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NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE
HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY
Dear NAMA Members,
NAMA has signed a letter to Congress in support of key tax extensions during the current Lame Duck session. The letter urges Congress to extend the tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The key provisions of particular interest to the industry are the extension of bonus deprecation and the acceleration of AMT credits in lieu of bonus depreciation, and enhanced charitable deductions for contributions of food inventory. These tax provisions are critically important to your business and the industry, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are urging all NAMA members to click here to send a prepared message to your members of Congress that asks them to work together to extend or make permanent these important tax provisions this year. Your participation will only take a moment and is crucial to our success.
Thank you for your support of NAMA and industry advocacy efforts.
NAMA SVP of Government Affairs
Mike Kelley Of Quality Brokerage Named Vice Chairman Of The NAMA Emerging Leader Network
NAMA recently announced that it has appointed Mike Kelley, of Quality Brokerage, Inc., to the new role of Vice Chairman for its Emerging Leaders Network (ELN).
GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE
NAMA Signs Broad Tax Extenders Coalition Letter To Congress
NAMA has joined with more than 500 associations, coalitions and non-profit groups as signatories to a letter to Congress in support of key tax extensions.
The letter, spearheaded by the Broad Tax Extenders Coalition, urges Congress to extend the tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The key provisions of particular interest to the industry are the extension of bonus deprecation, acceleration of alternative minimum tax (AMT) credits in lieu of bonus depreciation, and enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.
'Fiscal Cliffs' and Life in 'Interesting Times'
Alliance members had the benefit of recently listening to four veteran political players discuss the election and its likely impact on discretionary funding and, specifically, FDA. Of particular interest: the likelihood that there will be a series of "fiscal cliffs" in 2015 that will renew partisan debate over budgetary matters and run the risk of setting off a crisis if they are not satisfactorily resolved. For example, physician payment cuts go into effect in early 2015 unless money is found to delay or offset the budgetary savings that have already been booked.
GOP Leaders Aim to Renew Tax Extenders in Lame-Duck Session
Republican leaders have signaled an interest in renewing dozens of expired tax provisions before they take control of the Senate in January.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who was recently unanimously elected to take over as Senate majority leader when the 114th Congress convenes, listed a government spending bill and tax extenders as top priorities for the lame-duck session that started Nov. 12.
What to Expect or Not Expect From Lame-Duck Session
This is in part because of how little time is left and how little appetite Congress has for working late into December. There is also significant political pressure to punt to the next Congress when voters boot a party out of power, as they did to Senate Democrats on Election Day: Many observers and voters think it is undemocratic to let defeated or retiring lawmakers make major decisions on their way out the door.
Arizona: Navajo Lawmakers Approve Junk Food Tax
The Navajo Nation Council approved a tax on junk food sold on the country's largest reservation, tribal officials announced.
Lawmakers voted 10-4 on the last day of a two-day special session Friday to impose a 2 percent sales tax on items such as cookies, chips and sodas. If signed into law by President Ben Shelly, the "Healthy Dine Nation Act of 2014" would remain in effect until 2020.
American Indians and Alaska Natives as a whole have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among U.S. racial and ethnic groups, according to the American Diabetes Association.
California: Millions Poured Into Effort To Bag the Plastic-Bag Ban
Plastic bag manufacturers have poured $2.7 million into efforts to overturn California's statewide ban on plastic bags in the seven weeks since Gov. Jerry Brown signed the historic legislation.
With signature gatherers posted outside grocery and retail stores across the state, opponents of the plastic bag ban are attempting to gather the more than 500,000 signatures needed to put the referendum on the November 2016 ballot.
San Francisco was the first city in the nation to ban the bags in 2007, with many others across the country following suit, including Chicago earlier this year. California became the first to enact a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags — which begins next year — when Brown signed SB270 on Sept. 30.
Connecticut State Senator Joe Markley Attends Connecticut Vending Association Membership Meeting
The Connecticut Vending Association (CVA) hosted State Senator Joe Markley (R-16th District) at its membership meeting on Thursday, Nov. 13. During the meeting, Sen. Markley met with CVA's leaders, membership and lobbyist Dolores Mallory to discuss issues facing the industry within the state of Connecticut.
Maryland: Kittleman Says He Will Repeal Sugary Drinks Ban Immediately Upon Taking Office
Howard County Executive-elect Allan Kittleman said that he plans to repeal a ban on sugary drinks and high-calorie snacks on county property as soon as he takes office.
"It will not exist," Kittleman said of the ban. "If I can [repeal] it on Dec. 2, I will." The Republican, currently a state senator from western Howard County, will be sworn in on the evening of Dec. 1. Kittleman made the announcement in a radio interview Friday morning on WBAL. In a pre-election interview with the Howard County Times, he had pointed to the ban as one way in which he was different from opponent Courtney Watson, a Democrat who supported the policy.
New Jersey: Bill Establishes the Children's Health Promotion Fund
A bill requiring taxes imposed on bakery items, candy and soft drinks containing 30 or more grams of sugar recently established the Children's Health Promotion Fund.
Assemblyman Proposes Safety Labels on Sodas Sold In New York
A New York state lawmaker believes regular sodas and other sugary drinks should carry warning labels about possible health risks related to their consumption. So Karim Camara, D-Brooklyn, has introduced legislation that would require labels on beverages containing added sugar. The size of the label would increase based on the size of the drink.
Texas: First Day of Filing Draws More Than 350 Bills
There might still be two months before the 84th legislative session starts, but eager lawmakers aren't waiting to get their legislation on the table.
On Monday, the first day that legislation can be submitted, Texas lawmakers filed more than 350 bills, addressing topics including guns, texting while driving, health, transportation and much more.
Monday's filings do not guarantee that the Legislature would consider the bills, and the assigned bill numbers have no impact on how legislation is taken up in committees. But the early attention can be a benefit ahead of the session, which starts Jan. 13.
"I think getting a low number, getting an early scheduled hearing, I think that helps you," said state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland. "When you get a bill filed early, it gives you a chance and it gives people a chance to kind of view it and know it's there."
Get Rid of Massachusetts Bottle Deposits
It's time to get rid of bottle deposits.
Bay State proponents for an expanded bottle deposit bill suffered a lopsided loss recently: More than 73 percent of voters said no. That marked a stunning turnaround: As recently as mid-August, polling showed 62 percent favored "updating" the law so that it would also cover non-carbonated beverages. After grocery chains and the beverage industry started running their well-funded ads, however, sentiment rapidly shifted. The referendum was crushed by a margin of 40 points.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063