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Legislation Impacting Printers : Topping the Agenda

January 2010 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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WELCOME TO 2010! The New Year offers that opportunity at redemption, the chance to purge all of the evil associated with 2009. It was truly the year from hell. You know it's bad when even Tiger Woods walked away from the year sighing and rubbing the back of his head.

But turning the calendar page is not going to solve any of our ills. Psychologically, we need some separation from '09. But the structural damage needs to be addressed, as does the notion that once the economy is back on its feet, not everything will be back to normal. Is a fundamental shift afoot, with more and more printed content quickly draining from print shops and into the coffers of online marketing?

Well, don't lose sleep just yet. We can't solve all the maladies impacting the beloved printing community in one fell swoop or wave the economic prosperity wand. But we can share with you some of the most pressing legislative issues of interest to printers, along with a look at what's being done from an advocacy standpoint.

Here to help us with background and interpretations is Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of Government Affairs at Printing Industries of America (PIA). We'll take a view of five hot-button items that carry the most meaning to you.

One area we won't touch, however, is healthcare. The components of President Obama's golden child are volatile, with changes occurring on a daily basis. It would be an exercise in futility to speculate at this point, and it may be a done deal by the time you read this anyway. Visit www.printing.org or your favorite mainstream news organization for the latest updates on Congress' historic bill.

A look at the top five issues:

Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act

This old news is bad news. The bipartisan Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was actually passed by the Bush Administration, but given a one-year stay until testing and certification issues could be ironed out. This was a knee-jerk-reaction bill in light of the rash of products produced in China that were found to have dangerous levels of lead.

The CPSIA also covers phthalate, such as plasticizers that can be found in printing inks, coatings and adhesives. New content limits for lead and phthalates are already in effect, but testing won't start until Feb. 10, 2010.

 

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