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F.D.A. Extends Deadline for Calorie Counts on Menus

By Sabrina Tavernise
nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has delayed by a year the deadline for the nation’s chain restaurants, pizza parlors and movie theaters to post calorie counts on their menus in what some consumer advocates said was a setback for public health but others contended would simply give companies enough time to comply.

Pressure had been growing to delay the rule, which was proposed in November and would have taken effect at the end of this year. Food companies — in particular, the pizza industry — had campaigned against it, saying it was onerous and in many cases served no purpose, as most Americans order pies over the phone and not in a restaurant, where they would see a menu. A measure in the House sought to delay compliance by a year.

On Thursday, the agency announced that it had done just that to give companies more time to comply. Critics said the delay was not a fatal blow, but was worrisome, as it would give the restaurant and grocery industries more time to lobby against the measure.

“This is a huge victory for the restaurant lobbyists,” said Marion Nestle, a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “Food companies must be hoping that if they can delay menu labeling long enough, it will just go away.”

But the delay may be more about bureaucracy than industry influence. Many who supported the rule said that the agency had yet to issue a crucial guidance document that would help the industry understand how to carry it out, and that with less than six months to go before the original deadline, there was a risk that the rule would create chaos. Some of its strongest backers, including Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, had called on the agency to delay it.

Michael R. Taylor, the deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the F.D.A., said in a statement that the rule’s new implementation date would be Dec. 1, 2016.

“The F.D.A. agrees additional time is necessary for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered businesses,” he said.

Mr. Taylor said that the decision to extend the deadline came after “extensive dialogue” with restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses that would be affected, and that the agency planned to issue detailed draft guidance in August to help establishments comply with the rule.

Menu labeling became law in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, and the F.D.A. issued a proposal for how it should be carried out the next year. But the final rule was delayed for three years, due in part to fierce opposition from some national chains, including pizza restaurants and movie theaters.

When the agency finally announced the rule last year, it was stronger and more sweeping than consumer advocates were expecting, covering food in vending machines and amusement parks, as well as certain prepared foods in supermarkets. The rule applied to food establishments with 20 or more outlets, from fast-food chains like KFC and Subway to sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s and The Cheesecake Factory.

Lynn Liddle, an executive vice president at Domino’s and chairwoman of the American Pizza Community, an industry group, said in a statement that the final rule had “serious deficiencies,” and that the trade group, which has lobbied vigorously against the rule, was putting its hopes in a House bill, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, which it says would allow restaurants that take most of their orders online or by phone to label menus online rather than in stores. Another provision of the bill would limit coverage of the rule to establishments with more than half their revenue coming from prepared foods.

Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said that provision amounted to a loophole that would exempt supermarkets, convenience stores and movie theaters from having to provide calorie information to their customers for their prepared foods. She said a sponsor of the bill had promised to remove it.

The requirement applies to prepared foods — for example in salad bars or hot food bars in grocery and convenience stores — that are intended to feed one person. A sandwich or a salad would fall into this category, but not bulk items like loaves of bread or a rotisserie chicken.

The rule also covers alcoholic beverages. Beverages served in food establishments that are on menus and menu boards would be included, but a mixed drink at a bar would not, F.D.A. officials said last year.

Dawn Sweeney, the chief executive of the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement, “This standard makes good sense for the industry and our customers,” adding that “some of our members are ready to implement menu labeling while others still need more time.”

Daren Bakst, a research fellow in agricultural policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said it was not surprising that the implementation date for the rule had been extended, as grocery stores and convenience stores — establishments that he argued were not intended by Congress to be included — were probably struggling to comply as their products were less standardized than those at chain restaurants.

Legislative Alert: Major U.S. Supreme Court Rulings Summary of 2015

The Michigan Business and Professional Association along with its sister association, the Michigan Food and Beverage Association wanted to share a summary of the recent major U.S. Supreme Court rulings of 2015. Some will or have had a direct impact on your company, while others may not. Nonetheless, the Supremes have been a busy bunch and we wanted to get you a handy summary.

Partisanship and Redistricting – On June 29th, 2105 (5-4) in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the court ruled that voters had the power to strip elected lawmakers of their authority to draw district lines.

Lethal Injection – The court decided on June 29th, 2015 (5-4) in Glossip v. Gross that states may use a drug linked to apparently botched executions to carry out death sentences.

Pollution Limits – On June 29th, 2015 (5-4) in three environmental regulation cases, the court found the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by failing to undertake a cost-benefit analysis in deciding whether to set limits on emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants.

Same-Sex Marriage – The court decided on June 26th, 2015 (5-4) in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

Health Care Subsidies – The court decided on June 25th, 2015 (6-3) in King v. Burwell that tax subsidies were being provided lawfully in three dozen states that had decided not to run marketplaces for insurance coverage.

Housing Discrimination – On June 25th, 2015 (5-4) in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, the court decided that plaintiffs suing under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 could prove discrimination using statistics to show that the challenged practice had produced a “disparate impact.”

The Confederate Flag and Free Speech – The court decided on June 18th, 2015 (5-4) in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans that Texas was free to reject specialty license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag.

Religious Signs and Free Speech – The court decided on June 18th, 2015 (9-0) in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Ariz., that a town ordinance that places different limits on political, ideological and directional signs violates the First Amendment.

Separation of Powers in Foreign Affairs – The court decided on June 8th, 2015 (6-3) in Zivotofsky v. Kerry that Congress was not entitled to order the State Department to “record the place of birth as Israel” in the passports of American children born in Jerusalem if their parents requested.

Social Media and Free Speech – The court decided on June 1st, 2015 (8-1) in Elonis v. United States that prosecutors did not do enough to prove Anthony Elonis’s intent when he published threatening rap lyrics on Facebook directed at his wife.

Employment Discrimination – The court decided on June 1st, 2015 (8-1) in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores that Samantha Elauf was not required to make a specific request for a religious accommodation to wear a hijab when applying for a position at a children’s clothing store owned by the company.

Judicial Elections and Free Speech – In Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, on April 29th, 2015 (5-4) the court ruled that states may prohibit judicial candidates from personally asking their supporters for money.

Race and Redistricting – On March 25th, 2015 (5-4) in two Alabama cases, the court found that the State Legislature had relied too heavily on race in its 2012 state redistricting by maintaining high concentrations of black voters in some districts.

Pregnancy Discrimination – On March 25th, 2015 (6-3) in Young v. United Parcel Service, the court found that the lower courts had used the wrong standard to determine whether UPS had discriminated against one of its drivers, Peggy Young, who was pregnant.

Religious Freedom in Prison – In Holt v. Hobbs, on January 20th, 2015 (9-0) the court found that Arkansas corrections officials had violated the religious liberty rights of Muslim inmates by forbidding them to grow beards over security concerns.

Please contact our government relations team with any questions or comments at: (888) 277-6464 or email: bbochniak@michbusiness.org.

Department of Labor Issues Overtime Regulations

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) published its proposed rule that amends the regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governing the “white collar” exemption from overtime pay for executive, administrative and professional employees.

Background:
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act) guarantees a minimum wage and overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. While these protections extend to most workers, the FLSA does provide a number of exemptions. The Department of Labor (Department) proposes to update and revise the regulations issued under the FLSA implementing the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. This exemption is referred to as the FLSA’s “EAP” or “white collar” exemption. To be considered exempt, employees must meet certain minimum tests related to their primary job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than a specified minimum amount. The standard salary level required for exemption is currently $455 a week ($23,660 for a full-year worker) and was last updated in 2004.

The Department has long recognized the salary level test as “the best single test” of exempt status. If left at the same amount over time, however, the effectiveness of the salary level test as a means of determining exempt status diminishes as the wages of employees entitled to overtime increase and the real value of the salary threshold falls. In order to maintain the effectiveness of the salary level test, the Department proposes to set the standard salary level equal to the 40th percentile of earnings for fulltime salaried workers ($921 per week, or $47,892 annually for a full-year worker, in 2013). (1) The Department is also proposing to set the highly compensated employee annual compensation level equal to the 90th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers ($122,148 annually). Furthermore, in order to prevent the levels from becoming outdated, the Department is proposing to include in the regulations a mechanism to automatically update the salary and compensation thresholds on an annual basis using either a fixed percentile of wages or the CPI-U.

The proposed rule from DOL:
• would double the salary threshold for employees who are eligible to receive overtime pay, from $23,660 to $50,440. This salary threshold will also be updated every year in the Federal Register.
• does not propose regulatory changes to the duties tests, which require employees to perform certain primary duties to qualify for an overtime exemption. However, DOL is seeking feedback on whether these duties tests should be revised.

DOL estimates that this rule would:
• directly affect 4.6 million workers in the U.S, and total direct employer costs for Year 1 are estimated to equal $592.7 million dollars.
• cost each small business, on average depending on the number of workers covered by the regulation, $100 to $600 in direct costs and $320 to $2,700 in additional payroll costs to employees in the first year after the promulgation of the proposed rule.
• cause each small business to spend one hour of time for regulatory familiarization; one hour per each affected worker in adjustment costs; and five minutes per week scheduling and monitoring each worker expected to be classified as overtime eligible as a result of the proposed rule.

Advocacy is seeking feedback on the numbers and types of small businesses affected by this rule-making, the compliance costs of this rule to these small businesses, and any significant regulatory alternatives that may minimize the impacts of this rule.

Comments are due to DOL on September 4, 2015.

• Comment to the Proposed Rule on Regulations.gov.
• Link to the PDF of the Proposed Rule on DOL’s Website.
• Link to the Fact Sheet on DOL’s Website.
• Link to the FAQ on DOL’s Website.
• Advocacy Contact: Janis Reyes or call 205-205-6533.

Sources: SBA Office of Advocacy and regulations.gov

IRS Issues Draft ACA Forms for Reporting for 2015

IRS has issued drafts of the Affordable Care Act forms required for employer shared-responsibility (ESR) and minimum essential coverage (MEC) reporting for 2015. It’s expected that issuers of health insurance and certain employers will use Form 1094-B and Form 1095-B for MEC reporting, while large employers will use Form 1095-C and Form 1094-C for ESR reporting and, in some cases, MEC reporting for 2015. Draft instructions for the forms are not available yet.
 
A link to the forms is provided below:
 
Form 1094-B,Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Return:  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f1094b–dft.pdf
 
Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Return: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f1094c–dft.pdf
 
Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f1095a–dft.pdf

Form 1095-B, Health Coverage: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f1095b–dft.pdf
 
Form 1095-C, Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage:  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f1095c–dft.pdf 

If you have any comments or questions regarding any of the above information, please do not hesitate to call me at (708) 717-9638 or e-mail me at larry@larrygrudzien.com

Thank-You, Larry Grudzien, Attorney-At-Law

Doubler Days Returns to Club Keno in September, Offers Double Benefits to Retailers

By M. Scott Bowen
Lottery Commissioner

The Michigan Lottery’s Club Keno game has one of the most avid and loyal player followings of any Lottery game, representing about 20 percent of total player ticket purchases. The popularity of the game comes from the variety of play options it gives players, plus its social aspect. We hear time and again from players who have made visiting their favorite restaurant or tavern and playing Club Keno with friends a part of their regular routine.

The popularity of Club Keno is sure to surge during September when the popular Doubler Days promotion returns. From Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, each Club Keno ticket purchased is eligible for the Doubler. The Doubler feature will be printed at random on Club Keno tickets and will double the base game and Kicker prizes for players, all without any additional cost.

This popular promotion has a track record of generating excitement among players and retailers. During the most recent Doubler Days promotion in March, Club Keno sales increased by 14 percent or about $6.9 million compared to the same time period in in 2014.

Doubler Days offers double benefits to retailers, with increased sales and redemption commissions.

Tickets must be valid Club Keno winners to be eligible for double winnings. Receiving a Doubler message alone does not denote a win. If a player purchases a multi-draw ticket and receives a Doubler message, all winnings for all the drawings on that ticket are doubled.

NEW INSTANT TICKETS: This ticket goes on sale Aug. 4:
    IG # 723    $1,000,000 Jackpot    $10

NEW PULL TABS TICKETS: These tickets go on sale Aug. 4:
    MI # 559    Money Night Lights    $1

INSTANT GAMES SET TO EXPIRE:
    Aug. 3
    IG # 638 
   Cherry Blast Tripler    $2
    IG # 657    Fire & Ice    $5
    IG # 676    Monopoly Jackpot    $5

    Sept. 7
    IG # 660
    Cash Multiplier        $5

PULL TABS GAMES SET TO EXPIRE:
    Aug. 17

    MI # 515    Lucky Bars    $.50

    Sept. 14
    MI # 519 
   The Golden Ticket    $1
    MI # 539    $10,000 Explosion     $2
    MI # 594    Rollin’ Dice    $.50
    
TICKET ACTIVATION: Retailers are reminded to activate all game tickets before putting them on sale to ensure winning tickets may be redeemed by players.   

About 97 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to retailers. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Lottery’s contribution to Michigan’s public schools was $742.8 million. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed nearly $19 billion to education in Michigan. For additional information, follow the Michigan Lottery on Facebook, Twitter and online at www.michiganlottery.com.

Lucky For Life ‘Lucky Play’ Promotion Expected to Create Game Awareness; Increase Sales

By M. Scott Bowen
Lottery Commissioner

Summer is in full swing, and Lottery players across the state are looking to cool down with cold, hard cash.

The Lottery’s newest draw game, Lucky For Life, has been attracting players since its launch in January, and the Lottery plans to build on that momentum with the Lucky Play promotion. Beginning July 10 and running through July 30, each time a player purchases three panels of the Lucky For Life game, they will get one free Lucky For Life easy pick panel for the same draw.

Lottery research consistently finds promotions that offer free play opportunities are strong draws for players. We expect the Lucky Play promotion to increase sales for retailers and generate player excitement and interest in our newest draw game. To help increase awareness of the Lucky Play promotion, the Lottery will provide in-store point-of-sale materials and offer support through a robust advertising effort that will include radio, print and digital spots.

Another positive: Lucky Play doesn’t require any additional work from retailers’ staff. One free easy pick will be generated automatically for every three panels purchased on a single Lucky For Life ticket. The qualifying ticket will include a special message alerting players of their free ticket. The free panel or panels will print on a separate ticket immediately after the qualifying ticket. The free ticket will be marked “Not for Resale” and should be given to players immediately.

Each Lucky For Life ticket gives players a chance to win up to $1,000 a day for life. Since the game launched on Jan. 29, it has been lucrative for Michigan players. Through the game’s first 37 draws, Michigan players won nearly $4.8 million playing Lucky For Life, including three $25,000 a year for life winners, and 25 $5,000 winners. Each Lucky For Life drawing is producing more than 15,000 winners on average in Michigan.
 
$200 A Week For Life Pull Tabs Game Launched July 7
A new and exciting Cash For Life pull tabs game is coming to retailers and is expected to create players excitement and interest.

The Lottery’s newest Cash For Life themed pull tabs game offers more than $3 million in total cash prizes. It also has a larger top prize and better odds than previous versions of the game. The new pull tabs game has a top prize of $200 a week for life, compared to last year’s $100 a week for life top prize. Even with improved odds and a higher top prize, the price of the popular game remains the same, $1 per ticket.

All pull tabs game retailers will receive at least one deal at the game’s launch. In addition to being featured on the Lottery’s website at MichiganLottery.com, the game also will be supported through advertising coverage at more than 2,500 Club Keno retailers.

NEW INSTANT TICKETS: These tickets went on sale July 7:
    IG # 730    $30 Grand Cashword $2            
    IG # 732    100X The Cash $20
    IG # 734    $100 Frenzy    $2
    IG # 736    Win Big        $5

NEW PULL TABS TICKETS: These tickets went on sale July 7:
    MI # 546    Dice Night    $.50
    MI # 550    $200 A Week For Life    $1

INSTANT GAMES SET TO EXPIRE:
    July 6
    IG # 670
    Snow Me The Money    $2

    Aug. 3
    IG # 638
    Cherry Blast Tripler    $2
    IG # 657    Fire & Ice    $5
    IG # 676    Monopoly Jackpot    $5

PULL TABS GAMES SET TO EXPIRE:
    Aug. 17
    MI # 515 
   Lucky Bars    $.50
    
TICKET ACTIVATION: Retailers are reminded to activate all game tickets before putting them on sale to ensure winning tickets may be redeemed by players.   

About 97 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to retailers. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Lottery’s contribution to Michigan’s public schools was $742.8 million. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed nearly $19 billion to education in Michigan. For additional information, follow the Michigan Lottery on Facebook, Twitter and online at www.michiganlottery.com.

Supreme Court Allows Nationwide Health Care Subsidies

By Larry Grudzien
Attorney-At-Law

WASHINGTON – June 25, 2015 – The Supreme Court ruled that President Obama’s health care law may provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance.
 
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 6-to-3 decision. The court’s three most conservative members – Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. – dissented.
 
The case concerned a central part of the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative achievement. The law created marketplaces, known as exchanges, to allow people who lack insurance to shop for individual health plans.
 
Some states set up their own exchanges, but about three dozen allowed the federal government to step in to run them. Across the nation, about 85 percent of customers using the exchanges qualify for subsidies to help pay for coverage, based on their income.
 
The question in the case, King v. Burwell, No. 14-114, was what to make of a phrase in the law that seems to say the subsidies are available only to people buying insurance on “an exchange established by the state.”
 
For a copy of the decision, click here.
 

If you have any comments or questions regarding any of the above information, please do not hesitate to call me at (708) 717-9638 or e-mail me at larry@larrygrudzien.com.

Save the Date! Health Care Reform Conference – Don’t Miss This Event!

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

8:00 am – 11:30 am

New Venue! Oakland University, Oakland Center 2200 N. Squirrel Rd., Rochester

Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Policy Analyst, Health Care Marketplace Project, Matthew Rae

Just Added:
Department of Health and Human Services Director, Nick Lyon will discuss Massive Department Merger, 2nd Medicaid Expansion Waiver/Healthy Michigan and much more!

Speak directly to Health Care Reform experts!

Register today, space is limited.

Tickets are $100 for Association Members and $125 for non-members.

Register online by clicking here or contact Natasha at 888.277.6464.

New ‘Cash For Life’ Games Expected to Generate Traffic, Sales for Retailers

By M. Scott Bowen
Michigan Lottery Commissioner

The phrase “for life” resonates strongly with Michigan Lottery players. Hearing that a game offers a prize “for life” quickly gets Lottery players daydreaming about winning the big prize and how it would change their lives.

That’s why the Cash For Life instant games have been some the most popular and successful games offered by the Lottery. The next round of Cash For Life games is designed to generate even more excitement by offering the biggest top prizes ever in the Cash For Life family of games.

On April 7, the Lottery will debut a redesigned “for life” instant game with larger top prizes than last year’s counterparts. The new Cash For Life instant game family will include: $500 A Week For Life ($1 per ticket, with a top prize $100 larger than the 2014 game), $1,000 A Week For Life ($2 per ticket, with a top prize $200 larger than the 2014 game), $2,500 A Week For Life ($5 per ticket, with a top prize $500 larger than the 2014 game), and $5,000 A Week For Life ($10 per ticket, with a top prize $1,000 larger than the 2014 game).

We’re excited about the sales opportunities that the new “for life” games will bring retailers across the state. We expect the bigger top prizes offered in each game to attract more players  and to continue to make “for life” instant games a player favorite. The refreshed ticket design will also make the new games easy for players to recognize on retailers’ shelves and that is expected to promote sales.

NEW INSTANT TICKETS: These tickets go on sale April 7:

    IG # 725    $500 A Week For Life       $1            
    IG # 726    $1,000 A Week For Life    $2
    IG # 727    $2,500 A Week For Life    $5
    IG # 728    $5,000 A Week For Life    $10
    
NEW PULL TAB TICKETS: These tickets go on sale April 6:

    MI # 557    Detroit Tigers         $1
    MI # 540    $1,000,000 Riches  $5
    
INSTANT GAMES SET TO EXPIRE:

    April 6:

    IG # 640    Black & Gold                       $10
    IG # 649    50X The Cash                     $2
    IG # 658    $50,000,000 Celebration      $5
    IG # 661    20th Anniversary Wild Time  $20
    IG # 669    Frogger                               $2
    IG # 671    Lucky Number Bingo            $2

    May 4:

    IG # 621    $100,000 Bingo               $3
    IG # 648    Life In The Cash Lane      $10
    IG # 662    Oh Deer!                        $2
    IG # 663    Golden Gift                     $2
    IG # 664    Silver Bell Bucks             $2
    IG # 665    $500,000 Riches              $2

PULL TAB GAMES SET TO EXPIRE:

    March 28:

    MI # 523    10x The Cash        $1

    April 13:

    MI #504    Casino Craze    $1
    MI #506     Win Big           $1
    MI # 517    Deer Camp     $1
    
    April 27:

    MI #513     Detroit Lions    $1

    May 1:

    MI # 505    $100,000 Mega Bucks    $2

    May 18:

    MI # 512    Quick Cash    $.50

TICKET ACTIVATION: Retailers are reminded to activate all game tickets before putting them on sale to ensure winning tickets may be redeemed by players.   

About 97 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to retailers. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Lottery’s contribution to Michigan’s public schools was $742.8 million. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed nearly $19 billion to education in Michigan. For additional information, follow the Michigan Lottery on Facebook, Twitter and online at www.michiganlottery.com.

“The Michigan Lottery. All across the state good things happen.”

Safe Roads YES – Proposal 1

As you may know, the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA), along with its sister organization, the Michigan Food & Beverage Association (MFBA) supports passage of Proposal 1 — also known as Safe Roads Yes! on the May 5 statewide Michigan ballot. We are urging you to please vote YES on Proposal 1. Under Proposal 1, all state gas taxes we pay at the pump are guaranteed in the constitution to go to transportation, roads and bridges. No longer will the Legislature be able to divert the taxes we pay on gas to non-transportation purposes. The result is $1.2 billion for roads, bridges and transportation that must, under the constitution, go to transportation.

Proposal 1 also requires road builders to provide warranties on their work to protect taxpayers. If they violate the warranty, the road builder — not taxpayers — will pay to fix the problem. All this means finally having safer roads and new taxpayer protections in Michigan.

Proposal 1 also:

• Raises the state sales tax by one penny and caps it at 7 cents. This will replace and increase funding for education that will be lost as a result of eliminating the 6 percent state sales tax on gas at the pump. All money in the state School Aid Fund would have to go to education purposes that help kids the most, including K-12 schools and community colleges.

• Cuts taxes by $270 million for Michigan’s lowest income workers by restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit.

• Creates about 15,000 good, new jobs as we rebuild Michigan’s neglected, aging infrastructure.

• Removes pressure on the state general fund budget to finance road and bridge repairs, thereby eliminating the need for more cuts to public safety, higher education and other critical services.

If Proposal 1 fails, our roads will continue to get worse, further threatening public safety and our economy. It also would mean more cuts to education, public safety, local governments, higher education, health care and other essential services.

In addition to voting YES on Proposal 1, please:

• Urge your colleagues, friends and family members to consider voting YES. If you need more information, please go to SafeRoadsYes.com.

• Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, urging readers to vote YES. You can find sample letters here and more information on the proposal: SafeRoadsYes.com.

Vote YES on Proposal 1 on May 5. Your vote is essential!

Please contact our government relations team with questions pertaining to Proposal 1 at (586) 393-8800 or bbochniak@michbusiness.org.