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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Mar. 23, 2012
 
 
 


The NAMA Gratitude Tour is coming to Las Vegas! Mark your calendar now
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As you schedule your travel arrangements for the 2012 NAMA OneShow, we encourage you to factor in additional time to attend an exciting NAMA Gratitude Event on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 24, one day before the kick-off of the OneShow. The show will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Student Union Courtyard.

This past year, as part of the NAMA Industry Growth Strategy, we took 20 vending machines on the road for a five-week, seven-city Gratitude Tour as a way to say "thank you" to loyal users of vending. As an association, we were extremely successful in capturing consumer attention and educating the public about the new technologies, products and the convenience and variety that vending offers today.

Highlights from the 2011 Gratitude Tour include:
  • Media circulation reached more than 380 million
  • The 53-foot Gratitude Tour tractor trailer traveled more than 125 hours and over 7,000 miles
  • More than 225,000 consumers saw the truck heading down the road
  • Over 40,000 people attended Gratitude Events
Since then we have looked for ways to share that unique experience with our members. That's why we are excited to host a Gratitude Event in conjunction with this year’s OneShow. With more than 10,000 students expected to attend, this event will feature a variety of innovative vending machines, product giveaways and entertainment. This is your opportunity to experience firsthand a Gratitude Event and take part in the NAMA Industry Growth Strategy.

Feel free to contact the OneShow staff at 312-346-0370 with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you there!



Restricting the use of cellular phones for drivers of CMVs
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The U.S. 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.


Banks lose $6 billion on Dodd-Frank financial reforms
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Banks are on target to have a $6 billion shortfall as predicted because of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. Three months after banks decided not to charge customers for debit cards, financial firms are slowly revealing how losses from debit card transaction caps will be recovered. With fourth-quarter earnings down, banks will be rolling out a variety of products, new service packages and other new fees to boost the bottom line. Wells Fargo and Bank of America registered close to $800 million in swipe fee losses, combined, during the fourth quarter, with regional banks also reporting steep declines.



Arizona: Senator drops bill that would allow schools to opt out of federal school lunch program
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Senator Crandall has decided to kill a bill he had been pushing that would have allowed Arizona schools to opt out of a currently required federal school lunch program that provides a free meal to poor children. Crandall said he had the votes to pass S 1061 (national school lunch program; optional), but that it had become a distraction, due to the vocal opposition it had ginned up. Crandall said he would rather focus his time working on other education bills that he feels are more important, and that he will likely bring the bill back next year. Those opposing it said the impact of the bill would leave poor families without a meal they currently count on. Crandall had defended the bill by saying that new federal requirements for the lunch program would lead to increased costs for school districts, and those costs would be supplemented with general fund money. One upside to not making the program optional for schools, Crandall said, is that the actual impact of the first part of the new rules (which goes into effect on July 1) will be able to be measured. "We'll have one year under our belt, and we'll see if there is a financial hit," Crandall said. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: Bill would change laws related to overtime compensation
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SB 1114, sponsored by Senator Dutton, would change the laws related to overtime compensation. Existing law, with certain exceptions, establishes eight hours as a day's work and a 40-hour workweek, and requires payment of prescribed overtime compensation for additional hours worked. Existing law authorizes the adoption by two-thirds of employees in a work unit, of alternative workweek schedules providing for workdays no longer than 10 hours within a 40-hour workweek. This bill, until Jan. 1, 2015, would establish 40 hours as a week's work and require payment of prescribed overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 10 hours in one workday. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: Income taxes credits for hiring full-time employees
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AB 1596 would expand the definition of "qualified Employers" for purposes of tax credits for hiring new employees. The Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law authorize various credits against the taxes imposed by those laws, including a credit for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2009, in the amount of $3,000 for each full-time employee hired by a qualified employer. Those laws define "qualified employer" as a taxpayer that employed 20 or fewer employees as of the last day of the preceding taxable year. This bill if passed would for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2012, expand the definition of "qualified employer" to mean a taxpayer that employed 50 or fewer employees as of the last day of the preceding taxable year. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Connecticut: Vending industry educates legislators during state House day
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On March 14, members of the Connecticut Vending Association spent a day at the Capitol to help educate legislators about the vending business and explain how legislation affects the industry. They distributed school-approved items to show vending's efforts in addressing the state's obesity issues. The message was that the vending industry is a partner, and needs to be heard before, and not after, legislation passes. They shared that vending companies may provide much insight, and can work together with legislators in keeping businesses healthy. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Louisiana: Gretna ordinance on vending machines goes into effect
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Gretna officials are preparing to enforce the city's tougher new sign and vending machine ordinances in an effort to reduce visual blight. The city's regulatory department is gearing up to begin enforcing the rules the Gretna City Council approved last year. Letters have been sent to business owners alerting them about the new laws and the city's enforcement of the regulations. The ordinances restrict vending machines outside of some businesses, while the signage law limits the size and type of signs permitted. When the council initially considered the new laws, they included a near complete ban on vending machines and billboards. But after hearing from business owners, the council relaxed some of its demands and agreed to give businesses time to comply. The vending machine ban only applies to convenience stores and contains exemptions for ice machines and newspaper boxes among other items. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Maine: Businesses and license posting requirements
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HB 1247 was signed into law. It eliminates the administrative burden of publicly displaying certain permits and licenses and the use of space for the display of those licenses and permits that could be otherwise used, including sales tax registration certificates, retail tobacco licenses, including those required to be displayed on tobacco vending machines, retail food establishment licenses, licenses for the sale of liquor and any license or permit issued by a municipality; it requires the license or permit to be available upon demand. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Massachusetts: Department of Public Health proposes 567 percent vending
fee increase

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has proposed raising annual vending fees by 567 percent, from $3 to $20 on each machine. Suzanne Condon, director of DPH's Bureau of Environmental Health, said the proposed $20 fee is in line with other states, and argued it's only "appropriate" to tap the industry to pay for its added inspection duties. The fee increase on approximately 22,000 vending machines statewide would generate $375,000 annually that's targeted for a new "Food Protection Program" account approved as part of the fiscal 2012 state budget. The state last raised its vending machine license fee in 2003, when it jumped from $1 to $3. The Massachusetts Vending Association strongly opposes the increase. Representatives of the vending industry testified at a public hearing on March 14 and are waging a consumer petition campaign. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Changes to business enterprise program, Commission for the Blind
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Most of what was the Commission for the Blind and Michigan Rehabilitation Services would move to the Department of Human Services under an executive order issued by Gov. Rick Snyder. Human Services has more resources to provide for those with disabilities served by the two programs than does the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs where they are now housed, Snyder said in announcing the change. The Business Enterprise Program under the Commission for the Blind, which gives preference to blind and visually impaired vendors in state food service and vending contracts, would move to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which oversees those contracts. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Tobacco tax enforcement bill
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On March 14, over 100 "roll your own" machine supporters, wearing t-shirts that read "Let Us Roll!" came from around the state to oppose bill SB 930, Senator Kahn's tobacco tax enforcement bill. The 90-minute committee meeting was taken up with testimony and questions of the attorneys representing the RYO machine industry. Their consistent message to legislators was "you will be putting us out of business if you pass this bill." Only a handful of retailers represented the other side of the issue: that RYO machines operate without complying with the taxes, fees and regulations of the legitimate cigarette retailer. There will be another committee hearing and it's critical that legislators hear from retailers on the other side of the RYO issue. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Please contact your legislators in support of increased sales tax exemption
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The New York State Legislature is considering a pair of bills to increase the sales tax exemption for food and beverage items sold through vending machines. The counterpart bills, introduced as AB 05718 and SB 3445, would amend the state tax law to increase the sales tax exemption from $0.75 to $1.50. Thus, certain vended items would be tax exempt when sold for $1.50 or less. The New York State Automatic Vending Association urges vending industry members to contact their legislators. Please visit www.NAMAVoice.org. Click on Take Action (in the upper left corner), and then the New York link. Follow the prompts to send a prepared email to your New York Legislators and urge their SUPPORT of AB 05718 and S 3445. For more information contact, Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

HEADQUARTERS: 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60606-3102, Voice: 312-346-0370, Fax: 312-704-4140

EASTERN OFFICE: 1600 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 650, Arlington, VA 22209, Voice: 571-346-1900, Fax: 703-836-8262

SOUTHERN OFFICE: 2300 Lakeview Parkway, Ste. 700, Alpharetta, GA, 30009, Voice: 678-916-3852. Fax: 678-916-3853

WESTERN OFFICE: 80 South Lake Avenue, Suite 538, Pasadena, CA 91101, Voice: 626-229-0900, Fax: 626-229-0777



Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
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