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NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE


Georgia (GAMC) Lobby Day


Texas (TMVA) Lobby Day


Successful Lobby Day for Texas Merchandise Vending Association
The Texas Merchandise Vending Association (TMVA) hosted its third biennial TMVA Lobby Day on February 4, 2015 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. TMVA legislative consultant Mario Munoz coordinated the event, which was attended by 18 TMVA members, both suppliers and operators, and NAMA Senior Director of Government Affairs, Sandy Larson. Several TMVA members met prior to the event to prepare snack boxes to be distributed to 181 legislators in the Texas State House and Senate.
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HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY


NAMA Signs Letter To Congress In Support of Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act Of 2015
NAMA has joined more than 158 associations, trade groups and non-profit organizations as signatories to a letter to Congress in support of The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 527).

The letter urges Congress to pass H.R. 527 to reform the regulatory process to ensure that all federal agencies appropriately consider the impact of their rules on small businesses across America. As a result, federal agencies would issue smarter regulations that minimize inefficiencies and unnecessary burdens while still protecting public health, worker safety and the environment. This legislation directly protects the industry with future regulations similar to the recently released calorie disclosure and Smart Snacks in School rules.

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GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE

FEDERAL ISSUES


GOP Lawmaker: Keep 'Food Police' Off School Bake Sales
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) has introduced a bill to keep the "federal food police" out of schools, taking aim at Obama administration nutrition standards applied to bake sales. Poe's bill, H.R. 881, would prevent federal nutrition standards, developed by the Department of Agriculture under a 2010 law championed by first lady Michelle Obama, from being applied to school fundraisers. "The federal food police need to stay out of our schools," Poe said in a statement. "First, the regulators came into our lunchrooms, then vending machines and now school fundraisers."
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House Passes Bill To Extend Charitable-Giving Tax Credits
The House passed legislation on Thursday that would permanently renew three tax credits for charitable giving. The measure extends three tax credits: the deductions for contributions of food inventory, allowing tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes, and the deduction for contributions of conservation easements to preserve land. Congress retroactively renewed more than 50 tax credits that expired in 2013 at the end of last year. But the breaks are no longer in effect for 2015, meaning the House and Senate are tasked with reviewing them again.
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STATE ISSUES


California: Monning, Again, Pushes For Warning Labels On Soda
Californians may soon have to heed warnings against sugary drinks. State Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, together with several other Democratic cosponsors, introduced legislation Wednesday that would require sugary drinks sold in California to have a warning label. It is Monning's latest attempt to curb the consumption of soda and other sugar-filled beverages. "This is a very modest effort to make sure consumers know what science has already proven," Monning said. The label would apply to all drinks with at least 75 calories per 12 ounces, and it could either be printed on beverage packaging or clearly displayed at the point of purchase.
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Connecticut: State Rep. Candelaria Introduces Bill To Tax Candy & Soda
To help curb Connecticut children's sweet tooth and a childhood obesity epidemic, Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-95th) proposed Tuesday a state bill to tax sugary soft drinks and candies. H.B. 546 would impose a one-cent tax on the sale of every ounce of high-sugar soft drink and candy. Tax revenue would go toward reducing childhood obesity, as well as to municipalities and the Governor's Scholarship program. With sugary beverages and candy costing less than bottled water and many fruits and vegetables, the obesity rate has skyrocketed, especially among low-income communities.
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Minnesota: Bemidji State Student Government Votes to Ban Sales of Plastic Water Bottles On Campus
The student government at Bemidji State University this week unanimously passed a bill to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. The BSU Student Senate voted to become the first college in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to ban the sale of bottled water on campus. Two non-MnSCU campuses in Minnesota — Macalester and the College of Saint Benedict — already have done so.
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New York: Lawmaker Wants To Put Warning Labels On Sugary Drinks
Sugary sodas — with their link to obesity, diabetes and cavities, to name a few unsavory connections — should be treated like cigarettes, according to a New York lawmaker trying to slap a warning label on sweet drinks. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) has proposed the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act to do just that.

The law would require that all sugary drinks be labeled with the message: "Safety Warning: Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay," according to the New York State Assembly's online legislation library. And anyone who doesn't would have to pay a fine between $50 and $500.

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Keeping In Touch With NAMA Government Affairs
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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