Meeting Your Elected Officials – We’ll Be Glad to Help
The ITA regularly receives calls from business owners across the country seeking advice regarding the issues that should be raised when meeting with elected officials and their staff. While the issues can vary widely from state to state, the Federal issues facing the industry have remained fairly constant over the past few years.
In Washington, our primary concern since 2009 is repealing the Tan Tax. The path is straightforward. The challenge lies in building bi-partisan support for amending the tax code. The best way to accomplish this is through establishing a local angle.
The other major issue concerns the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of our industry. There are some elected officials who want to inject politics into the agency’s work and attempt to force the FDA to take actions against our industry that are not justified by sound science. This is a more complicated issue than discussing the impact of the Tan Tax; but the arguments are still based on common sense.
For both issues, we have developed concise fact sheets and talking points which we are happy to send you. If you are able to schedule a meeting with your Congressman or Senator, please contact the ITA if you need help getting prepared.
Regarding meetings with state and local elected officials, we are more than willing to help you prepare for that, too. Just email email@example.com or call the ITA and we’ll get back to you right away.
State Legislative Season in Full Swing
Our enemies hit the ground running this year with anti-tanning legislation already on the schedule in 13 states and many legislatures just getting organized. In 2012, the industry saw 53 separate bills introduced in 29 states. This year (at press time), we’re already aware of 18 bills in 14 states and some legislatures have not yet convened.
What is different this year is that bills have been introduced in a number of states that have been quiet over the past few years. The Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia legislatures are considering legislation that would restrict teen tanning, some for the first time.
Why should the industry care so much about attempts to restrict youth access when the number of tanners under the age of 18 make up such a small part of the business? We care, because their ultimate goal is to shut your business down! The Derms have stated that goal publicly on many occasions both on the state and national levels. However, they have learned that the only way to accomplish that end is by attacking your business one small step at a time.
The history is clear. Over the years, we have attempted to make deals with the Derms and they never keep their end of the bargain. In California and New York, we have compromised in years past only to see a new, more restrictive bill the next year. In state after state, every time we make a deal, the restriction becomes the floor from which the battle begins.
These are the bills introduced to date:
HB2402: Under-18 ban
SB399: Under-18 ban;
HB611: Under-18 Ban
HB188: Under-18 ban
S.269: Under- 18 ban
SD252: Anti-sun tanning school curriculum;
SD672: Under-18 ban
LB132: Under-18 ban
S1172: Under-18 ban;
A2142 Under-18 ban
HB 18: Under-18 ban
SB345: Under-18 ban;
SB816: Under-18 ban
HB598: Under-18 ban
SB1274: Under-14 ban,
HB1585: Under-18 ban;
SB5521: Under-18 ban;
SB5455 Under-18 ban
In addition, we know from reliable sources that legislation will be introduced in Connecticut and Maryland.
Please pay attention to what is going on in your state. You may hear of something before we do and we need you to let us know!
It is imperative that we all work together to protect our industry.
was the President of the Indoor Tanning Association.
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