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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Apr. 20, 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 .




California: Legislation restricting electrolyte replacement beverage sales in schools
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AB 1746, which would restrict the sale of electrolyte replacement beverages in middle schools and high schools to specified times before and after school, was heard in the Appropriations Department and moved to the suspense file. This law, if passed, would change existing law which permits the sale of only certain beverages to pupils at schools in California. The beverages that may be sold include fruit-based and vegetable-based drinks, drinking water, milk, and, in middle and junior high schools, an electrolyte replacement beverage if those beverages meet certain nutritional requirements. CAVC has actively opposed this bill and will lobby against the bill during their legislative day on May 9. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .


Florida: Legislation to authorize the use of full service vending machines for instant lottery-ticket sales
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On March 9, the Florida Legislature passed SB 902 and HB 843, which will expand the types of permissible player-activated machines operated by the Florida Department of the Lottery. More specifically, the bills amend the lottery statute to allow for full service vending machines to dispense both counter sales (online) and instant (scratch-off) lottery tickets for purchase. Under current Florida law, the Department only has permission to operate machines from which a player can purchase instant (scratch-off) lottery tickets. During a Revenue Estimating Impact Conference in November 2011, it was estimated that the revenues generated by the use of FSVMs for both lottery ticket types will be approximately $8.1 million in the remainder of its first year (FY 2012-2013). Revenues are expected to nearly triple to $21 million in its first full year (FY 2013-2014). The bill conforms to the General Appropriations Act for FY 2012-2013, as the initial $8.1 million in revenue has been allocated for the Florida Educational Enhancement Fund. Subject to the governor's veto power, the bills will become effective as of July 1. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


Kentucky: Governor signs bill to issue revenue bonds to pay interest on unemployment insurance loans
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Gov. Steve Beshear signed HB 495, a bill that will allow the state to issue revenue bonds to pay the first three years of interest on $963 million in federal loans that kept the state's unemployment insurance program operating during the recession. Starting in 2014, employers will be assessed a $21-per-employee surcharge to repay the $79 million for the first three years of interest payments and future interest on the debt to the federal government. For more information, contact mmonaghan@vending.org.


Maryland: Employers barred from asking job applicants for user names and passwords
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The Maryland House gave final approval to HB 964, which prohibits employers from asking or requiring job applicants to hand over their user names and passwords for social networking accounts like Facebook and Twitter. The measure will move to Gov. Martin O'Malley for review. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Personal property tax reform package
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A package of bills, regarding personal property tax reform, has been prepared and introduced by the lieutenant governor's office. Hearings are expected to begin this week. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Mississippi: Legislature passes inventory tax relief bill
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On April 17, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted to pass SB 2934, which is an inventory tax relief bill, passed by the state Senate last month. Sponsored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, SB 2934 increases the current $5,000 income tax credit to $15,000 by 2016, and would allow a five-year carry-forward of the credits. The inventory tax relief bill initially considered by the House (HB 536) sought to increase the inventory tax credit from $5,000 to $10,000 in 2014, and would allow businesses to apply for a tax credit or rebate of up to 20 percent each year for the next four years. The Senate rejected consideration of HB 536 in favor of SB 2934, which may not be as beneficial for small businesses unless it includes a "pass-through" provision. In this case, a pass-through provision would allow business owners to include the income tax credit on their personal returns for the inventory tax paid by their business. SB 2934 is scheduled to be forwarded to conference committee within the next two weeks, which is the last chance for a pass-through provision to be added before it heads to the governor to be signed into law. For more information, contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


Mississippi: Legislature faces April 26 deadline to pass workers compensation insurance reform bill
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For the first time since 1992, the Mississippi Legislature has considered a major workers' compensation reform bill. SB 2576, sponsored by Sen. Will Longwitz, calls for a "fair and impartial interpretation" of the law to include (among other things): stronger measures against workplace drug and alcohol use, apportionment for pre-existing conditions, removal of the "found dead" presumption from the definition of injury, a prevention of payments to attorneys on benefits voluntarily paid, correction of an ambiguity in the law of the employee's choice of physician and significant increases in certain benefits to injured workers. SB 2576 passed the Senate with a vote of 45 to 7. The House amended the bill slightly and passed it by a vote of 59 to 58. For this legislation to pass, the Senate must concur on the House amendments, and it must do so by April 26. For more information, contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


New York: $1.50 exemption for vending sales recommitted on April 17
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NY S 3445, which exempts food and beverages sold from vending machines for $1.50 or less from sales and use tax was recommitted in the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations on April 17. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Vermont: Bottle bill expansion plan
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A majority of senators on Vermont's Senate Natural Resources Committee recently voted to add a bottle bill expansion plan to legislation that seeks to establish statewide recycling. The bottle deposit expansion would take effect July 1, 2013, and include beer, mixed wine drinks, malt beverages, mineral water, soda water, carbonated soft drinks and all nonalcoholic carbonated and non-carbonated drinks. The committee also approved an amendment to a pending solid waste management bill, seeking to ban retailers' use of plastic bags. If passed into law, it would take effect July 1. The underlying bill calls for the Agency of Natural Resources to develop a waste disposal reduction plan while increasing recycling efforts throughout the state. Vermont's full Senate will vote on the merits of the bag ban and beverage deposit expansion. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Washington: Legislators pass budget package
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The 2012 Legislative session concluded with a marathon, all-night effort by legislators that passed the final budget, a series of reforms and a one billion dollar capital budget package for the construction industry. The legislature passed two new tax measures, one on banks and another on individual roll-your-own smoke shops. The legislature continues to avoid food-based taxation with Initiative 1107 still firmly in their collective memory. Initiative 1107 reversed certain 2010 amendments to state tax laws including a sales tax on candy and bottled water and a temporary excise tax on soda. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


West Virginia: Texting and talking while driving offenses
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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed SB 211, which makes texting while driving a primary vehicular offense. The law also makes it a secondary offense for drivers to talk on a cell phone without using a hands-free device. For more information, contact mmonaghan@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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