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HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY
Carla Balakgie On The Growth And Future Of The PPC
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Public Policy Conference 2014 With Pete Tullio
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NAMA Files Comments With The U.S. Department Of Energy On Refrigeration Testing Standards
NAMA filed comments Tuesday, Oct. 7 with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the potential impact of changes to current refrigeration testing standards on the vending and refreshments industry, according to Eric Dell, NAMA's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.
Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer To Speak At NAMA's EDP Program
Joann DeNardis, NAMA's Director of Education/Certification announced Thursday, Oct. 9 that Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer will speak at NAMA's Executive Development Program (EDP) at Michigan State University, Oct. 19-23.
Final Preparations For NAMA Public Policy Conference Are Underway: Meetings On Capitol Hill Will Forward Industry's Agenda Overall
"We are finalizing preparations for NAMA's Public Policy Conference (PPC) in Washington, D.C. scheduled to kick off this Monday," said Eric Dell, NAMA's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. "Our entire team is working together to deliver robust and productive meetings on the Hill."
GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE
IRS Warns Of Delays If U.S. Congress Fumbles Tax 'Extenders'
Severe delays and inconvenience for millions of taxpayers could result in 2015 if the U.S. Congress fails to deal soon with a list of temporary tax laws that expired at the end of 2013, the Internal Revenue Service and a key senator warned on Tuesday, Oct. 7.
Known as the "extenders," the more than 50 expired tax laws are in limbo, waiting for Congress to decide whether to renew them or not. They range from tax breaks for multinational corporations to breaks for alternative energy and school teachers.
Lame-Duck Session Might Not Be So Lame
It's ironic that Capitol Hill watchers will bill the congressional session slated to hit between mid-November and perhaps early January as "the lame duck."
It meets the standard definition of a "lame duck" Congress: lawmakers returning to Washington for legislative business in an even-numbered year, following an election — even though many of those members have retired or were defeated. Members of Congress, vanquished at the polls or leaving on their own accord, can still vote and legislate — despite the electoral clipping of their wings.
NAMA's 2014 Public Policy Confab Apprises Congress About Coin Changes, Fit Pick And Micromarkets
The National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2014 Public Policy Conference in the nation's capital was the largest, to date, with more participants and meetings than in prior years. The vending association said this year's conference, led by Eric Dell, NAMA's senior vice-president of government affairs, increased its "footprint" on Capitol Hill, with more meaningful relationships being built with decision-makers who have roles in legislation impacting the refreshment services industry.
California Governor Signs Healthy Vending Legislation
Gov. Edmund "Jerry" Brown signed SB 912 on Sept. 25. This bill keeps in effect the current requirements for vending machines located on California state property.
Senate Bill 912, authored by state Sen. Holly Mitchell, eliminated the sunset provision in the existing law. The requirements will remain that one third of all beverages sold in state offices be either water, milk, 100% juice or a low-calorie sports drink, another one-third be flavored milk, 50% juice, a low-calorie soft drink or a "healthier" option. The final third of beverages are permitted to be full-calorie soft drinks. In addition, at least 35% of all foods offered must follow established nutritional guidelines limiting fat, saturated fat and sugar content.
The California Automatic Vendors Council supported this legislation as it continues standards that provide healthy options while allowing for consumers to have a choice in the products they are offered.
Project To Reduce Obesity Nationwide Starts With Kids In Imperial County
Children love pulling fresh carrots out of the garden or picking berries off a bush. It's fun to eat food they have grown themselves.
The Imperial County Childhood Obesity Project is funding community and school gardens in hopes that kids who enjoy gardening will eat more fruits and vegetables, and ultimately slim down.
The $6 million research project, conducted by San Diego State University, is also beefing up school physical education departments, providing family wellness workshops on nutrition and exercise, and having pediatricians work with families to set healthy eating goals for young patients.
Soda Fight's Last Stand
Here in one of the most liberal corners of the nation, health advocates are preparing for what could be their last stand in the battle over taxing soda.
Voters in San Francisco and Berkeley will consider a 1 or 2 cents per ounce sin tax on sugar-sweetened drinks on the ballot in November.
If the tax passes in one of the two cities, as polls show it might, it'll be the first loss for the beverage industry, which has emerged undefeated in more than 30 similar fights in states and cities, from Maine to El Monte, California in recent years.
How A Soda Tax Fight In San Francisco Explains California Politics
As befits California, the city and county of San Francisco (the same political entity) has 24 candidates, six state measures and 12 local initiatives on the ballot this November. One of the most heavily funded — also as befits California — is Proposition E, a proposed "Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages." It's a fight that's not shaping up to be much of a fight, and therefore provides a nicely packaged look at how politics in California can work.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports that the campaign to defeat the measure has raised $7.7 million through September. That's $5 million more than was spent to beat a similar measure, which lost by a two-to-one margin, in across-the-bay Richmond in 2012.
Soda Industry Spends $7.7 Million To Defeat SF Sugar Tax — So Far
The American Beverage Industry has spent $7.7 million — the second-highest amount ever spent to defeat a San Francisco ballot proposition — on its effort to try to prevent the city from becoming the first in the country to tax sodas and other sugary drinks.
Proposition E on the Nov. 4 ballot is drawing plenty of national attention — and plenty of cash from the soda industry. Its campaign contributions so far trail only the nearly $10 million Pacific Gas and Electric spent to defeat a public power measure in 2008.
The soda industry's spending is revealed in 70 pages of campaign finance forms just filed with the San Francisco Ethics Commission. Some of the biggest expenditures include $820,000 to well-known San Francisco campaign consultants John Whitehurst, Sam Lauter and Mark Mosher and $2.6 million to Goddard Gunster, a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm.
LA Lawmakers Lay Out Path To $15.25 Minimum Wage By 2019
Six members of the Los Angeles City Council launched an effort Oct. 7 to take the city's minimum wage to $15.25 by 2019, a move that would be more aggressive than the pay strategy backed by Mayor Eric Garcetti several weeks ago.
The proposal calls for the city's lawyers to draft an ordinance hiking the citywide minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017. That's in line with Garcetti's proposal, unveiled last month. Where the two proposals diverge is in what happens next.
Voters Will Get Their Say On GMO Labeling In Colorado And Oregon
Ben Hamilton walks down the salad dressing aisle at his neighborhood grocery store in west Denver. The human resources consultant usually seeks out organic options and scans nutrition information.
"I am a label reader. I think a lot of people read labels and really are curious to know what is in our food supply," he says. But Hamilton says he wants more information, specifically whether the food he buys includes ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, or GMOs.
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