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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Dec. 14, 2012
 
 
 


Forbes Magazine predicts 'anti-obesity' movement to rank among top public issues in 2013
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Recently, Forbes magazine published an article reporting that the "anti-obesity" movement will rank among the top public issues in the year ahead. The article identifies a number of trends suggesting that measures designed to impact obesity are on the agendas of both public interest groups and legislatures across the country. Such measures include restrictions in food advertising and/or marketing, as well as taxes and bans on processed foods, snacks and beverages if deemed to be "unhealthy." The article reports that food activists have framed obesity in America as an epidemic resulting from the penchant for processed foods with high caloric content and low nutritional value. Consistent messaging on the epidemic (through strategic PR campaigns and community based-action) has sparked proposals for regulatory and legislative action, particularly at the state and local levels. Conversely, the food industry has responded by promoting consumer education for balanced eating, diet and exercise, rather than legislating personal choice. The industry has also been proactive in the areas of self-regulation with such actions like: supplying nutritious food/snack alternatives, recommending calorie/content on sugary drinks (especially in schools) and reducing food marketing aimed at young children. The article recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and that a collaborative effort by all will be needed to see a measureable decrease in obesity rates in America. To view the entire text of the Forbes article click here. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.



Louisiana: Legislature amends alcohol vending law to prevent access to minors or intoxicated persons
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The Louisiana Legislature recently amended its statute (LAC 55:VII.305) to require alcohol retailers to implement procedures to prevent minors and intoxicated persons from accessing any type of vending machine that dispenses alcoholic beverages on their premises. Specifically, alcohol retailers may not allow the sale or dispensation of alcoholic beverages via vending machine (activated by coin, token, etc.) except in class A establishments, and: 1) the establishment ensures its compliance at all times with state laws regarding service to intoxicated persons and minors, 2) alcohol vending machines are located in a facility where at least one employee is on duty during all operating hours, 3) alcohol vending machines are in an unobstructed line of sight and within 25 feet of an employee during operating hours, 4) all patrons must submit valid ID that certifies age of 21 years or older, and 5) all alcohol vending machines must be under functioning video surveillance during operating hours. Failure to comply could result in suspension or revocation of the retailer's permit and assessment of fines. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org or Mary Lou Monaghan mmonaghan@vending.org.


Maryland: Howard County bans sweetened beverages on county property
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Howard County Executive Ken Ulman signed an executive order on Dec. 11 to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in parks, libraries and other county properties, and at county-sponsored events. Under the order, all beverages procured, served or sold by county departments must meet the new standards which require: sweetened beverages to have fewer than five calories per serving; fruit and vegetable beverages to contain 100 percent juice with fewer than 120 calories in 8-ounce servings or less; milk and soy options to be unflavored, low-fat or nonfat and contain less than 22 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving or be limited to eight ounces; and drinks with artificial sweeteners be limited to one-quarter of the total beverage offerings.

The order instructs county departments to begin the transition immediately, though only to "the extent possible under existing contracts." It also requires the county health department to review the beverage standards at least every three years. The ban does not apply to county schools, although the Board of Education is revising the school system's wellness policy to "reflect the commitment to wellness throughout the county." The ban drew criticism from and from some citizens and the beverage industry, which argues that public officials should allow consumers to make choices while emphasizing balanced diets and exercise. NAMA and the MD-DC Vending Association board of directors continue to monitor and respond to these and other proposed regulatory and legislative issues, and will keep you informed of anything that may affect you and your businesses. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.



Massachusetts: Reverse vending machine bottle and can deposit bill
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MA H 1773, which relates to reverse vending machine bottle and can deposit redemption, has been referred to the House for a second reading. NAMA and MVA will keep members informed of its progress. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Legislative issues affecting the vending and tobacco industries
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  • Right to Work Law: Gov. Rick Snyder has signed Right-to-Work Legislation. Once the laws are enacted, the state will join 23 others with right-to-work laws, which ban requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services. Supporters say the laws give workers more choice and support economic growth; critics insist the real intent is to weaken organized labor by withholding money unions need to bargain effectively with management. Michigan's right-to-work legislation is attached to an appropriations bill, which means it cannot be reversed by referendum. However, in Michigan, there is an option of a "statutory initiative," which would be permitted if opponents of the bill can collect enough signatures to equal 8 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. The "veto referendum" could be triggered by collecting signatures equal to 5 percent of the votes cast. A statutory initiative would allow voters to cast a ballot on right-to-work legislation in November 2014, when Gov. Rick Snyder will be up for reelection.

  • A portion of Michigan's bottle deposit law was struck down by a federal appeals court: the requirement that bottlers place a specified mark on containers only sold in Michigan. This was one component of a 2008 law amending Michigan's bottle deposit statute to attempt in part to address the problem of redeeming non-deposit containers in Michigan. All other components of the bottle deposit statute remain in-tact. This decision will likely be appealed by the state.

  • The Michigan State Police Office is moving forward on enhanced statewide tobacco tax enforcement per P. A. 188, passed earlier this year. Six troopers have been added full time to the southeast Michigan team, and six smaller district teams will be fully staffed by the end of the year. Training for the full effort should be completed in the next few weeks. MDVA continues to work closely with both the Michigan State Police and Department of Treasury to unsure full compliance with the Tobacco Products Tax Act.

  • Cigar Cap Tax: the Department of Treasury has finalized the changes to the tobacco tax return process for the new premium cigar tax rate and will be going live with their online return process tomorrow.
For more information please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.



New Jersey: Bill would raise minimum wage
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The New Jersey Senate approved SB 3, a bill that would raise the Garden State minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour, with annual costs of living increases beginning in 2014. The measure now moves to the House.


Northwest Automatic Vending Association plans legislative days
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The Northwest Automatic Vending Association will hold a legislative day at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, Wash., on Feb. 5, 2013. They are also planning a legislative day at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Ore., the following week on Feb. 12, 2013. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Oregon: Governor calls special session
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The Oregon Legislature is scheduled to meet Friday Dec. 14 at the call of the governor. The governor explained that the purpose of the session is to pass legislation to allow the governor to negotiate a freeze of tax policy for any business creating 500 jobs and spending at least $150 million in capital improvements in 5 years. The duration of the policy freeze will be negotiated by the governor in each case. This appears to be a concern over the potential change in the single sales factor legislation that passed in 2005. Under the single sales factor, corporations who have high payroll and property value in Oregon, benefit by using only "Oregon" sales to determine corporate tax liability. Prior to the change in tax law in 2005, corporations used payroll, property value and sales to determine Oregon corporate tax liability.

The Oregon Constitution requires each class of taxpayer to have tax equally. This statute would apparently create a new class of taxpayer. The reason given by the governor for this extraordinary action is Nike's desire to know what their future tax liability will be when making a large expansion in Oregon. This is similar to the arguments used by Facebook to get legislation enacted last session regarding their tax status in Oregon. The hurried nature of this session appears to be based on taking advantage of the republican membership in the House. Republicans are more likely to support this measure, and their numbers decrease by four seats in January. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.



Texas Merchandise Vending Association to hold legislative day in January
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The Texas Merchandise Vending Association will hold a legislative day at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas on Jan. 30, 2013. The event will include a legislative breakfast and visits with representatives throughout the capitol. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


State associations plan legislative days
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Kentucky Automatic Merchandising Council
Legislative Day
Frankfort, Ky.
Feb. 13, 2013

Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association
Legislative Day
Nashville, Tenn.
Feb. 19, 2013

Arkansas Vending Council
Legislative Day/Annual Meeting
Little Rock, Ark.
Feb. 21, 2013

Mississippi Automatic Merchandising Association
Lobbyist Luncheon
Date TBD

Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida
Legislative Day
Tallahassee, Fla.
March 21, 2013

Georgia Automatic Merchandising Council
Legislative Day
Atlanta, Ga.
March Date TBD

Alabama Vending Association
Legislative Day
Montgomery, Ala.
March 27, 2013

For more information, please contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.



Georgia: GAMC donating to USO for traveling service members
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Last year the Georgia Automatic Merchandising Council donated items to the USO for service men and women traveling through Atlanta's Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport. It was such a successful endeavor that they are taking it one step further in 2012, and in addition to donations of snacks and other items, have asked industry members to write a card or letter to these heroes to let them know how proud they are and to thank them for all that they do on behalf of the U.S. Distributor members of GAMC will deliver all donated items, letters and cards to the USO on Dec. 19. For more information, please contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.

This will be the final Legislative Newsletter of 2012.
NAMA wishes you a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year!



The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

HEADQUARTERS: 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60606-3102, Voice: 312-346-0370, Fax: 312-704-4140

EASTERN OFFICE: 1600 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 650, Arlington, VA 22209, Voice: 571-346-1900, Fax: 703-836-8262

SOUTHERN OFFICE: 2300 Lakeview Parkway, Ste. 700, Alpharetta, GA, 30009, Voice: 678-916-3852. Fax: 678-916-3853

WESTERN OFFICE: 80 South Lake Avenue, Suite 538, Pasadena, CA 91101, Voice: 626-229-0900, Fax: 626-229-0777



 
Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
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