NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE
From Left: Jesse Hartle, Government Programs Specialist, National Federation of the Blind; Nicky Gacos, President of the National Association of Blind Merchants, division of the National Federation of the Blind; Eric Dell, Senior Vice President, NAMA; John G. Paré, Jr. Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy National Federation of the Blind.
HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY
Rep. Schneider Tours Mark Vend, Host Employee Town Hall
U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) will tour Mark Vend Company in Northbrook and host an employee town hall on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 9AM (CDT) as part of his ongoing "Brad at Your Business" tours.
National Federation of the Blind and NAMA: Building On Their Advocacy Work Together
NAMA's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Eric Dell visited the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) headquarters last week to continue and expand the advocacy relationship with the NFB and Blind Vendors.
Podcasts from the 2013 Public Policy Conference: Carla Balakgie, Pete Tullio and Jeff Smith Share Their Perspectives
NAMA leaders recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for the second annual NAMA Public Policy Conference (PPC). The conference allowed NAMA to build relationships with key elected officials, tell the industry's story and advance our federal government affairs agenda. Three recent podcasts about the PPC featuring NAMA leaders include: NAMA President & CEO Carla Balakgie, NAMA Chairman Pete Tullio, and NAMA Board Member Jeff Smith.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE
Hanna, Rice, Michaud Introduce Bill to Delay Hours of Service Rule
U.S. Reps. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Tom Rice (R-SC) and Mike Michaud (D-ME) want to delay a new regulation that began earlier this year on how many hours commercial truck drivers can spend on the road. On July 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted a new Hours of Service (HOS) rule, which is taking a toll on truck drivers and on the trucking industry — the lifeblood of the American economy. According a study completed by the American Transportation Research Institute, the new rule would result in an annual cost of $376 million to the trucking industry alone. Other businesses likely to be adversely impacted include construction firms, delivery services and fresh food distributors.
Farm Bill Discussions Begin
As formal talks open Wednesday, farm bill negotiators are looking at new alternatives to better align the House and Senate commodity titles and reduce the cost of rival revenue insurance plans to protect against shallow losses. An anticipated meeting between President Barack Obama and the top four leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees has been put off because of an apparent scheduling conflict. But the White House signaled it will still pursue discussions to underscore Obama's commitment to completing a farm bill before January.
US House Small Business Committee hosts 'Small Biz Open Mic' on Healthcare Rollout
Small business owners are commenting on the Committee's interactive website, "Small Biz OpenMic" to share how the health law's enrollment rollout is affecting their business.
Federal government issues first food allergy guidelines for schools
The federal government is issuing its first guidelines to schools on how to protect children with food allergies. The voluntary guidelines call on schools to take such steps as restricting nuts, shellfish or other foods that can cause allergic reactions, and make sure emergency allergy medicine — like EpiPens — are available.
California: Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Others Celebrate Signing of Assembly Bill 227
California Assemblyman Mike Gatto and others gathered to celebrate the Governor having signed Gatto's Assembly Bill No. 227, which allows businesses 14 days to fix alleged violations of Prop. 65 (1986 measure requiring businesses to post toxic product warning notices). The bill purports to protect small businesses from "stress of battling unfair litigation."
California: San Francisco Considers Soda Tax
Plans are underway in San Francisco to introduce a ballot measure that would set a tax on sugary beverages. The proceeds would fund health, nutrition and activity programs for city youth.
California: Los Angeles Proposes Banning GMOs
Los Angeles is considering banning the cultivation and sale of genetically modified organisms. If it does, the second-largest U.S. city would become the country's largest GMO-free zone.
South Carolina: South Carolina Medical Association Petitions to Remove Sugary Beverages From Hospitals
The South Carolina Medical Association requested that every hospital in South Carolina refrain from selling patients sugary beverages from vending machines. Dr. Bruce Snyder, president of the medical association, believes that with the state's 67 percent obesity rate, physicians and health care leaders need to set better examples for their patients.
Washington: Grocery Manufacturers Add $3.78 Million More to Defeat GMO Food Label Ballot Measure
Money continues to pour into the food and agribusiness campaign to defeat Initiative 522 and its mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and seed stocks. Washington voters have had mail-in ballots for more than a week for the Nov. 5 election. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both are on a list of 34 companies that now have contributed to a combined $11 million donation made by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to the campaign against I-522, which would require products in Washington to be labeled when they contain GMOs. Coke and Pepsi were identified as giving $1.52 million and $1.35 million respectively. In total, the "No on I-522" campaign has raised $21.4 million, and have spent only $13 million to date.
Major Companies Fear Mexico's Proposed Sweetened Beverage Tax
Four of Latin America's largest public companies, which include Coca-Cola bottler Femsa, expects Mexico's proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages to reduce volume sales in the country and result in job loss.