NAMA members on opposite sides of the country recently stepped up their individual efforts to lobby against two bills that could have serious impact on the vending industry in their respective states. In Oregon, John Powell (NAVA Oregon Legislative Consultant), Dan Lind of Cascade Vending and a number of blind operators testified before the House Health Care Committee on April 8 regarding H.B. 3403, a bill that sought to mandate healthier snacks in vending machines located in public buildings. In Vermont, Brent Farrell, owner of Vitality Vending, testified before the Senate Finance Committee on April 12 regarding H. 528, a bill that would effectively create a disparate and unfair “meals” tax on items sold in vending machines.
“I wanted my voice to be heard and for my legislators to understand the direct impact to my business and the vending industry if this harmful meals tax were to pass,” said Brent Farrell of Vitality Vending in a prepared statement. “My testimony shows that our industry is engaged in the process and we care about what happens to our businesses and industry,” he continued.
“Testifying before key committees essentially raises the bar for all of NAMA’s grassroots efforts,” said Eric Dell, NAMA senior vice president of government affairs. “Our members’ testimony directly showcases the influence that they can have on the legislative process. It further underscores the fact that our industry should be considered when elected officials offer legislation that impacts our members’ business operations,” he continued.
Sandy Larson, NAMA senior director and counsel, echoed Dell’s sentiment. “Testifying before important committees is a huge part of the process of educating legislators on key issues. Our members are uniquely positioned to capture the attention of our legislators on almost any business matter because of the multifaceted nature of the vending and refreshment services industry,” Larson said. “We need elected officials to know how proposed taxes and mandates can affect our members’ ability to continue to support their local economies – from job creation to revenue generation.”