July 15, 2014, new contracts and renewal contracts for food and/or beverages are required to limit the selection of teas, carbonated beverages, isotonic drinks or juice drinks that contain less than 50 percent fruit or vegetable juice to no more than 50 percent of vending machine capacity located on high school campuses. All other foods of minimal nutritional value must be expressly prohibited on high school campuses. The Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council and NAMA have been actively involved over the years with coalition partners on establishing guidelines for food sold on school campuses in Arizona. The association will work closely with these coalition partners again on this bill. For additional information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: New California labor law requires employee commission plan in writing
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Employers that pay employees, including route drivers, any type of commission (fully or partially), must give the employee a signed and written commission plan and agreement. California's new law, Labor Code 2751, requires all employers doing business in California to draft written agreements that involve commissions as a component of the employees' compensation. Pursuant to this new law, the written contracts must include the following: (1) the method for calculating the commission; and (2) the method for paying the commission. It is important for an employer to be as detailed as possible, while still maintaining some flexibility. This new law requires an employer to specify all components of the commission (i.e., any costs or adjusted amounts in determining the final amount).

Operators must provide a signed copy of the contract to every employee covered by the commission agreement or plan, and must also receive and retain a signed receipt from the employee that the employee received and agreed to the commission agreement or plan. This means the operator must also sign the document. The law went into effect Jan. 1. A violation of the new labor code will result in a statutory penalty of $100 for each aggrieved employee per pay period for the initial violation and $200 for each aggrieved employee per pay period for each subsequent violation. For additional information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



Michigan: State budget presentation
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Governor Snyder presented his state budget proposal to the Legislature, calling for a flat overall motor fuel tax for both diesel and gasoline at 33 cents a gallon and boosting vehicle registration fees by an average of $120 a year to help rebuild the state's roads and bridges. Enabling legislation will be introduced in both the House and the Senate within the next few days and the Legislature will begin debating the issues with the goal of finishing the entire budget process by the end of May. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Motor carrier regulation exemption reminder
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Last year the Michigan legislature passed legislation exempting commercial vehicles in Michigan under 26,000 gross vehicle weight from having to obtain the USDOT vehicle identification number and annual inspections. However the driver is not exempt from the medical requirements. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Cigarette and tobacco tax enforcement
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Last year the Michigan legislature passed state-wide, comprehensive cigarette and tobacco tax enforcement legislation to include converting to a new encrypted digital tax stamp requiring new stamping machines. MDVA worked hard to include financial reimbursement for wholesalers for the new machines and other costs. The state released the RFP for the new stamp in August and has been researching and reviewing the responses for months, requesting additional information and clarifications from many if not all the vendors. They may award the bid in the next few weeks. After the bid is awarded and the stamp vendor identified, the machine manufacturers will be producing the new machines. At that point, MDVA will be participating with Treasury to develop the necessary forms and certifications, processes and procedures, and to agree upon an approximate timeline for implementation. During implementation every Michigan licensed cigarette stamper will need to move to a new machine capable of affixing the new pressure sensitive stamp. MDVA will also be working closely with Treasury to initiate the new machine reimbursement certification program on behalf of each and every MDVA member wholesaler. MDVA will keep member wholesalers updated throughout this process. For additional information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Mississippi: Nutrition labeling bills introduced in Mississippi Legislature
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Two bills significant regarding nutrition labeling have been recently introduced into the Mississippi Legislature: MS H 1182 and S 2687. The bills (which are companion bills in the House and Senate), would give the state legislature sole authority to enact any regulation pertaining to nutrition labeling of food and beverages on menu items in food establishments and on vending machines. If enacted, the bills would proactively prevent local governments and municipalities from: a) enacting their own rules regarding the provision of food nutrition information (including the designation of food as "healthy" or "unhealthy"), and b) putting conditions on any license, permit or regulatory approval upon the provision or non-provision of food nutrition information. These bills will not affect federal regulation of nutrition labeling of food under existing federal law –which will eventually include the pending FDA Calorie Disclosure Rules. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


New Jersey: Governor vetoes minimum wage hike proposal
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Gov. Christie vetoed the $1.25 minimum wage proposal for New Jersey, which would bring the hourly minimum wage to $8.50. It is expected to be a referendum on the ballot this fall. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Sales of certain foods in vending machines
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NY S 3024, which relates to the sale of certain foods in vending machines on school grounds or property, was introduced on Jan. 28. NAMA and the NY State Vending Association will monitor and keep members updated on this legislation. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oregon: Sugar sweetened beverage tax introduced
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Oregon House Bill 2331 would impose an excise tax at the first sale in this state of a sugar sweetened beverage or concentrate by a distributor, sugar-sweetened beverage manufacturer or concentrate manufacturer doing business in this state. The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is calculated at a rate of $0.005 per ounce and automatically increased in line with the Consumer Price Index. The tax on concentrate is calculated at a rate of $0.005 per ounce for each gallon of sugar-sweetened beverage produced from concentrate and automatically increased in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Definition of distributor reads as follows: Distributor means a person that (a) imports or causes to be imported into this state for use, distribution, bottling, storage or sale of any sugar-sweetened beverage or concentrate or (b) bottles sugar-sweetened beverages or concentrate.

Definition of sugar-sweetened beverage reads as follows: (a) any nonalcoholic beverage that is intended for human consumption and that contains caloric sweetener; and (b) all drinks and beverages commonly referred to as a cola, ginger ale, lime, lemon, lemon-lime, root beer, soda, soda pop, or soft drinks. Exemptions: (1) beverages sweetened solely with non-caloric sweeteners (2) beverages consisting of water and 100 percent natural fruit juice or 100 percent natural vegetable juice, with no added caloric sweetener (3) any product sold in liquid form for consumption by infants and commonly referred to as infant formula (4) water that is not carbonated and to which no substance has been added except for minerals and non-caloric flavoring agents (5) any product containing milk, a milk product or a milk substitute (6) any dietary aid.

The Northwest Automatic Vending Association will lobby against this bill on Feb. 12 during their legislative day in Salem, Oregon. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



Rhode Island: Bill introduced to tax sugar sweetened beverages
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House Bill 5228, which would add a tax of $1.28 per gallon tax to any soft drink, powder or syrup beverage sweetened with sugar, was introduced on Jan. 31. The bill lists sugar-sweetened beverages as any "nonalcoholic beverage ... containing sugar, corn syrup or any other high-calorie sweetener including ... sodas, sports drinks or energy drinks." Revenue received by the division of taxation, after costs of implementation have been deducted, will be allocated to a prevention and wellness trust. The bill has generated opposition, including the Center for Consumer Freedom, which states that multiple studies have demonstrated that soda is not a unique contributor to obesity. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Rhode Island: Bill would impose sales tax on vended items
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Rhode Island H 554, which would impose a sales tax on vending machine items sold for $3.50, was introduced on Jan. 31. NAMA will continue to monitor this issue, and keep members updated on the issue. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Texas: Sugar sweetened beverage tax introduced
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A bill has been introduced in Texas, HB 735 (Farias), which would impose a tax on certain sweetened beverages and ingredients used to make sweetened beverages. The funds would be used for the promotion of children's health programs. The bill as introduced would impose a tax of 5 cents for each 12 oz. increment and includes a CPI increase every year. The Texas Merchandise Vending Association and NAMA lobbied against the bill during their legislative day last week. For additional information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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