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BI-WEEKLY UPDATE


NAMA Webinar Series: USDA Smart Snacks in Schools

HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY


Significant Capitol Hill Victory For Vending And Refreshment Services On Calorie Disclosure Rules
NAMA's Senior Vice President Eric Dell announced a major victory for the industry in Washington, D.C. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted to include report language in its fiscal 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill recommending standards to the FDA that vending operators could meet to comply with pending Calorie Disclosure Rules.
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NAMA Joins Beverage Industry In Raising Concerns Of Proposed Washington, D.C., Bottled Water Ban
NAMA recently announced that it has signed a letter raising industry concerns regarding the proposed Prohibition of Bottled Water Act of 2014 in Washington, D.C. Read press release.
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NAMA Hosts Webinar With US Department Of Agriculture (USDA) To Provide Overview Of The Smart Snacks In Schools Rules
NAMA recently hosted a free webinar presented by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide members with an overview of Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards that go into effect on July 1. Read the release.
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GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE


FEDERAL ISSUES


Nunnelee Amendment Regarding "Calorie Disclosure" In Vending Adopted
The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment offered by Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) during markup of the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill. The amendment adds report language encouraging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accept certain types of clear, visible calorie displays on products served through vending machines.
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House Panel Backs School Lunch Waivers
During a recent House Appropriations Committee meeting, Republicans pushed ahead with their plan offering school districts a one-year waiver to opt out of improved nutrition standards promoted by First Lady Michelle Obama. The action came as the panel approved a $142.5 billion farm and food safety budget for the coming year, including $20.9 billion in new discretionary appropriations for the operations of the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration.
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STATE ISSUES


California Senate Approves Requiring Health Labels On Sugary Drinks
The state Senate recently approved a measure that would require companies selling sugary drinks, including sodas, in California to include a health label warning that sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced the measure because of a spike in health problems involving consumption of too much sugar. "... We face an obesity and diabetic epidemic in the United States," Monning told his colleagues. "Sugar-sweetened beverages represent the single largest contributor to the diabetes epidemic." But, Republican senators opposed SB 1000, saying it unfairly punishes one kind of business when others also contribute to health problems.
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California Lawmakers Reject GMO Labeling Bill
The California Senate rejected a bill that would require labels on genetically-engineered foods. This is the second time in two years that labeling legislation has fallen short in the most populous and agriculturally-productive state. Senate Bill 1381 fell short of passage by just two votes in the 40-member chamber. The bill's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Noreen Evans, said she would attempt to convince Senate leaders to bring a reconsideration vote on Thursday, according to the Sacramento Bee, before the legislative session ends. The measure would demand all distributors who sell food in the state to label their products if any of the ingredients were made with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The bill excludes alcohol and food sold at farmers markets.
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California Senate Passes Minimum Wage Hike To $13 An Hour
California's minimum wage would increase to $13 an hour, the highest in the nation, under a bill approved by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly. The legislation by Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, would phase in the increase to $11 next year, $12 in 2016 and $13 by 2017. After that, the state minimum wage would be adjusted annually for inflation. The legislation comes amid debate across the U.S. about income inequality. Thirty-four states are considering increases to the minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Efforts by President Barack Obama to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour have stalled in Congress.
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California: Paid Sick Leave Mandate Passes Requires Companies To Provide 3 Days
The sick leave bill moved out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee during a session that determined whether numerous bills live or die this year. AB 1522 will go to the Assembly floor next week, The author of the bill, Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, says that nearly 40 percent of the state’s workforce, or 6 million people, earn no sick leave benefits, forcing them to choose between coming to work while ill and exposing others or staying home and losing pay and possibly their job. Parents also are forced to choose between staying at home with a sick child or going to work, she said.
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D.C. Council Is Poised To Levy Sales Tax On Gyms, Yoga And More
Under a budget proposal forged by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) that won initial council approval, health clubs would be among the businesses now required to start collecting 5.75 percent sales tax starting Jan. 1, 2015. The proposal was made public Tuesday night, giving council members and the public less than 18 hours to digest the proposal before the first vote. Water delivery services (including the service of water consumption through direct selling establishments) will also be subject to the tax.
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Illinois: "Penny Per Ounce" Sugared Beverage Tax Fails In House Committee
A panel of House lawmakers voted down a proposal to impose a tax of one penny per ounce of sugar-sweetened beverages, saying it would have cost consumers an extra $2.88 per case of soda. Sponsoring Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, said she hoped the tax would generate up to $600 million a year in a state grappling for new dollars while steering people away from unhealthy drinks linked to obesity and diabetes. Only two members of the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted in favor of the bill. Seven opposed it. "This is a middle-class regressive tax," said Rep. John Bradley, the Marion Democrat who chairs the panel. "This really hurts working people."
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Keeping In Touch With NAMA Government Affairs
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