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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs March 18, 2011
 
 
 


High Priority:
Wednesday is FDA deadline to promulgate rules on vending calorie disclosure

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Wednesday, March 23, is the federal deadline for the Food and Drug Administration to release rules on how the vending industry will be expected to disclose the calorie counts of food and beverages sold in vending machines. While the rules are required to be released by March 23, no final rules or enforcement will occur this year. March 23, 2011 is the one-year anniversary of the passage of federal health care reform. Included in this legislation is language that states, "in the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase, and is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.” For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


House introduces modernized R&D credit bill
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On Tuesday, March 8, House Ways and Means Committee member Republican Rep. Brady, joined by lead Democratic cosponsor Rep. Larson, introduced H.R. 942, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2011. The bill would strengthen the Research & Development tax credit formula — The Alternative Simplified Credit, or ASC — from 14 percent to 20 percent and make the credit permanent. NAMA is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers coalition which is supporting this legislation. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.



House Committee establishes coin and currency priorities
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The Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Policy and Technology has released a plan of oversight issues it will consider over the next two years. They report that in areas of interest related to the vending, coffee and foodservice industries, the committee will focus on several activities of the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The Committee will conduct oversight on the printing and minting of U.S. currency and coins. The Committee will examine methods to reduce the cost of minting coins. The Committee will examine efforts to make currency more accessible to the visually impaired. The Committee will continue its review of efforts to detect and combat the counterfeiting of U.S. coins and currency in the United States and abroad. The Committee also will begin an examination of the long-term demand for circulating coins and banknotes, and consider appropriate measures to maintain an adequate supply of each, while controlling costs to the taxpayer. For additional information please contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


US Mint seeks comment on potential new coin materials
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The United States Mint is requesting public comment "on factors to be considered in conducting research for alternative metallic coinage materials for the production of all circulating coins." In particular, they are looking for comments from the vending industry on concerns or suggestions about changes in the metal content of coins. Early 2011 Congress passed the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 — Public Law 111-302 — which gave them permission to study alternative coin materials. As part of this authority, the Mint is now looking for feedback from the vending industry. NAMA is drafting comments for the industry. Comments may be submitted on or before April 4, 2011 to: coinmaterials@usmint.treas.gov. For additional information please contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Learn how government is impacting on your company — Attend the NAMA OneShow
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Federal government experts will be attending the NAMA OneShow during the morning on Wednesday, April 27 to share their tips on how to navigate federal programs on calorie disclosure, Americans with Disabilities Act and Small Business Administration loans. Sessions are free to registered attendees. Register for the OneShow today at www.NAMAOneShow.org and plan on attending the Government Affairs Symposium on April 27 from 7:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.



Nationwide: Database is available to locate energy tax credits
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If your company has installed — or is thinking of purchasing — new high-efficiency equipment or machines, many entities may have tax credits to support these purchases. Many groups such as federal, state and local governments, utilities and foundations encourage the purchase and use of energy saving devices and getting energy from renewable sources. NAMA members are encouraged to visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s database to search for potential financial assistance in your area. For additional information please contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Arkansas: AVC 2011 Convention and Membership Meeting March 31 and April 1
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AVC, the Arkansas Vending Council, invites you to the AVC 2011 Annual Membership Meeting and Convention in Hot Springs, Ark., March 31 and April 1. This two day event is packed with education, entertainment, networking and fun! For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Arizona: Vending Day set for March 29
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The Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council will hold a vending day on March 29 in Phoenix. Members of AAMC will be at the state capitol to meet with legislators and will have vending machines set up on free vend for the legislators and staff. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: Lobbying Day set for May 11
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The California Automatic Vendors Council will hold a lobbying day May 11 in Sacramento, Calif. The organization plans to visit with legislators on issues affecting the vending industry and businesses in California. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: Flexible work schedules
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Existing California law, with certain exceptions, establishes 8 hours as a day's work and 40 hours as a work week, and requires payment of prescribed overtime compensation for additional hours worked. AB 830 has been introduced that would permit an individual non-exempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek, and would allow an employer to implement this schedule without the obligation to pay overtime compensation for those additional hours. SB 378 also provides for the establishment of flexible work schedules under certain circumstances. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Florida: NAMA and AMAF fighting bottled water tax
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The National Automatic Merchandising Association and the Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida are working to defeat a proposed bottled water tax. Republican Florida State Senator Evelyn Lynn has introduced Senate Bill 78, which would levy a 6 percent tax on bottled water in containers of less than one gallon. Lynn's proposal would add a 7.5-cent tax on $1.25 bottle of water sold in a vending machine. Since vending operators cannot raise their prices in increments less than $.25, the new tax would come out of their revenue. Florida companies are asked to send emails to their state legislators asking them to stop the proposed tax by clicking here. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Kansas: Sales tax repeal moves forward
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The House Tax Committee has passed a bill that would repeal last session's 1-cent sales tax increase. The bill will now be sent to the full House for consideration. Conservative Republicans are fighting for this sales tax repeal; however, repeal would cost the state more than $367 million in lost revenue in the upcoming fiscal year. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has said he would like to let the sales tax increase remain for the intended three-year period and then bring it back down when the economy is likely to be in better shape. Thus passage of the bill is considered unlikely. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Kansas: Senate passes business tax bill
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The Kansas Senate passed a bill that is considered a keystone of Governor Brownback's economic development/tax program, which is designed to increase business and employment opportunities in the state. The bill is best known for its expensing provision, which allows businesses to deduct from their taxes the full amount paid for new equipment. The measure also eliminates credits against income tax liability that businesses currently receive for machinery and equipment that isn't property tax-exempt, and adjusts the state's High Performance Incentive Program through which employers retain a portion of their employees' state income taxes for up to five years. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Louisiana: Vending machines in Town of Gretna might disappear
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In Gretna, La., it may become impossible to buy a soft drink, movie or bag of ice from an outdoor vending machines if the City Council moves forward in April with an ordinance that would ban any outdoor vending machines. Councilwoman Raylyn Beevers is concerned about the city's appearance, and as an offshoot to a pending city sign ordinance she is proposing to eliminate outdoor vending machines in Gretna. What started as a ban of vending machines at convenient stores has grown into a total ban on outdoor vending machines. Some council members questioned whether an outright ban on vending machines is their intention, while several members want to target snack food machines. Councilwoman Belinda Constant has informed the council that a clear definition of vending machines will be necessary in order to clearly convey the types of machines that will be included in the ban. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Maryland: Bill to alter vending machine sales and use tax dies in committee
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MD H 465, which would have altered the rate of the sales and use tax from 6 percent to 5 percent, and the percentage of gross receipts from vending machine sales to which the sales and use tax rate applies from 94.5 percent to 95.25 percent, has died in committee. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: MDVA Day at the Capitol May 11
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Mark your calendars for the Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association, also known as MDVA, Day at the Capitol on May 11. MDVA is working with the schedules of Speaker Bolger, and Senate Majority Leader Richardville for this event, along with a panel of key legislators in the House and the Senate. They are also working with the Governor's office and have been told it is a possibility Gov. Snyder will also be available to meet with the group. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Bills would affect sale and distribution of healthy foods on school property
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In New York, Bills A 6229 and S 3927 have been introduced. They provide for the sale, availability and distribution of healthy foods and beverages on school property and at school sponsored functions. They also set forth portion size and food requirements, and 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.


Oklahoma: Vending tax relief passes state House
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In a victory for Oklahoma vendors, the state House voted overwhelmingly recently to roll back 2010's 300 percent per machine fee increase on vending machines. The Oklahoma Vending Association has been working for the past year to reduce this fee, and they are having success. In 2010, lawmakers voted to triple the fee paid by vending machine operators, increasing it from $50 per machine to $150 per machine. House Bill 1634, which passed unanimously, would reduce the fee from $150 to $75. The legislation now moves to the state Senate. According to Tax Commission records, there are 54,323 vending machines in Oklahoma. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Pennsylvania: Philadelphia may require employers to provide minimum sick and personal leave for all employees
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A Committee of the Philadelphia City Council has voted to support legislation to require private sector employers to provide paid sick leave for any employees working within the City of Philadelphia. The bill as amended now awaits a vote by the full council. If passed, employers with 10 or more employees would be required to pay 9 sick days and those with 10 or fewer employees would be required to pay 5 sick days per year. The leave can be taken, not only if the employee is ill, but to care for sick family members. The legislation is also problematic for companies that have employees in multiple jurisdictions. As written, the measure will force companies to pay their Philadelphia employees at a different rate than non-city employees, thereby subjecting the company to legal ramifications. Your voice can truly make a difference in this debate. If you are concerned by the bill's impact on your business, please let the city council know how these extra costs will affect your business. For a list of council emails and telephone numbers, please click here. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Texas: Texas Container Recycling Initiative
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SB 1119 has been introduced entitled the 'Texas Container Recycling Initiative.' The bill would establish a recycling program for beverage containers in the state of Texas. The bill would establish a refund value for beverage containers and would require that those containers be labeled with the refund value and the word 'Texas' or the abbreviation 'TX.' The distributors of the beverage container must collect from the retailer a deposit of .05 cents on containers less than 24 ounces and .10 cents on containers greater than 24 ounces. The bill also contains provisions for recycling the containers and requirements for redemption centers and convenience redemption zones. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Texas: Soda tax proposed
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According to the March 7, 2011 issue of the Jacksonville Daily Progress, "the price of a 12-ounce can of soda in Texas may jump 12 cents if the Texas Legislature passes Senate Bill 1004 — legislation that would place a penny-per-ounce tax on all sugar-sweetened beverages sold in grocery and retail stores." The revenue would be used for the promotion of children's health programs. The bill would apply to carbonated and non-carbonated beverages sweetened with natural or artificial sweeteners. The bill exempts certain beverages, including 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices, certain sports drinks and beverages sweetened by artificial sweeteners that do not add calories to the beverages. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Wisconsin: Three-week standoff ends with controversial vote
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The standoff in Wisconsin over Governor Walker's controversial budget repair bill ended when Republicans used a procedural maneuver to pass the most contentious elements while Senate Democrats remained out of state. In a special conference committee session, Republicans removed all of the fiscal provisions from the bill and left only the provisions that would increase pension and health benefit contributions for public employees and would strip them of collective bargaining rights. They then quickly passed the bill 18-1, without a single Democrat on the floor. Furious Democrats accused Republicans of violating the state's open meeting law by failing to give adequate notice for the committee meeting and argued that by removing the fiscal components of the bill, Republicans negated the argument that the plan was centered around the state's budget deficit. Currently, there are campaigns to recall eight Republican and eight Democratic Senators, and Democratic Senate leaders felt that this situation would accelerate the recall efforts against the Republicans. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Wisconsin: Governor proposes two-year budget plan
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Wisconsin Governor Walker has proposed a two-year budget plan that would close the state's $3.5 billion budget gap by cutting financial assistance to public schools and local governments, and eliminating 1,200 state jobs. The $59.2 billion plan would prevent tax hikes and fee increases and would also freeze local property taxes, allowing increases only for new construction. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


West Virginia drops food tax to 2 percent from 3 percent
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Lawmakers in West Virginia voted to reduce the state's tax on food, effective Jan. 1, 2012, to 2 percent from 3 percent. For more information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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