FDA to investigate added caffeine
The Food and Drug Administration has announced that the agency will investigate the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly its effects on children and adolescents. Read this Consumer Update to learn more.
Streamlined sales tax
The U.S. Senate approved the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 by a vote of 69 to 27. This will give states the authority to collect sales tax from online storefronts, regardless of whether the sellers have a physical presence in the state. It is principally pushed by the retailers as an internet sales tax. The legislation is expected to stall in the House, however this is a huge win for retail.
Appeals Court nixes NLRA employee rights poster
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that requiring employers to post an NLRA Employee Rights Poster violated employers' free speech rights. The court, convening as a three-justice panel, also ruled that the proposal relied on questionable interpretations of provisions of the National Labor Relations Act to justify the mandate. As a result, the NLRA Employee Rights Poster is no longer a mandatory notice, to be displayed in virtually every company in the U.S.
As employers, you can now choose to 1) display it voluntarily even though you have no legal obligation to do so or 2) remove it completely and dispense with it.
Call for increase in the federal minimum wage
President Barack Obama has called for an increase in the federal minimum wage, to $9/hour. In addition, President Obama has also proposed indexing the minimum wage to inflation, so it would increase when the cost of living increases. The legislation is currently in committee and would need to be passed by both the Senate and the House for the increases to go into effect. Until legislation is passed there will be no date set for a minimum wage increase.
USDA proposed rules on competitive foods sold in schools: Member of Congress urges delaying implementation until certain conditions are met
Recently, Congressman Tom Marino drafted a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies urging them to include language prohibiting funding for the USDA implementation of rules regarding the nutrition standards within the National School Breakfast Program and competitive foods, both of which were issues on Feb. 8, 2013, until certain conditions are met.
Carbon Tax: NAMA joins industry partners in opposing Carbon Tax on manufacturing
NAMA recently joined with industry partners in a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees, expressing concern with implementation of a carbon tax.
Differing farm bills pass House and Senate Committees
Senate: The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a sweeping new five-year, half-trillion dollar farm bill as lawmakers made another attempt to craft a new agriculture policy.
House: The House Agriculture Committee voted this week to approve a $940 billion farm bill, setting the state for Congress to begin work on a five-year farm bill.
NAMA President, Carla Balakgie, joins US Chamber of Commerce Association Committee
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomed four new executives to its Association Committee of 100. These CEOs will represent association members before the U.S. Chamber's board of directors, enhance Chamber lobbying and coalition work, recommend programming and strengthen outreach to the business and association community.
California Automatic Vending Council joins industry partners to fight California tax bill
CAVC President Larry Atnip recently announced the council is partnering with the American Beverage Association and Californians for Food and Beverage Choice in opposing SB 622, a proposal that would impose a penny-per-ounce tax on the distribution of beverages including soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks and enhanced waters. The discussion with lawmakers continued Wednesday, May 15 at the Annual Lobby Day in Sacramento.
Connecticut Vending Association holds successful Capitol Day in Hartford
The Connecticut Vending Association held its second annual Capitol Day May 1 in Hartford. Scott Miller, president of the association, was joined by Legislative Director Eric Mueller, Government Affairs Specialist Dolores Malloy and members of the Connecticut Vending Association.
Representative Billy Long to speak at MAMA annual meeting
The Mid-America Automatic Merchandising Association announced that Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., will speak at the association's annual meeting in Lark Ozark, Mo., on, June 8, from 8:30-11 a.m.
California: Bill would revise school nutrition standards
AB 626 provides a mass revision of existing law that governs school nutrition to include the funds for central food processing expenditures, the cost of housing and equipping cafeterias, the selling of food items to students, the sale of less nutritious food items before school, the sale of less nutritious beverages, the sale of food containing trans-fat and participation in a pupil nutrition pilot program.
California: Sugar-sweetened beverage tax
SB 622, which imposes a tax of one cent per fluid ounce on drinks containing caloric sweeteners sold in the state, will receive a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee early next week. NAMA members have engaged with industry partners to urge defeat of this legislation. Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution urging Sacramento to pass SB 622.
California: Bill to ban certain foods in vending machines on state property
AB 459 would require half of the food in vending machines on state grounds to meet nutritional guidelines by the start of 2015. By the next year, the mandated percentage would rise to 75 percent, growing to 100 percent by 2017. The requirements would apply to all vended beverages starting in 2016. The legislation is currently on suspense in the Appropriations Committee. There are plans for a potential vote within the next two weeks.
Delaware: Business enterprise program
A proposal that relates to the business enterprise program's state procurement; broadens economic opportunities for blind residents by creating snack bars, cafeterias, and vending route facilities on federal, state and municipal properties; grants priority to operate vending facilities on federal and state property; allows licensed participants in BEP to purchase materials and nonprofessional services under any central contract negotiated by the state, is in the House Committee on Administration.
Maine: Lawmakers propose expanding tax on goods and services including vending machine purchases
A group of 11 lawmakers, five Democrats, five Republicans and an independent, propose an expansion of the sales tax in order to fund income and property tax relief. The bill raises Maine's 5 percent sales tax to 6 percent, eliminates almost all of the nearly 200 exemptions to the tax and broadens it to apply to a number of goods and services that haven't traditionally been taxed. Those include vending machine purchases, funeral services, plumbing and electrical work, haircuts and dry-cleaning.
New York: $1.50 tax exemption in Senate Committee
An amendment of the Tax Law to exempt food and beverages sold from vending machines for $1.50 or less from the sales and use tax, is in the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.