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Old 11-12-2012, 09:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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ITA Update 11/12/12




Indoor Tanning Association, Inc., 2025 M St, NW Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 888-377-0477 Fax: 202-367-2142


Member Update 11/12/2012:
In This Issue:
President's Message
2012 Congressional Election Results
ITA PAC Report
New Congress Set to Convene in January
State Update
ITA Planning for a Busy 2013 State Legislative Session









President's Message
For more than a dozen years the ITA, with the support and financial contributions from major industry manufacturers, tanning salons and allied products and service providers, has provided tanning salons and their customers with first class strategic defense and protection against intrusive state legislative and regulatory actions. Last year alone we fought over 27 state battles and spent over $650,000 in lobbying effortsin the affected states in an effort to preserve your clients' right to tan. We thank you for your membership contributions in 2012 and your trust in continuing to be a critical team member in the preservation of our fine industry.
Thanks, Rob

2012 Congressional Election Results A Status Quo Election for Our Industry

On a macro level, this election changed very few of the political dynamics on Capitol Hill affecting our industry for the next two years. While many in the industry had hoped for a Republican sweep that would have set the stage for the repeal of President Obama's Affordable Care Act and hence the tan tax, that clearly did not happen. In the House of Representatives, the body with which we have made the most headway in building a solid foundation of support, the net change was a loss of three seats. This means Speaker Boehner and his Republican Party still control the House at least for the next two years.
Most of our staunchest supporters such as Rep. Michael Grimm and Rep. Pat Tiberi (sponsors of the tan tax repeal) and Rep. Jack Kingston, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the FDA, will return in 2013. However, so do our most vocal critics such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
Regarding the fate of the 44 co-sponsors that signed on to support Rep. Michael Grimm's bill to repeal the tan tax, most fared well in the election. Two of the co-sponsors were defeated (Rep. Frank C. Guinta (R-NH) and Rep. Allen West (R-FL)); one was elected governor (Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)); and one did not seek re-election (Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). This gives us a solid base of 40 supporters with which to jump-start our 2013 repeal efforts.
In the Senate, the Democrats gained 2 seats. While disappointing for those who sought major changes in the way Washington works, in practical terms this is a small and insignificant adjustment.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the sponsor of the Senate bill to repeal the tan tax did not seek re-election this year so we must recruit a new Senate champion. The good news is that Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a rising star among Senate Republicans, has already agreed to take on that role. And of the 11 current Senate co-sponsors of the tan tax repeal, 10 will return to the Senate next year. Again, this is another good foundation on which to build our coalition to rid the industry of this job-killing tax.

ITA-Political Action Committee Report

The ITA-PAC experienced its busiest and most successful 2-year cycle ever, raising and contributing record amounts to candidates and party committees nationwide. In 2011-2012 under the leadership of ITA PAC chairman Marty Gallagher (Suntan Supply), ITA members contributed close to $75,000 to the ITA- PAC, all of which was donated to pro-business small government candidates from both political parties.
But that is only part of the story. Industry leaders from across the country stepped up, organized and hosted fundraisers and collected another $200,000. The primary recipients of these funds were two of our major supporters, Rep. Michael Grimm and Rep. Pat Tiberi. In addition, industry leaders worked closely with the National Republican Congressional Committee to elect pro-business candidates nationwide.

The New Congress Set to Convene in January

Even before the lame duck session of the 112th Congress adjourns, we are already focused on our two primary goals for 2013 repeal of the Tan Tax and making sure Congress doesn't inject political influence into FDA's oversight of our industry.
As is the case in almost all elections, some of our friends were reelected and some were not. For better or for worse, the political dynamics controlling the House and Senate changed very little in this election and consequently the challenges we face as we work to achieve our goals are much the same, too.
We knew going into the election that no matter who is in the White House and which party controls the Senate on January 1, 2013, the possibility for outright repeal of Obama Care would be slim. With the Senate still controlled by the Democrats and President Obama's reelection, the possibility for repeal is zero. That means that the tan tax will have to be repealed as a part of a bigger package of tax reforms which we hope will be high on the agenda of the new Congress.
As far as keeping political influence out of the FDA's oversight of our industry, that dynamic also changed very little with the 2012 election. Unfortunately some of the elected officials who don't like this industry are still serving on Capitol Hill and our challenge will be to make sure the ultimate decision makers continue to hear both sides of the argument and make the right call.

State Update -- One State Still Working on Indoor Tanning Legislation

When the New Jersey tanning mom hit the airwaves last summer, the industry was fortunate that most state legislatures had adjourned for the year and the resulting negative publicity had little impact on our fortunes. Two exceptions were New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, the good news is that the legislature adjourned for the year without taking final action on a bill that would have set up an expensive and intrusive licensing and inspection program operated under the department of health. (The proposed fee was $300 per location plus a charge per device.)
In New Jersey, the situation is not as clear. The legislature will be in session well into December with a number of proposals in play all addressing restrictions on teen access to indoor tanning. Final action may come this year or the issue may not be resolved until the 2013 session. Either way, we are actively working to protect the interests of business owners across the state.

The ITA is Already Planning for a Busy 2013 State Legislative Session

Each year, our opponents are getting a little more sophisticated and the strategies they employ are evolving. More and more often, in order to get the attention of the public, the media and the government, our adversaries are spending massive sums of money to fuel a campaign that exaggerates the risks of exposure to ultraviolet light. They are using sting operations to generate media attention and paid consultants to push the story into the spotlight.
Of course all of this is aimed at one goal -- getting policy makers to enact additional restrictions on the way you run your businesses. Because of a number of factors including the publicity surrounding the New Jersey Tanning mom, we expect 2013 to be our busiest year yet in the state legislatures.
Since the ITA was founded, we have hired consultants in practically every state and they serve as our early warning system for any efforts to place unreasonable restrictions on your businesses. These advisors are on constant alert for any signs of trouble and the first signs typically start in December when state legislatures start organizing for the next session.
For example, we already know there will be teen tanning restrictions proposed in North Carolina because the Child Fatality Task Force in that state is recommending that the legislature take action. Please stay tuned and stay involved; we cannot win without the support of local business leaders.




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