Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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LEGISLATIVE Roundup 8 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 National State & Local According to convenience store operators polled in Convenience Store News' 2016 Retailer Fore- cast Study, the 2016 presidential election will pit Florida Sen. Marco Rubio against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Retailers give the nod on the Republican side to Rubio (29.4 percent), slightly ahead of Ben Carson (23.5 percent) and Donald Trump (17.6 percent). On the Democrat side, Clinton leads by a wide margin with 82.9 percent of respondents, compared with only 14.3 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders. Presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) participated in the NACS In Store program on Jan. 8, when he was behind the counter at a Casey's General Store location in Manly, Iowa. While at the store, Cruz interacted with members of the lo- cal community and had conversations about the issues important to them. FLORIDA Two state legislators are hoping to take oil com- panies out of the convenience store business in the Sunshine State. Reps. Bryan Avila (R-111th District) and Carlos Trujillo (R-105th District) introduced a bill in the Florida House of Repre- sentatives that would prohibit a "producer, refiner or subsidiary from operating certain retail outlets selling its petroleum products." It would ban energy companies from operating gas stations and other retail outlets that sell their petroleum products, either under the name of the producer or refiner, or under a secondary brand name. Subsidiaries to producers and refineries would be subject to the same restrictions. HAWAII Hawaii became the first state to increase the legal buying age for tobacco to 21 on Jan. 1. However, retailers have time to prepare for the change. Although the law is already in effect, enforcement will not begin until April 1, according to media reports. ILLINOIS City officials in Chicago launched a new campaign to educate youths about electronic cigarettes and vaping. The public education and social media campaign, "Vaping," highlights areas of concern regarding: the addictive nature of nico- tine; chemicals found in e-liquids; lack of regulations at the federal level; and what is in the products and how they're made. INDIANA Purchasing cold beer at convenience stores and grocery stores will continue to be a non-option for Indiana residents. The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a mid-2014 ruling prohibit- ing the state's c-stores from selling cold beer. The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association unsuccessfully argued on the federal and state levels that if c-stores can sell other alcoholic products cold, why not beer? For example, Indiana c-stores can sell wine cold. Still, the appeals court rejected this argument. NEW YORK New York State's Department of Agriculture con- ducted its first-ever statewide skimmer crackdown in November, finding six such illegal devices at gas pumps. According to Agriculture Commis- sioner Richard A. Ball, all six illegal skimmers were turned over to police for investigation. The skimmers were found at gas dispensers in Niagara, Monroe, Westchester, Rockland and Orange coun- ties, as well as one location in New York City. OREGON A new law allowing drivers to fill up their vehicles on a self-serve basis went into effect Jan. 1 in Or- egon counties with populations of 40,000 or lower. The rule is in effect for the time period of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., when consumers can fuel up without an employee's help. The legislation, sponsored by State Reps. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) and Ted Fer- rioli (R-John Day), is intended to make it easier for Oregon drivers to fuel up their cars during after- hours periods in rural stretches of the state.

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