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High Priority:
Take action! Your final chance to tell the FDA your thoughts on calorie disclosure in vending rules

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Time is running out to comment on the proposed federal rules for calorie disclosure, all comments must be in by July 5. NAMA encourages all vending operators to send comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding their proposed federal rules for calorie disclosure in vending. In March 2010, Congress passed health care reform legislation. In this new law, those who own or operate 20 or more vending machines will have to disclose the calories of all food and beverages sold in vending machines. Now the FDA has proposed rules on how vending machine operators will have to label or post that calorie information, and they are inviting the public to comment on those draft rules.

Recently the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued an action alert recommending that the final regulations be strengthened and that the FDA close the loopholes in the regulations. They would like to see more restrictions and more businesses covered by the regulations. It is very important that the FDA receives comments from the vending industry on how these regulations should be implemented.

To send the FDA your thoughts about their proposed rule you can click here. You can also use www.regulations.gov and search on Keyword or ID: FDA-2011-F-0171-0001. Then click on "submit comment."

NAMA is arguing to the FDA that a poster is an appropriate medium to convey the required calorie declarations, so long as the sign is in close proximity to the covered vending machine food or selection button. Your association also supports allowing electronic and "front of package" nutrition information as an effective way to provide visible nutrition information. For additional information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .





California: Vending on state property bill passes out of committee
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AB 727, introduced by Assembly member Holly Mitchell, D-Calif., has passed out of the Senate Government Organizations Committee and will now be heard next in the Senate Health Committee. The bill will require that, by 2016, 50 percent of products in vending machines on state property comply with the nutritional standards outlined in state law (the bill previously required that 100 percent of products comply by 2016). Current law requires that 35 percent of products in vending machines on state property comply with these nutritional standards. The California Automatic Vendors Council will continue to oppose the bill arguing that the current requirements are adequate and that imposing these restrictions place the vendors at a competitive disadvantage when cafeterias and other food outlets on state owned property will be allowed to continue to sell the same snack and beverage items without the restrictions imposed on vending operators. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .


Delaware: Governor signs bill to prohibit food or beverages containing
trans fat in schools

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On June 22, the Delaware governor signed DE H 3, which prohibits public schools, including charter schools, and school districts from making available or serving food or beverages with more than 0.5 grams of artificial trans fatty acids to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. This applies to vending machines, school cafeterias or school food service establishments. The bill takes effect 90 days after its enactment into law. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Florida: Department of Agriculture takes over school lunch oversight
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Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation last week that transfers oversight of the state's school lunch program to state agriculture officials, who will now be responsible for providing meals to the state's 2.6 million school children. A top priority of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the transfer of school lunch oversight from the Department of Education comes as the state tries to educate a generation of children and their parents on the health benefits of a balanced diet while opening the public school system to Florida agricultural products. Putnam hailed the governor's decision to sign the measure (SB 1312), dubbed the Healthy Schools for Healthy Lives Act.

The measure was an agency priority, with Putnam arguing that most federal nutrition programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and that overseeing school lunches would dovetail efficiently with other agency responsibilities. The law transfers 45 full-time equivalent positions and an estimated $810 million in federal funds and $16.8 million in general revenue from the Department of Education to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the administration of the school food and nutrition programs.

In May, Putnam said he was considering placing restrictions on the kinds of snack food that could be distributed from school vending machines as one avenue to encourage better eating habits among students. In response, NAMA and the Automatic Merchandisers of Florida have been diligently working on securing an appointment with Commissioner Putnam to discuss NAMA's Fit Pick program and the healthier items now available for vending. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.



Michigan: Governor signs bill ahead of September deadline
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed the 2011–2012 budget bill well ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline. Included in the budget is $6 million for tobacco tax enforcement which includes $3 million in the State Police budget and $3 million in the Treasury Department budget. State Police have already begun to put together a plan to assign and train personnel for six tobacco tax enforcement teams around the state. Sen. Roger Kahn, Senate appropriations chairman, has asked the Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association to work with Treasury to develop an enforcement effort to include enhanced technology that will provide support to the State Police "boots on the ground." MDVA will meet with both State Police and Treasury throughout the summer with the goal of having the plans ready by Oct. 1. The Treasury component will require legislation. MDVA will keep wholesalers updated on details. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Bill introduced to cut cigarette tax
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Sen. Joe Hune has introduced SB 517, a bill to cut the cigarette tax from $2 per pack to $1 per pack in Michigan. Co-sponsors are Sen. Jack Brandenburg, Chair of Senate Finance, and Sen. Mark Jansen. Sen. Hune was a great friend to Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association during his six years in the Michigan House of Representatives where he introduced a cigarette tax cut bill every session. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org


Michigan: Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association Annual Convention!
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Please remember to register for the MDVA Convention at Boyne Mountain, Aug. 5–7! Invitations were recently sent to legislative guests and confirmations have already been received from: Speaker Jase Bolger and his family; Rep. John Walsh and his family; Sen. Mike Kowall and Rep. Eileen Kowall; Sen. Geoff Hansen and his wife; Rep. Tim Melton and his family; Rep. Earl Poleski and his family. Many others are in the process of finalizing their plans. The Governor's office has called requesting more details about the agenda. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oregon: Oregon passes new 'bottle bill'
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The "Bottle Bill" HB 3145, which was passed in Oregon, adds more beverages/containers to the list of deposit beverages. The current law covers beer, malt, carbonated soft drinks, and bottled water. The expanded law, which will cover all non-carbonated beverages except milk and milk substitutes, and all alcoholic beverages except wine and liquor, will go into effect either (a) One year after the Oregon Liquor Control Commission determines that at least 60 percent of the beverage containers returned for the refund value are returned statewide to approved redemption centers, or (b) on Jan. 1, 2018, whichever comes first. The bill makes provisions for the deposit to be raised to 10 cents if the redemption rate falls below 80 percent for two consecutive years (as determined any time after Jan. 1, 2016.) This bill also allows distributors to form cooperatives to simplify the process of collecting empties and issuing refunds. The bill also creates a pilot program for starting redemption centers operated by a distributor cooperative in a major city. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Pennsylvania: Philadelphia City Council rejects soda tax, raises property tax
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The Philadelphia City Council rejected Mayor Michael Nutter's plan to raise funds for city schools by taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. Aggressive lobbying by the soda industry is believed to have influenced that decision. The Council implemented a temporary 3.85 percent property tax increase, the second raise in real estate taxes in two years. That increase, combined with several other measures, will result in $53 million in revenue to the school district. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Southeastern Vending Association (SEVA): Seeks applicants for Alan Plaisted scholarship
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The Alan Plaisted Scholarship Fund was set up by SEVA in 2009 to honor the memory of longtime SEVA and GAMC member Alan Plaisted and to further the educational opportunities for SEVA state members. The fund is offering an ALL-EXPENSES PAID scholarship to the 2011 NAMA Executive Development Program, which will be held Oct. 23-27 at Michigan State University. The scholarship winner will receive one seat to the EDP valued at $2,975, plus lodging and travel expenses. To be eligible for the scholarship you must be a current full-time employee of a NAMA member company in one of the six SEVA states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee) and must be a current member of AVA, AMAF, GAMC, VMOL, MAMA or TAMA. The application deadline is July 15. For additional information or to request an application contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


SEVA Convention set for Aug.3-5
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The SEVA Convention is an annual event for operators and suppliers in the Southeast — come for education, networking, social events and family fun! It will be held Aug. 3-5 at the beautiful Sandestin Resort on Florida's Emerald Coast. Keynote speakers during the three-day event include Joe Theismann, former NFL quarterback, and Brad Bachtelle of Bachtelle and Associates. In addition, there will be a panel on the "Future of Vending," featuring industry leaders Dennis Hogan (CEO of Canteen), Brad Ellis (President of Crane) and Tom Barlow (Senior VP of Vending/Wholesale at Coca Cola Refreshments). Other events include a golf tournament, beach parties, a luau, a volleyball tournament and much more! Please visit www.vending.org/seva to register today. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Wisconsin: Governor signs controversial balanced budget
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed the 2011-2013 budget, which balances a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes. Although the bill was controversial due to spending cuts in the areas of public education, Medicaid and certain tax breaks for low income homeowners, ultimately Walker says the budget will promote job growth and provide tax breaks for manufacturers, multi-state corporations and investors. The plan also freezes property taxes, which is estimated to save Wisconsin homeowners an average of $700 over the next two years. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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