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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Apr. 6, 2012
 
 
 


Government Affairs Symposium at NAMA OneShow will focus on how federal legislation may be impacting your business
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The vending and coffee service industries have been affected by numerous federal government actions in the past year, including calorie disclosure requirements, Department of Justice rulings regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, threatened sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, and changes to energy requirements.

At the Government Affairs Symposium at the NAMA OneShow, scheduled for 8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, speakers from NAMA and allied associations and partners will clarify these issues, discuss the impact on your business, and explain what they are doing on your behalf. These sessions will help you negotiate the complicated requirements of these regulations and navigate their impact on your bottom-line.

This year Carolyn Doppelt Gray, Special Counsel, Accessibility and Accommodations, Government Regulatory Compliance and Relations, with the Proskauer Rose law firm will focus on the impact the new American with Disabilities Act Regulations will have on vending. Steve Lodge, Director, Outreach and Special Projects, Government Affairs, American Beverage Association will address how the beverage industry is responding to tax threats and potential new energy requirements. For more information on the Government Affairs Symposium, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



NAMA responds to EPA's proposed changes to the Energy Star Refrigerated Beverage Vending machine specifications
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of launching a revision to the Energy Star specification for refrigerated beverage vending machines, entitled Version 3.0. The new specification is scheduled to take effect in August 2012, along with the new federal minimum efficiency standard established by the U.S. Department of Energy for refrigerated beverage vending machines. Depending on the machine type, these standard levels are equal to or more stringent than current Energy Star Version 2.1 requirements, which have been effective since July 2007. While the EPA's revised specification does present an opportunity for the Energy Star program to deliver additional energy savings (especially for vending machines that utilize environmentally harmful HFC-based refrigerant), it may have the effect of excluding vending machines that utilize the more environment-friendly CO2-based refrigerant. Many vending machines with CO2 refrigerant are in the early stages of development, and the necessary components to optimize those refrigeration systems are not commercially available. Thus manufacturers could be prevented from receiving the Energy Star designation for their machines that are more environment-friendly. At this juncture, the EPA is seeking input from industry stakeholders on the new specification by April 6. NAMA has submitted comments to the EPA which described the industry impact of the more stringent standards, manufacturing trends, and suggestions to include CO2 technology in the Energy Star program. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.



California: Bill to restrict California food trucks is dropped
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Legislation to ban food trucks from selling near school campuses has been dropped. Assemblyman Bill Monning said he lacked the votes to pass his measure, AB 1678, but he remains committed to a crackdown on the sale of non-nutritious foods to children. Monning's proposal would have banned food trucks from selling within 500 yards of a campus from breakfast until dinner time on any day that students are attending classes. "For years, Californians have worked to remove sodas and unhealthful snacks from school grounds," Monning said. "Vendors are bringing these very items back to the school gate using the mobility of ice cream trucks, pushcarts, and other portable units. This undermines the statewide nutrition improvements that we have established." said Monning. He will continue meeting with supporters of AB 1678 to craft a legislative solution. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Georgia: Bill would make alcohol sensors available for purchase in vending machines
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On March 27, Georgia Rep. Chuck Sims, R- Dist. 169, introduced HB 1307, which will require retail consumption dealers and retail dealers who sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on retail premises to make "alcohol sensors" available for purchase by their patrons. The sensors will be designed so that patrons are able to voluntarily test their personal alcohol consumption levels. HB 1307 also authorizes dealers to utilize alcohol sensor vending machines as a means of satisfying the bill's requirements, and may not charge more than $1 for the use of the machine per patron. Further, HB 1307 states that liability will not be imputed to dealers for complying with the bill's requirements (i.e., by having the alcohol sensor vending machine on their premises), and will not be required to monitor the results of the sensor tests by the patrons. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


Michigan: Tobacco tax endorsement
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The House Tax Policy Committee passed out SB 930, the tobacco tax enforcement bill. There were no amendments or substitutes offered, although Rep. Jud Gilbert, Chairman of the Committee, reported he had attempted a compromise with the Roll Your Own representatives that would have allowed then to continue without getting licensed as a cigarette manufacturer if they agreed to pay $17 per 200 cigarettes and comply with health and fire safety codes. RYO rejected Gilbert's compromise so as Chair he took the bill up for vote. Gilbert himself voted no. The Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association representatives spent all day in the lobby outside House chambers lobbying the 110 members on the bill. The RYO lobbyists and out-of-state public relations and grass roots organizers were also in the lobby. MDVA is working to assist retailers with an aggressive grass roots effort, as they are expecting a very aggressive RYO grass roots effort and those efforts have already picked up some votes against the bill in the House of Representatives. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Bill to deter theft of plastic bulk merchandiser containers
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SB 721 and 722 passed out of the House Commerce Committee by unanimous vote. The bills seek to deter the theft of plastic bulk merchandise containers by requiring those who sell the containers to plastics recycling or grinding operations to provide identification and attest to ownership of the containers. The bills will be eligible to be taken up on the House floor when the Legislature returns in two weeks and are likely to pass. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Budget does not include vending sales tax exemption increase
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The state budget was recently passed, but the State Assembly did not include the vending sales tax exemption increase from $.75 to $1.50. The New York State Automatic Vending Association lobbyist spoke to Assemblyman Bill Magee who is the sponsor of the bill. Magee indicated that he will try to introduce the bill as a stand-alone bill when the session resumes on April 17. NYSAVA hopes to set up a Lobby day in Albany to meet with various Assembly legislators and ask them to convince Speaker Sheldon Silver to support the increased tax exemption. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Tennessee: Memphis voluntary anti-obesity initiative
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A voluntary anti-obesity initiative that takes communitywide aim at vending machines kicks off in Memphis this month. Dubbed the "Million Calorie Match," led by the Healthy Memphis Common Table, a nonprofit regional health partnership. With the help of recent funding by a $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program's mission is to reduce caloric values of foods offered outside the home. The initiative mobilizes businesses, churches and community groups to adopt "healthier" food and beverage policies. Its recommendations include providing low-calorie options in vending machines, as well as at meetings and community gatherings. It also encourages groups to organize exercise programs. The goal is to have at least 125 organizations volunteer for the program, eliminating a million calories from their collective intakes. Tennessee had the nation's ninth-highest adult obesity rate, at 30.8 percent, in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@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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