2021 PFMA STATE LEVEL LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY PRIORITIES
Alcohol Wholesale and Retail Sales Reform: Work to update state alcohol sales and distribution laws to allow our members to sell and merchandise alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) in any quantity, at any register and in the aisles of their stores. Also, work toward increased access to available licenses for interested retailers. Finally, create a competitive market-based wholesale distribution system for delivery and purchase of products by retailers.
Some specific changes include allowance of RTD spirits-based beverages, aisle merchandising of product, spirits-to-go permit and elimination of the single-register requirement.
Liability Safe Harbors for Retailers: PFMA supports liability safe harbor protections for retailers operating and enforcement guidelines established for COVID-19 related operations.
Change/Extend the SNAP Distribution Schedule (Toohil and Argall): PFMA supports legislation that would adjust the SNAP distribution schedule to allow for a longer distribution period during which recipients would receive their monthly benefits. Currently, recipients receive their benefits in the first 10 days of the month. Last session, PFMA supported HB 299 and SB 285 sponsored by Rep. Tarah Toohil and Sen. David Argall, respectively.
Price Gouging/Emergency Declaration Reform Legislation: PFMA supports legislation to update the price gouging law and emergency declaration process to benefit consumers and businesses alike. These changes were encompassed in SB 139, sponsored last session by Sen. Judy Ward. The legislation will be reintroduced.
VGT/Gaming Legislative Changes: PFMA supports changes to the gaming expansion legislation passed in 2017 that would allow easier access to qualified Video Gaming Terminal (VGT) retail establishments. These include clarifications of parking requirements, reimbursement for facility buildouts and diesel gallonage requirements. Also, PFMA supports an increase in the profit rate that truck stops/retailers can secure from their gaming operations.
Regulatory Reform: PFMA supports efforts to reform and streamline the regulatory landscape on the state level. This includes rescinding any harmful regulations that are currently in place and preventing new and harmful regulations from being enacted.
Workforce Development Funding and Opportunities: PFMA supports enhanced opportunities and funding for workforce development programs in the Commonwealth, specifically around efforts to increase opportunities for citizens returning to the workplace.
Increasing the State Cigarette Tax or Instituting New/Additional Taxes on OTP or E-Cigarettes: Work to prevent any proposed increases to the state cigarette tax as well as the implementation of new taxes on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. These taxes were increased in 2016.
State Sales Tax Rate Increase and Base Expansion: Halt attempts to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent and expand the base to additional products.
Mandatory Statewide Paid and Unpaid Leave: PFMA opposes government-mandated statewide paid and unpaid leave ordinances. Property Tax Elimination/Tax Shift: PFMA opposes the elimination of property taxes, which would require a dramatic increase in the personal income tax and sales tax. Menu Labeling Requirements: PFMA opposes state legislation that would require additional product/menu labeling by retailers and manufacturers in the Commonwealth. PFMA believes this is a federal issue and should be handled as such.
Bottle Deposit Bill Legislation: PFMA opposes legislation that would add fees to beverage containers for redemption by retailers and consumers at redemption centers.
Plastic Containers, Bags and Packaging Bans: PFMA opposes banning plastic bags, containers and packaging. We support increased recycling programs, consumer education and substantiality programs to help address this issue.
Predictive Scheduling: PFMA opposes government-mandated scheduling legislation, which would interfere and disrupt the employee/employer relationship. Also, such legislation would prohibit flexibility in an employee’s schedule at their own request.