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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Feb. 10, 2012
 
 
 


President issues memorandum on Randolph-Sheppard vending facility program
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Recently, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies regarding the Federal Support for the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program. The Randolph-Sheppard Act, which was adopted in 1936, created the Vending Facility Program requiring qualified blind individuals be given a priority to operate vending facilities on federal properties. Under the act, vending facilities include cafeterias, snack bars and military dining facilities, in addition to vending machines.

The president called for continued support and cooperation from executive departments, agencies and offices to extend the Randolph-Sheppard priority to qualified blind managers through the state licensing agencies that implement the program. He called for all agencies that have property management responsibilities to ensure that agency officials, when pursuing the establishment and operation of vending facilities (including cafeterias and military dining facilities) issue permits and contracts in compliance with the Randolph-Sheppard Program and consistent with existing regulations and law. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .



ADA compliance date is March 15, 2012
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The compliance date set forth in the revised ADA rules is March 15, 2012. 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 .


Restricting the use of cellular phones for drivers of CMVs
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The US Department of Transportation has announced amendments to the both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The Department states that the amended regulations will “improve safety on the Nation’s highways by reducing the prevalence of distracted driving related crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving drivers of CMVs”. The regulations implement “driver disqualification sanctions” for commercial drivers’ license (CDL) holders who have multiple convictions for violating a State or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control that restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones. Additionally, general civil penalties may be assessed against drivers who violate the regulations; and employers who fail to require their drivers to comply with the regulations may also be subject to civil penalties as well. For more information on the amended FMCSRs and HMRs, please visit the U.S. Department of Transportation final rule here. For more information, contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.



Alabama: Bill would apply to state nutritional labeling
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Under existing law the federal government has enacted and is in the process of implementing the regulation of nutrition labeling of food that is a menu item in restaurants and vending machines. Senate Bill 99 would specify that the regulation of nutrition labeling in restaurants and vending machines would be reserved to the legislature, but this provision would not affect federal regulation. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Kentucky: Legislative day a great success
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The Kentucky Automatic Merchandising Council's first Legislative Day was a great success! On Jan. 31, KAMC board members and representatives joined the Kentucky Retail Federations Team to meet and greet at the Capitol in Frankfort. KAMC greeted senators and representatives with baskets containing an assortment of regular and healthy snacks, a KAMC history of candy T-shirt and information on Fit Pick and KAMC. KAMC was pleased with its success and plans to make Legislative Day an annual event. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Maryland: Bill introduced to repeal snack food sales tax exemption
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A bill has been introduced which specifies that the exemption from the sales and use tax for food sold for consumption off the premises by specified food vendors does not apply to specified snack food; repeals the exemption from the sales and use tax for specified snack food sold through a vending machine; and defines the term "snack food." NAMA and the Maryland-D.C. Vending Association will closely monitor and report on the legislation. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Maryland: Governor would raise gasoline tax
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Gov. Martin O'Malley wants to raise the state's gasoline tax by applying Maryland's 6 percent sales tax to each gallon of gasoline; His plan has a 2 percent per year phase-in of the tax at the wholesale level. The sales tax would rise or fall with gasoline prices, which could push the cost to among the highest in the U.S. A 6 percent sales tax could reach 18 cents or higher. Combined with Maryland's other gasoline levies that would bring the total taxes to more than 41 cents per gallon. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Massachusetts: Governor proposed taxing soda and candy
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Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed eliminating a sales tax exemption on soda and candy in the state as part of the state's 2013 budget. The extra taxes would raise approximately $61 million, most of which would be dedicated to the Health and Preservation Fund for public health and preventative care programs. Eliminating the exemption would make soda and candy subject to a 6.25 percent sales tax. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Massachusetts: Notification of increase in fees for vending machines
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The annual fee for licenses to operate vending machines is determined annually by the commissioner of administration of the Department of Public Health. On Feb. 3, MA HD 4260 was submitted which is formal notification of an increase in fees. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Employers will avoid additional unemployment insurance fees and assessments
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Employers will avoid a $233.10-per-employee fee and other assessments in 2013 after state officials quickly bonded out Michigan's $3.3 billion unemployment insurance debt to the federal government. In acting shortly after the passage of a state law, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of Treasury avoided the necessity of implementing fees to cover the interest payments. The Unemployment Insurance program had been borrowing from the federal government since 2007 because it paid out more in benefits to the unemployed than it took in from businesses. The accumulated debt owed to the feds was the country's second largest and meant that the federal government kept levying unpredictable and increasingly expensive fees on employers. The state was able to act to privately finance the debt with no obligation by the state of Michigan before Dec. 31, 2011. Employers this year will pay a base $42-per-employee fee to the state, with an additional assessment based on their experience rate. It appears this will be the first year in some time that the fund has a positive balance, projected to be $600 million. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Mississippi: Governor introduces 'Eat Healthy Mississippi' campaign
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Gov. Phil Bryant knows from experience how hard it is to be an obese child. He recently helped the state's restaurant association kick off its "Eat Healthy Mississippi" campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign is a website, www.healthydiningfinder.com, which can direct diners to restaurants and suggest which healthful food options can be found there. Mississippi traditionally ranks as the most obese state in the nation, and Gov. Bryant wants to end that streak. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


New York: Proposal would raise minimum wage to $8.50 an hour
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A report on Jan. 31 indicates a proposal will likely raise the state minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Sale and distribution of healthy foods in schools
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Bills were amended in both the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education that provide for the sale, availability and distribution of healthy foods and beverages on school property and at school sponsored functions; set forth portion size and food requirements; set forth requirements and provide for the sale of such foods in school stores, vending machines, school cafeterias; and require nutritional information on all food items and beverages which are not prepackaged with such. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Tennessee: 'No State Income Tax' amendment
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A 73-17 vote last month in the House of Representatives, and the approval of a companion measure in the Senate last year, advanced a state constitutional amendment banning any state or local income or payroll tax to the next two-year legislative term, in 2013. If the "No State Income Tax" amendment is again approved by a two-thirds majority in both chambers, it will go before the voters in November 2014. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Washington: State proposes food purchasing policy for state agencies
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HB 1801 requires the department of health, in consultation with the department of enterprise services and other interested entities, to develop a recommended food purchasing policy for state agencies. This policy would affect food sold in vending machines on state property. The bill passed out of the House State Government Committee and was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. If the bill is not scheduled for hearing in the Ways and Means Committee this week, it will be dead for this session. Lobbyists for NAMA have been aggressively working to prevent this legislation from moving any further in this process. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
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