Single Store Owner

DEC 2016

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LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP 8 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / DECEMBER 2016 National State & Local It also announced a 60-day period during which interested parties can make comments on its proposed denial. The RFS seeks to address global warming, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and bolster the rural economy by requiring a steady in- crease in the overall amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels blended into gasoline over time. Renewable identification numbers (RINs) generated from fuel blend- ing can be sold on the open market. Under the current structure of the RFS, merchant oil refiners are obligated to blend more renewable fuel. The petition seeks to shift the obligation to entities that own gasoline before it is blended for retail sale. Days after a federal judge put implementa- tion of the new federal overtime rule on hold, the U.S. Department of Labor appealed the decision. This latest legal challenge came on Dec. 1, the same day the rule was slated to go into effect. Unveiled by the Obama Administration in May, the most notable change under the new rule is a nearly dou- bling of the current salary threshold from its current $23,360 to $47,476, under which vir- tually all workers will be eligible for time-and-a- half pay. This change would make nearly 5 million currently exempt employees eligible nationwide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 10 proposed denying a group of merchant oil refiners' petitions to change the point of obliga- tion under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). ARIZONA Voters in Arizona gave a collective thumbs-up to Proposition 206, also known as The Minimum Wage and Paid Time Off Initiative, by a 59 percent to 41 percent tally. The measure raises the state's minimum wage to $10 in 2017 and then incre- mentally to $12 by 2020, and creates a right to paid sick time off from employment. The hourly wage currently stands at $8.05 in Arizona. The paid sick time component of the law will go into effect July 1. CALIFORNIA Golden State voters approved Proposition 56, a ballot measure that raises the state's cigarette excise tax by $2 per pack. Known as the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, the proposition will also place an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. COLORADO Voters in Colorado rejected Amendment 72, which would have increased the state's tobac- co tax. If approved, the measure would have hiked the tax on cigarettes by $1.75 per pack for a total tax of $2.59 per pack. Amendment 72 also proposed raising the levy on other tobacco products from 40 percent of the manufacturer's price to 60 percent. MISSOURI An amendment to raise the state's cigarette tax survived the Missouri Supreme Court, but it did not survive the general election. Vot- ers rejected Amendment 3, which would have boosted the cigarette tax by 60 cents per pack. The increase would have been phased in through 2020, and created a 67-cent-per- pack "equity" fee increasing annually for inflation on certain off-brand cigarettes. Voters also turned down Proposition A, which would have gradually hiked the tax by an additional 23 cents per pack by 2021. It also would have taxed non-cigarette to- bacco products by 5 percent of the manufacturer's invoice price, paid by the seller. If both measures had passed, the one receiving the most votes would have been implemented. WASHINGTON STATE In Washington State, 59 percent of voters checked the "yes" box for The Washington Minimum Wage Increase, also known as Initiative 1433. The initiative increases the state's minimum wage from $9.47 to $13.50 by 2020, and mandates employers offer paid sick leave. This hourly wage hike was the largest one on the ballot in this year's Nov. 8 election.

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