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NAMA Member Legislative Alert
National Automatic Merchandising Association    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Welcome to the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s government affairs newsletter. This NAMA Government Affairs newsletter is produced by your bi-partisan national and regional government affairs team. It is written and circulated to the NAMA membership every other Friday, and is posted for the public on the NAMA website. This bulletin focuses on public policy issues and legislation which are impacting the ability of our members to grow and prosper. More

Federal Issues



High Priority: New Federal Law Allows Different Prices for Cash, Credit or Debit Payments
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With the passage of the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (HR 4173), vending and coffee companies can now offer customers a discount for payments made by different methods. This allows a business owner to offer a discount to those who pay by cash. States and some localities may regulate necessary labeling to disclose any differences in prices due to payment methods. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Congress Moving Food Safety Legislation
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The U.S. Senate began debate this week on the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) during their post-election lame duck legislative session. The legislation requires "food companies" to submit formal food safety plans and allows the Food and Drug Administration more power over food safety and food recall issues. The legislation received broad bipartisan support from industry and consumer groups. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill earlier this year, and it is possible that a final legislative package could pass and be signed by President Obama this year. NAMA generally supports the legislation but remains concerned about any potential "user fee" which be charged to "food facilities" for increased inspections. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


New Calorie Disclosure Regulations Will Require 14 Million Hours per Year in Vending
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The Food and Drug Administration recently estimated that the vending industry will need more than 14 million staff hours each year to label snacks and comply with their new federal regulation. Calorie disclosure, which passed Congress in the federal health care reform legislation, requires that anyone who owns or operates 20 or more vending machines disclose the calories of all snacks and drinks prior to the point of purchase. NAMA is working with Congress and the administration to reduce this harmful economic burden. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


TAKE ACTION!
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Will you take a few minutes right now, to send an email to your member of Congress opposing how this new calorie disclosure regulation is being implemented? When our vending operator members are struggling to survive, they can’t afford to spend 14 million hours a year labeling snacks and drinks. Will you TAKE ACTION right now by clicking here to send an email to your member of Congress?


NAMA Sends Letter to Congress Calling for Tax Relief
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Congress may vote this month to extend temporary tax provisions, commonly called "tax extenders," which expired at the end of 2009. A number of these such as the Research and Development tax credit, energy incentives and job creating tax breaks are important to NAMA and a wide range of businesses, individuals and organizations. NAMA, along with a coalition of approximately 1,300 other trade associations and companies, signed the letter and is working to encourage Members of Congress to support tax relief and job creation. “Expiration of many of these provisions has already caused job losses, and the uncertainty around their extension will lead to further dislocations just as the fragile economic recovery is beginning.” For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Other Federal Issues



School Nutrition Bill Moving Forward...Again
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Congress may be moving toward passage of school nutrition legislation, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which would regulate foods which may be sold in schools. The act reauthorizes and modernizes the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. It passed the Senate unanimously in September and may be considered by the House this month. Recently key Democratic Representatives dropped objections which may have been the final key for passage. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) objected to funding the school nutrition programs by using an offsetting reduction in food stamps funds. The new nutritional standards would be developed by the U.S. Agriculture Department to stipulate the nutritional levels of all food sold on campus including vending, fund raising and a-la-carte items. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


College Scholarships Offered
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The University of Phoenix® and the National Association of Manufacturers - Manufacturing Institute are offering twenty full–tuition scholarships to employees of manufacturers. The program is designed to support those in the manufacturing industry to advance professionally and personally with scholarships. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


NAMA Website Has Election Results
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NAMA has added a link to its grassroots website which allows users to search election results throughout the nation. Members are encouraged to click on the top banner to view election outcomes.


New Dollar Coin Decals and Clings Available from U.S. Mint
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Dollar coin promotional materials (including decals, posters, clings) are available from the US Mint. Materials must be ordered by phone. All materials are available at no charge. This website will allow access to the free information and free support materials for use on vending machines. Click on http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/?flash=yes&action=free$1CoinMaterials for more information. Please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


State Issues



Three States Now Banning Sales of Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks
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In a very fast-growing movement to regulate caffeine in alcoholic beverages, Michigan, Washington and New York states all recently prohibited the sales of caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Many other states and jurisdictions are considering restricting or eliminating sales. Caffeinated alcoholic beverages are being opposed by special interest groups due to safety concerns. The Food and Drug Administration is also currently conducting an investigation on alcoholic beverages with added caffeine. On November 17, FDA sent letters to four companies warning them that the caffeine added to their alcoholic malt beverages is an "unsafe food additive" and that specific named drinks are being marketed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Alcoholic beverages with added caffeine may be subject to FDA action in the future if the available scientific data and information indicate that the use of caffeine in those products is not generally recognized as safe under Generally Regarded As Safe standards. This is a very fast moving emerging issue, which all coffee companies should continue to monitor. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Arkansas: Governor Will Ask Lawmakers to Cut Sales Tax on Groceries
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Gov. Mike Beebe will ask lawmakers to cut an additional one-half percent from the state sales tax on groceries next year. At the Governor’s request, the legislature has cut the grocery tax from 6 percent to 2 percent since Beebe took office in 2007. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Arizona: Republicans Sweep Both Houses and All State-Wide Offices, Including Governor
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Republicans will enjoy a two-thirds majority in the Arizona House, winning 40 of 60 seats. In the Senate the split will be 21-9. The GOP took all the statewide offices, including reelecting Jan Brewer for Governor. In Congress the Arizona delegation flips from 5-3 Democrat to 5-3 Republican. Voters approved four of ten ballot issues – health care choice, elimination of affirmative action-type programs, assuring a secret ballot for union elections and marijuana for medical use. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: State Senate Moves to Center, Better News for Vending Industry
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The wave of red that swept most of the rest of the country seemed to dissipate and turned deep blue in California where Democrats celebrated victories in a number of races. Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer won and Democrats may have won every other statewide office (the Attorney General’s race is still too close to call). There was no major shift in either house of the Legislature. The Senate will convene in December with 24 Democrats, 14 Republicans and two vacancies. In the Assembly, Democrats gained one seat giving them a 52-28 advantage.

With the Governor's office and both houses held by Democrats, California will continue to lead the way on progressive policies on a wide array of issues. The State Senate however has moved to the center in this election with a solid block of seats now held by more moderate Democrats. This is good news for the vending industry as it gives our industry and other business interests the opportunity to stop or amend some bills that would be harmful or overly restrictive. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



Delaware: Beverage Container License and Recycling Fee
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Effective December 1st, 2010, any person or business selling carbonated beverages in bottles or cans must obtain a Beverage Container Business License for each outdoor location. The requirement applies to each location where vending machines are placed. There is no charge for the license. Venders must also remit a recycling coupon with a $0.04 recycling fee for each beverage container sold. The requirement does NOT include vending machines located inside buildings or to sales of carbonated beverages on federal or state property. Please contact the Delaware Division of Revenue at (302) 577-8778 to register your business and to receive remittance coupons. The requirement will expire on December 1st, 2014. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Georgia: Governor Proposes Cutting Corporate Taxes by 30-50 Percent
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article
coming into office have signed a "no tax hike" pledge. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has proposed cutting the state’s corporate taxes by 30-50 percent. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Illinois: Governor Quinn Proposes Tax Increase
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The Illinois General Assembly reconvened on November 16 and one of the items on Governor Pat Quinn’s agenda is pushing his proposed 1% tax increase. Quinn has asked for this tax hike to support education. If the House approves this 1% increase, it would then move to the Senate. In addition to the tax increase, the Senate is also considering a massive gambling expansion to increase state revenues. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Maine: Returnable Beverage Container Law
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ME 9603 2010 proposes to set requirements for the approval of redemption center licensing and other minor technical changes to clarify current definitions, update language and address conflicts. This proposed bill adds requirements to address sanitary facilities for employees, minimum standards for hours of operation, signage posting requirements, and procedures to address disputes between Reverse Vending Companies and Initiators of Deposit for the allocation of scrap value. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Massachusetts: No Roll Back of Recent Tax Increase
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Voters in Massachusetts chose not to rescind a recent sales tax increase. Doing so might have doubled the state's projected budget deficit for next year, to $5 billion. A measure rolling back a new sales tax on alcohol was approved. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New Jersey: Governor Christie Rejects Raising Taxes
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Gov. Christie (R) has convinced lawmakers to endorse $800 million in cuts to education, and eliminate or dramatically cut programs and agencies. He has rejected all attempts at raising taxes, which has earned him both approval and blame. The NJ press has called him "Governor Wrecking Ball"; many Republicans are asking him to consider a run for the Presidency in 2012. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New Jersey: Law Would Bar Employers from Running Credit Checks
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NJ SB 1791 would bar employers from running credit checks on most current or potential employees. The measure, which would allow checks on workers that handle money or other financial matters, is now with the full Senate. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Ohio: Boehner Named One of Most Lobby-Friendly in Washington
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According to the New York Times, the newly-elected Speaker of the House, whose platform is built upon small government, has been named one of the most lobby-friendly politicians in DC. He has proposed teaming with lobbyists to impact key legislation in the House. His aides explain that Boehner’s lobbying alliances reflect his pro-business, antiregulatory philosophy. Mr. Boehner is the son of a tavern owner, and ran a small plastics company in Ohio. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oregon: Republicans Pick Up Seats in Both the Oregon House and Senate
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The Oregon Governors race was the closest gubernatorial race in decades. Democrat John Kitzhaber won and will return as Governor of Oregon for an unprecedented third term. Two major factors tipped the scale to Kitzhaber: (1) The Democrats demonstrated once again that they have a superior Get Out The Vote (GOTV) machine and, (2) two minor party candidates (Libertarian and Constitution) pulled conservative votes from the Republican candidate. The Republicans reached a tie in the House of Representatives and picked up two seats in the State Senate. Most observers knew the Republicans would pick up seats in the House, but did not think the national Republican wave would hit Oregon the way it seemingly did, at least in the legislature. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina: Elected First Female Governors
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NM, OK and SC made history this month, electing their first female governors. South Carolina and New Mexico also established cultural firsts by electing women of Indian-American and Hispanic heritage, respectively, to the governor’s office. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Pennsylvania: Bill to Amend Education Code Moves to Senate Committee
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PA H 1572 provides for school foods reform and imposes duties on schools relating to the sale of food and beverages, and on the Department of Education and the Department of Health. It provides that the sale of foods on school grounds shall meet certain healthy standards, and encourages schools with vending machines to include refrigerated snack vending machines which accommodate fruits, vegetables, yogurts, and other perishable items. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Tennessee: Legislative Candidates Oppose Vending Machine Revenue to Support School Budgets
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State legislative candidates were asked by a group of Tennessee high school students whether they believed revenue from vending machines should be restored, and whether any studies had been done to indicate that students’ health and weight changed after removing soft drink vending machines from schools. The candidates reported no studies on students' health before and after vending machines were removed, and no studies on the effect of vending machine revenue to help subsidize school costs. The candidates cited the marginal nutritional value of soft drinks, and their belief that only nominal revenue is received from vending soft drink sales. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Washington: New Taxes on Candy, Gum, Bottled Water and Carbonated Beverages Will Expire December 2
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Voter approval of Initiative 1107 means new taxes on candy, gum, bottled water and carbonated beverages will expire effective Dec. 2, 2010 - 30 days after the election. The Department of Revenue will begin notifying retailers and other affected businesses that they should stop collecting the sales tax on candy, gum and bottled water after Dec. 1, and will advise bottlers to cease paying an excise tax on carbonated beverages on Dec. 2. The estimated fiscal impact of the rollbacks is expected to be $54.8 million for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and $217.6 million for the 2011-2013 Biennium. The initiative did not provide for any refunds for taxes paid prior to Dec. 2. The Department will post additional information at http://dor.wa.gov as it becomes available. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@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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