https://txretailer.memberclicks.net/blog

City, Comptroller reach agreement on sales tax rule change injunction

The City of Round Rock and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reached an agreement Tuesday, Aug. 31, that prohibits the state from implementing a subsection of a new sales tax sourcing rule, pending a final hearing. 

The City filed a lawsuit in July seeking to overturn portions of the Comptroller’s Rule 3.334, which would source sales tax revenue from many online purchases to the buyer’s location instead of the seller’s place of business. This change to decades-old sourcing rules would have cost Round Rock millions of dollars a year in lost local sales tax revenue, most notably from online sales made by Round Rock-based Dell Technologies. 

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NGA Applauds Hours Of Service Waiver Extension For Grocery Truckers

The National Grocers Association applauded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s extension of its Hours of Service emergency declaration, which was set to expire Aug. 31, but is now extended through Nov. 30.

FMSCA has provided hours-of-service flexibility for commercial drivers transporting certain categories of eligible items critical to the supply chain since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency announced the extension to the waiver based on input from independent grocers.

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Texas WIC New Approved Foods FY2022

Starting October 1, 2021, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

Summary of Changes for FY22 (See chart below for more details.)

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Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $1.4 Billion In Summer Pandemic Food Benefits For Texas Families

August 24, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a third round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19.

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Reminder: Texas WIC Vendor Payment Temporary Closure Starts Tomorrow

Reminder: WIC Vendor Payment System Temporarily Closing - Starts August 25

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

It is that time of year when Texas WIC will transition to a new fiscal year (FY) in late August. Health and Human Services (HHS) will temporarily suspend the payment of WIC claims to close its accounting records for FY2021.

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Grocery Industry Update - August

P-EBT SNAP benefits continue to be a hot topic for our grocers.  A total of over $3.8 billion has been loaded to Lone Star Cards.  About 73% has been spent in grocery stores but SNAP customers still have about $1 billion left on their Lone Star Card. 

In addition to the P-EBT benefits, the USDA Food & Nutrition Services has approved for the Texas SNAP to increase the normal SNAP benefit to the maximum for family size for Aug.  These additional benefits began loading on to Lone Star Cards Aug. 10 – Aug 13.

Lastly the State SNAP agency has requested Summer P-EBT benefits.  If approved, the funds would be loaded onto Lone Star Cards late September.

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Legislative Update - August 2021

The 2nd called Special Session of the Texas Legislature began on August 7th with a total of 17 topics identified by the Governor for consideration. This consisted of the 11 issues from the previous Special Session call and an addition 6 that are new. You can find a the Governor’s announcement and proclamation HERE. Most significant for TRA’s members, Governor Abbott added one of TRA’s priority issues (local employment practices) to the call. As you know, SB14 from the regular session failed to pass in the final days of session but now has another chance to finally become law.  Following the Governor’s announcement, the Texas Senate began immediately passing many of the bills designed to fulfill the Governor’s call, including SB14 (employment practices legislation from the regular session) . Meanwhile, in the Texas House of Representatives the quorum break being forged by many Democratic members over the election integrity legislation continues to prevent that chamber from being able to conduct business or pass any legislation. While in recent days the number of total member present has risen, a quorum has not been reached. For now, it seems that there is significant pressure from all sides of the issue but no clear path forward. We do know the legislature will have to also address redistricting at some point in the near future and it is still unclear how the current status of the legislative proceedings will impact that process. TRA continues to  monitor and participate in the quickly evolving events in the capitol and will keep you up to date on news as it happens. Please feel free to reach out to the TRA team if you have any questions or need additional details on any specific issue.  

Texas Governor Issues Executive Order on July 29, 2021

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order (GA-38) combining several existing COVID-19 executive orders to promote statewide uniformity and certainty in the state's COVID-19 response. 

“Today’s executive order will provide clarity and uniformity in the Lone Star State’s continued fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “The new Executive Order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates. Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19. They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities. Vaccines, which remain in abundant supply, are the most effective defense against the virus, and they will always remain voluntary – never forced – in the State of Texas.”

Click here to view Executive Order.

Grocery Industry Update - July

SNAP benefits continue to dominate the news for supermarket operators.  P-EBT funds have been loaded onto Lone Star Cards and the total is over $3.5 Billion.  A little over 50% has been spent by customers and applications for P-EBT are being approved weekly by the State Agency.  In addition, the additional benefits up to max. family size were approved for July.  These additional funds could reach $96 million.  Of note, the regular SNAP benefits are slightly less than last year and the number of families receiving regular SNAP has decreased slightly.  This is due to the fact, this time last year, we were in the middle of the pandemic and more people were unemployed.

The State Agency has made application to USDA FNS applying for summer P-EBT.  This program would compensate families who have children on free or reduced lunch during the regular school year.  If approved, these funds would be loaded onto Lone Stare Cards at the end of September.

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New WIC Approved Foods for FY22

New WIC Approved Foods for FY22

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

Starting October 1, 2021, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

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Texas WIC Temporary Increase: WIC Cash Value Benefits

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, WIC participants will receive an increase of cash value benefits (CVB). This means participants will be able to purchase more fruits and vegetables at authorized Texas WIC vendors. 

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Kroger trades $250,000 for naming rights to UNT's food pantry

Norah Shazad, a University of North Texas sophomore, is one of two student employees working at the newly renamed UNT Food Pantry.

She was present Thursday for the official announcement that Kroger would financially support the pantry for the next five years, which included money for both student workers’ pay.

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Last Day to Register for FMI DC Virtual Fly In (Food Retailers)

Food Council Members,

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TRA Statement on Governor Abbott's announcement today - Statewide COVID restrictions to end on March 10th

TRA Members:

This afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an Executive Order that effective March 10, 2021, ALL businesses across Texas will be allowed to be open at 100% for occupancy, as well as Ending the statewide face covering/ mask mandate. Click here to see the Executive Order.

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Lowe's helps with donations of water and supplies for Texas communities

Last week in Texas, it was the coldest it has ever been in three decades; some places being colder than the bottom half of Alaska. People in our community went periods of time without water or power and in some situations people had absolutely nothing. Now that the lights are on and the water is flowing again, people are trying to clean up the damages from busted pipes and repair their homes. I know that water and a bucket of supplies will not solve all the problems that the freeze has caused, but it's a start. Many people were very happy to receive these buckets of hope and said "it made their day". It is my pleasure to hold a position in a company, that not only wants to satisfy their customers, but also thinks of the needs of their community. Thank you for letting Lowe's #28 be a part of what Lowe's Home Improvement stands for!

 

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BGC Gives Employees Special Compensation for efforts during storm

Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. is recognizing its employee-partners for their dedication and service to their communities while serving through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and this past week’s winter storm. It is showing its appreciation by giving gift cards and additional hourly pay to its team.

This aligns with the national Food Industry Association’s earlier declaration of Monday, Feb. 22, as Supermarket Employee Day nationwide.

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Grocery Supply Chain Continues to Sort Itself Out, Should Return to Normal By End of Week

From water to electricity and now grocery stores, many are still dealing with the fallout from the winter storms.

Some grocery stores still aren't full as trucks are working to deliver what was lost.

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How HEB Helped Texas During Winter Storm

Texans Needed Food and Comfort After a Brutal Storm. As Usual, They Found It at H-E-B.

As state government flounders, has a beloved grocery store chain become “the moral center of Texas”?
AUSTIN, Texas — The past week had been a nightmare. A winter storm, one of the worst to hit Texas in a generation, robbed Lanita Generous of power, heat and water in her home. The food she had stored in her refrigerator and freezer had spoiled. She was down to her final five bottles of water.

“I have never felt so powerless,” Ms. Generous, a copywriter, said.


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Gary Huddleston Grocery Industry Update with Channel 5 in North Texas

Click on the image below to get the latest grocery industry news from Gary Huddleston, who joins NBC 5 news in North Texas to give some insight into what grocery providers are doing to restock their shelves in the wake of historic winter storms.

Texas WIC Update: Winter Storm Supply Issues

Winter Storm Supply Issues
Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Texas WIC appreciates our vendor community for trying to maintain business operations during the severe winter storms across Texas this week. We understand the variety of issues you are managing during these unprecedented times and we are hopeful that warmer weather in the days ahead will help correct these issues. If you anticipate long term issues related to the topics below, please notify the Vendor Management and Operations (VMO) Unit at [email protected]:
• Restocking store shelves
• Damage to your store
• Unable to restore power
• No supply deliveries

Texas WIC is ready to assist our vendor partners. Should you have any questions regarding this Vendor News Flash, please contact the VMO’s Vendor Outreach Branch at [email protected] or
1-800-252-9629. Find more WIC vendor resources on our website at bit.ly/TexasWICVendors







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