The National Grocers Association (NGA) is applauding the advancement of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill. NGA notes that the bill includes key policy provisions that focus on preserving and strengthening the public-private partnership between retailers and the federal government within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
As advanced from the House Agriculture Committee, H.R. 2 extends the temporary prohibition of processing fees on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transactions as well as enhances the protection of highly sensitive store-level SNAP redemption data, and expands healthy eating incentive programs, such as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program.
“Independent supermarket operators across the nation are committed to working collaboratively with USDA, Congress and industry partners to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the SNAP food delivery system. NGA and its members appreciate the House Agriculture Committee’s recognition of the important role supermarkets play in the successful public-private partnership within the program,” said Peter Larkin, NGA president and CEO. “We are pleased to see it contains many of the provisions the independent supermarket industry has advocated for, but urge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass a comprehensive Farm Bill that reflects bipartisan consensus.”
“We are grateful that Chairman Conaway and the House Agriculture Committee included many of our key provisions within the 2018 Farm Bill,” added Greg Ferrara, NGA EVP of advocacy, public relations and member services. “As the bill continues to advance in the House, NGA will be working with lawmakers to ensure that any proposals to limit consumer choice in the marketplace and put new administrative burdens and fees onto retailers are defeated.”
NGA says it will support Farm Bill legislation that maintains a strong public-private partnership between the federal government and the private retail sector in SNAP, reauthorizes and expands the FINI program and other healthy food incentive programs, and rejects any new fees or excessive reporting mandates.
NGA urges repeal of NLRB ‘Ambush Election Rule’
In other NGA news, the association filed comments April 20 with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) urging for the repeal or modification of a 2014 Election Rule, known as the “Quickie” Ambush Election Rule. The rule drastically made changes to the long-standing policies that governed union election processes in the workplace by shortening the time between the filing of a petition for a union election and the election day to as few as eight days. The rule also requires employers to disclose employees’ personal information, such as home address, email address and work schedules to union organizers.
“NGA strongly believes the only way for employees to make an informed decision about whether to be represented by a union or not is to have an election process and procedure that provides an opportunity to hear the views of both the union and the employer,” said Ferrara. “In addition to ensuring fair and adequate time for elections, the NLRB should adopt provisions safeguarding an employee’s privacy. Simply put, requiring the employer, without the consent of the employee, to provide personal information such as home address and phone number, is a gross invasion of one’s privacy.”
NGA’s comments are available to view here.