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Resolution of swipe fee issue imminent
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NAMA has been working diligently over the past month on a resolution to the issue of changes to swipe fee charges brought on by the "“Durbin Amendment" to the "Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Legislation." NAMA's actions have included working on a legislative solution to the issue, working with representatives in Illinois and Washington D.C., including the office of the House Small Business Committee. In addition, NAMA has also met with VISA and MasterCard directly, as well as BAMS. It appears that as a result of these discussions a resolution is imminent. Once the agreement is finalized, NAMA will notify its members and post updated information on the NAMA website at www.vending.org.


Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest has officially launched and it's ready to help energize your business!
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The nationwide Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest (www.facebook.com/VendLoveWin) encourages consumers to upload pictures or videos of their favorite vending machines or vended products, along with a short description explaining why they love them, for a chance to win cash prizes every month. In addition, entrants are encouraged to check out the "Vend This" and "Vend Here" tabs, which allow consumers to provide direct feedback about new products and new locations for vending machines. Vend.Love.Win. will create a direct, positive impact on your vending business by generating excitement and increasing sales. For quick and easy ideas on how you can take advantage of Vend.Love.Win., contact NAMA's marketing firm, Healy & Schulte, at 312-765-8770 or amagro@healyandschulte.com.



Alabama: Gov. Bentley wants immigration law changes
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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said the state's tough new immigration law is too complicated and lawmakers should make an effort to simplify it when they return in February. Bentley did not say what portion of the law he will ask lawmakers to address, but he indicated the basic aspects of the measure. As signed by Bentley, the law made it a crime to be in the state unlawfully and required immigrants to carry documentation with them at all times. Among many things, the law also allowed law enforcement officers to detain those they had "reasonable suspicion" of being in the country unlawfully, nullified contracts made with undocumented residents and required schools to collect information on the immigration status of students. The federal government and others sued to block the law, but a federal court has allowed most of it to go into effect. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Connecticut: Employee tax credits for hiring veterans, disabled and chronically unemployed
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In a one-day special legislative session, Gov. Dannel Malloy won unanimous support from his own party and nearly unanimous support from the Republican minority to borrow $626 million over two years to stimulate private-sector jobs. Malloy signed HB 6801b, which includes streamlining the State's business permitting process and offers employers tax credits for hiring veterans, the disabled or the chronically unemployed. The reason for the measure's overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle is the breadth of its approach. Among other things, it eases business regulations, expands job training, establishes new small business tax credits and provides funding for public works projects. Another reason may be the state's 20-year record of zero job growth. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New Jersey: Plan to partially privatize state parks
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Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a plan to partially privatize New Jersey state parks. The state will maintain ownership of the parks while contracting out many of the services they provide, including concessions and equipment rentals. The 39 state parks bring in about $8 million in annual revenue, far short of the $39 million they cost each year to operate. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Debate grows on 'millionaires tax'
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The tax New York currently imposes on its top earners is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. The so-called "millionaires tax" actually applies to individual residents who earn over $200,000 a year and families with incomes over $300,000 annually. It was enacted in 2009 as an emergency measure to help the state through the recession. But some think its Dec. 31 sunset date is far too early. The Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City has also drawn attention to the issue. A recent poll found that 72 percent of the state's voters supported extending the millionaires tax to avoid further budget cuts, while just 26 percent opposed that action. Gov. Andrew Cuomo maintains the tax is bad for business because it encourages affluent residents to leave New York. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oklahoma: Lawmaker calls for nickel deposit on beverage containers
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Rep. Mark McCullough thinks that a so-called "bottle bill" would help reduce the amount of material going into landfills and increase the amount of containers that will be available for Oklahoma's three glass plants, while also cleaning up the state's landscape. He feels the time is right for this legislation; monies from the unredeemed deposits would go to the state and could amount to millions of dollars a year. For more information, contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
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