FMI’s state government relations department provides FMI member companies and state association executives with support to manage the wide range of state public policy challenges that impact the food industry. FMI's state staff provides resources and information, hosts a series of informative regional meetings and helps build broad industry coalitions to mobilize members and other key players to respond to state and local policy initiatives of importance to our members. FMI also engages in grassroots activity to give our members the opportunity to participate in the legislative process.
The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session this week and has agreed to take up Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman during this session, which ends in June 2017. As previously reported in State Report, New York General Business Law Section 518 says: “No seller in any sales transaction may impose a surcharge on a holder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means. Any seller who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars or a term of imprisonment up to one year, or both.” In Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, the lower court held in favor of retail plaintiffs who claimed the New York law prohibiting surcharging infringed on their First Amendment right to free speech, hamstringing their ability to discuss pricing with their customers. In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, finding the state law regulates pricing, not speech.
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