Single Store Owner

JUN 2016

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LEGISLATIVE Roundup 8 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JUNE 2016 National State & Local New eligibility standards proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service for the federal Supplemental Nutrition As- sistance Program (SNAP) could easily lead to "un- intended consequences" forcing convenience store retailers to no longer accept food stamps, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) said during a recent press confer- ence. The proposed new stan- dards, published Feb. 17, state a retailer must meet certain eligibility requirements, including so-called "depth of stock" requirements that stipulate the minimum number of food items they must offer for sale at any given time. The FDA is setting its sights on salt. On June 1, the agency issued draft guidance for public com- ment that provides "practical, voluntary" sodium- reduction targets for the food industry. The short-term (two-year) and long-term (10-year) targets are intended to help the American public gradually reduce sodium intake from 3,400 mil- ligrams per day to 2,300 milligrams per day, a level recommended by experts and scientific evidence. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final deem- ing rule extending its authority to all tobac- co products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco. The issu- ance comes two years after the agency first released its proposed deeming rule. With this move, the agency lays the foundation for regulating all to- bacco products, not just cigarettes and smokeless tobacco that have fallen under its authority since Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. Long-awaited changes to the federal overtime rule were unveiled in May, with the most notable change being a nearly doubling of the current sal- ary threshold from its current $23,360 to $47,476, under which virtually all workers will be eligible for time-and-a-half pay. This dramatic shift would make nearly five million currently exempt employ- ees eligible nationwide. The changes are slated to go into effect on Dec. 1. CALIFORNIA California is now the second state to set its mini- mum legal buying age for tobacco products at 21. Hawaii became the first to do so Jan. 1. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law several pieces of tobacco legisla- tion that state legislators had approved in March. He also vetoed one bill that would have left tobacco taxation up to the discre- tion of local counties. Also in the Golden State, California convenience stores would have one less sales category under a measure moving through the legislature. On June 2, the state Senate passed a bill that would restrict tobacco sales to cigar shops. This piece of legis- lation, known as SB 1400, was introduced by state Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont). The bill now moves to the state Assembly. Under current California law, retailers — includ- ing convenience stores — selling tobacco products must obtain a license from the state Board of Equalization. PENNSYLVANIA Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf expressed support for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's approval of nine applica- tions to sell six-packs of beer at gas stations. Approved businesses with the appropriate protections can sell up to 192 ounces of malt or brewed beverages. "'Freeing the six-pack' will make the Commonwealth more inviting for customers and businesses," Wolf said. MASSACHUSETTS The number of Massachu- setts towns that have enacted flavored tobacco bans stands at 43, but this number could soon grow. At a recent meeting, the Fitchburg Board of Health discussed amending where consumers can purchase flavored tobacco products in the city. A measure on the table would limit their sale to adult-only establishments.

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