Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Arkansas Call to Action: URGENT! Oppose SB 978 which is being rushed through the legislature and could impose damaging regulations on the AR Vapor Industry.

(Update - 03.27.15)

Yesterday, SB 978 was “pulled back” in order to consider changes that would address comments offered at today’s hearing.  A special thanks is in order for all those that managed to attend and testify on such short notice.  However, we still have no assurances that this bill will be amended favorably.  Specifically, we are concerned that the requirement for retailers to procure their e-liquid only from licensed Arkansas wholesalers will remain.  This is a clear indication that the legislature intends to impose a tax on vapor products in the future.  We have updated our campaign to address this and other points.

Thank you for taking action yesterday, we need your help at least this one more time.  Please take action now to oppose SB 978.

Oppose SB 978 - Send an Email


(URGENT Update - 03.25.15, 11:00 PM)

Earlier today we contacted you about a serious threat to your right to access vapor products in Arkansas. Since then, the bill has progressed, we’ve received new information, and we’ve updated the Call to Action.

For those of you that have already participated, please click here to send another email to the Speaker of the House.  Please also see contact information below and follow up with a phone call.

For the rest, please take action below.

Up until Tuesday of this week (3/24), SB 978 was a “shell bill” with no substantive provisions.  This all changed when 31 pages of regulations were substituted and rushed through the legislative process.  Currently the bill is scheduled  to be heard in the House Rules Committee Thursday, March 26th at 12:00 PM approximately 1:00 p.m. at the State Capitol Building (500 Woodlane Street) in Little Rock.

  • Please fill out the form below and send an email to the speaker, your district representative and members of the committee
  • Call the Speaker of the House, Rep. Jeremy Gillam, at 501-729-0042, and let him know that you strongly oppose SB 978 and want an opportunity for the small- and medium-sized businesses--and the consumers they serve--to have an opportunity to participate in the process and share concerns.

  • Attend the hearing if at all possible and let the Rules Committee know you strongly oppose SB 978.

It is our understanding that representatives of the Arkansas vapor industry were misled into believing that SB 978 would not place unnecessary restrictions on retailers or manufacturers.  Unfortunately, this bill has moved out of their control and presents several challenges that must be fixed.

If passed, SB 978 would, among other things:
  • Lay the groundwork for future taxation of vapor products
  • Impose onerous paperwork requirements on industry
  • Require vapor retailers to only purchase their products only through wholesalers licensed by the State of Arkansas
  • Impose specific child-resistant packaging requirements that are not in line with existing federal regulation.
  • Become effective May 1st, meaning that many retailers will be forced to operate illegally if state bureaucrats are unable to dispense licenses in time.

Please take action NOW to oppose this bill!

Please also take a moment to call members of the House Rules Committee and tell them that you oppose this bill:

AR House Rules Cmte
John T. Vines501-624-1252
Andy Davis501-837-5109
David L. Branscum870-448-2408
Mary Broadaway870-236-9800
Les Eaves501-827-1344
Jon S. Eubanks479-438-0533
Deborah Ferguson870-735-7098
Bill Gossage479-667-2122
Monte Hodges870-281-6878
Kelley Linck870-404-2741
Mark Lowery501-837-5221
James Ratliff501-454-5200
Laurie Rushing501-545-6066
James Sturch870-612-7589
DeAnn Vaught870-832-2638

(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.
(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

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