NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE
MDVA Lobby Day 2013
HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY
NAMA participates in NABM's 2013 super-blast training conference
On Monday and Tuesday, May 20-21, NAMA joined the National Association of Blind Merchants to take part in the 2013 Business Leadership and Superior Training Conference in Indianapolis. NABM, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, hosts its annual BLAST conference to provide increased networking, educational and training opportunities for blind vendors and state agency personnel.
NAMA and industry partners block California beverage tax increase
Today, the California State Senate made the procedural move to hold SB 622 on the suspense calendar, stopping the legislation from moving forward this year.
California Automatic Vending Council joins industry partners for successful lobby day
The California Automatic Vendors Council held its annual lobby day in Sacramento on May 15. More than 25 CAVC members met with lawmakers to communicate their opposition to pending legislation including a bill restricting what can be sold in vending machines on government property and another that places a one cent per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
NAMA supports DC 'Calories Count' vending program
In an overall effort to complement the association's ongoing nutrition initiatives, NAMA, the national association serving the vending and refreshments services industry, is supporting the overall effort of the Calories Count Vending Program. Recently, the District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray, along with America's beverage companies, announced the roll-out of the new Calories Count Vending Program in the city's municipal buildings.
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.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE
Cents and Sensibility Act
Congressman Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, has introduced the Cents and Sensibility Act to lower the cost of producing pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and to ensure they are minted with steel instead of minerals imported from outside the U.S. Since 2006, due to the rising cost of materials and labor, the manufacturing of some denominations has become unprofitable. Of the coins currently in circulation today, the cost of producing pennies and nickels is greater than the face value of the coins themselves.
Conflict Minerals and its potential effect on the industry
A provision in the Dodd-Frank bill is hurting the war-torn central African nation of the Congo. The provision, which was added to Dodd-Frank as Section 1502 without any congressional hearings, requires public companies to certify their supply chains are free of any and all "conflict minerals" originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its unintended consequences have been devastating to the already impoverished Congolese people.
California: Beverage tax stopped this year
Thanks to CAVC, NAMA and participating vending industry members, the California State Senate made the procedural move to hold SB 622 on the suspense calendar, stopping the beverage tax legislation from moving forward this year. SB 622 would have imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on the distribution of beverages including soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks and enhanced waters. Furthermore, it would have resulted in higher prices on hundreds of products sold at restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and vending machines.
California: California lawmakers suspend 'healthy' vending bill
The California State Assembly placed a healthy vending bill on its suspense calendar May 24, halting the legislation, which was fiercely opposed by industry groups, from moving forward this year. AB 459 would have required that at least 50 percent of the food offered by a vending machine on state property meet accepted nutritional guidelines by Jan. 1, 2015. It would require 75 percent compliance the guidelines by Jan. 1, 2016, and 100 percent compliance by Jan. 1, 2017. On and after Jan. 1, 2016, the bill would also require that 100 percent of beverages offered in vending machines on state property also meet the nutritional guidelines.
Oregon: Healthy vending legislation
Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer has introduced a bill to have vending machines on state property switch to healthful options. Like many public health advocates, Keny-Guyer stresses that she's not trying to dictate what people eat — just make it easier for them to make a healthful choice when they're pressed for time or seeking a snack. But it turns out that this public health campaign impacts an unexpected group: the blind. In 1936, Congress gave blind vendors priority to operate vending and concessions on federal property with the Randolph Sheppard Act. States then extended the same treatment to state buildings.
Wisconsin: Bill introduced to prohibit credit card surcharges
A bill was recently introduced in the Wisconsin legislature that would prevent a merchant from imposing a surcharge (also known as a swipe fee, convenience fee or checkout fee) on transactions involving credit cards. There are currently ten states that ban this practice. Eighteen more states are currently considering similar legislation as a result of new rules which would allow merchants to impose these surcharges on MasterCard and Visa purchases. Since most stores already factor in the cost of processing credit cards when they price their merchandise, allowing merchants to impose a surcharge often amounts to double dipping. Under the proposed bill, a merchant may offer a discount to the consumer to encourage payment by cash or check, rather than a credit card.