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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe        December 19, 2014

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NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY


U.S. Mint Issues Recommendations on the Metallic Content of Coins
NAMA's Grassroots Efforts Once Again Deliver Positive Results for Members
On Friday, the U.S. Mint provided its recommendations surrounding the metallic content of coins, mandated by the Coin Modernization, Oversight and Continuity Act. The findings recommend no change that impacts the industry's acceptance of current or future circulating coins, a sizable victory for the vending and refreshment services industry and all coin-accepting industries.

"This is a win-win for industry, government and consumers. We've helped lead the process, collaborating with the U.S. Mint, stakeholders and our members for over five years on this issue. NAMA's grassroots efforts have paid off and we thank the U.S. Mint for their willingness to work together," said Carla Balakgie, NAMA President and CEO.

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GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE

FEDERAL ISSUES


OMB Chief Touts 'Compromise' $1.1 Trillion Spending Deal
The chief of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently applauded the $1.1 trillion spending package approved by Congress and President Obama, but knocked its "ideological and special interest" riders. In a blog post, OMB Director Shaun Donovan described the legislation as a "compromise" in which “no one got everything they wanted.”
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Senate Finance Committee Passes $85 Billion Tax Extenders Bill
The Senate Finance Committee passed a tax extenders package that includes extensions of two years or longer on over 50 provisions totaling $85.3 billion. The package contains provisions dealing with individuals and businesses, as well as many targeted at the renewable energy industry. Some of the largest include $15.4 billion for the research and development tax credit, $13.35 billion for section 45 and 48 renewable energy, $10.4 billion for active financing, and $6.4 billion for the state and local general sales tax deduction.
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STATE ISSUES


California: A National Soda Tax Is Needed to Reduce Obesity and Save Lives
Now that calorie counts on restaurant menus are a done deal, it's time to take the next step toward slimming America's flabby waistline. A national soda tax. I know, I know: This is the kind of nanny-state talk that causes seizures among conservatives and libertarians. It's an intrusion on personal freedom, a trampling of consumer choice, blah-blah-blah. It's also, as we've learned from taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, a highly effective method of influencing behavior that carries high social costs.
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California: Mayor Kevin Johnson to Propose Plastic Bag Ban in Sacramento
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will announce Monday a proposal to prohibit single-use plastic bags at stores in the city in the event that opponents of a newly adopted statewide ban are able to force a public vote on that legislation. Johnson said he would propose a ban to the City Council that is identical to restrictions approved in September by Gov. Jerry Brown. The law would permit plastic bags to hold produce and some other grocery items, but ban single-use plastic bags at checkout counters. Shoppers could bring their own bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents.
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California Plastic Bag Ban Backers Launch Ads
Hoping to fend off a referendum campaign from their better-funded rivals, advocates for California's newly passed plastic bag ban have launched an ad assailing a plastics company seeking to overturn the law.

Gov. Jerry Brown had scarcely lifted his pen from a bitterly contested bill gradually phasing out single-use plastic bags before a group called the American Progressive Bag Alliance announced a referendum campaign to halt the law. They have until the end of December to acquire enough signatures, an effort funded by the $2.7 million that plastics companies — nearly all headquartered outside of California — have poured into the campaign.

Environmental groups have given $32,500 to date toward shielding the bag ban from a referendum. "CA vs. Big Plastic" has now plunked down some of that to purchase an ad slamming South Carolina-based Hilex Poly, which has given $1.7 million so far to the anti-ban committee.

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Keeping In Touch With NAMA Government Affairs
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Brie Ragland, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2639   
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