Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020 - 57

INSIDER
PACKAGING

R&D

Tamper-evident

PHO

LEGISLATION
by Andy Nelson

WIKIPEDIA

THE DISRUPTION AND
UNCERTAINTY of the past few
months have required lawmakers
to follow new timelines and
develop new methods for
conducting legislative business,
said Jennifer Hatcher, chief public
policy officer for Arlington, Va.based FMI - The Food Industry
Association.
"Unprecedented" is the
word Hatcher said perhaps
most appropriately describes
the work both ahead and
behind the organization on the
legislative front.
Federal, state and local
policymakers have also been
extremely busy working to
alleviate challenges caused by
the pandemic, she said. The
next series of legislative actions
will likely be divided between
recovery, relief and the traditional
work of Congress, including
funding the government.
"As Congress discusses
potential longer-term solutions

to police reform, lawmakers
are expected to compile an
additional economic relief
package to mitigate the fallout of
the ongoing health crisis, which
will focus on both recovery and
relief solutions," Hatcher said.
When it comes to recovery,
FMI members' legislative priority
is limited liability protections
for COVID-19-related litigation
for those industries that have
followed the legally binding
obligation.
FMI members, Hatcher pointed
out, have remained open and
staffed through the ongoing
COVID-19 pandemic, even as
evolving conditions and guidance
have forced the retail grocery
industry to be resilient, adaptive
and put modifications in place
that could not have been planned
for nor foreseen.
"Congress is likely to consider
provisions designed to provide
additional financial relief to
Americans that have been

affected by the crisis," Hatcher
added. "There are ideas that range
from additional cash payments
for all Americans, to an increase in
SNAP benefits, or utilizing the tax
code to provide relief."
One of the tax provisions
FMI is raising in its advocacy
efforts is focused on payroll
tax relief for food industry
associates employed in a store
or distribution/manufacturing
facility. This concept of a tax

supermarketperimeter.com

credit for associates employed in
the sector is being championed
in the House by the bipartisan
team of Reps. G.T. Thompson
(R-PA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA).
The needs for food assistance
are obviously very high,
Hatcher added.
"The food industry wants
to make sure it's easy for
individuals and families new
to the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) to

JULY 2020 - 57


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Supermarket Perimeter - July 2020

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