Increased Legislative Focus on Children’s Issues Likely in 2012

January 17, 2012 | With the U.S. House returning today (January 17th) and the U.S. Senate on January 23rd, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is anticipating another very active year regarding legislation that could affect the toy industry.

“Most legislative activity on the federal level is expected to occur before the summer recess, as Members of Congress turn their focus on the November elections when half of the US Senate is up for reelection and all 435 House seats will be on the ballots as well,” said Peter Sandel, TIA director of government affairs.

TIA will be tracking about 36 bills at the federal level; at the state level, similar to 2011, TIA will be tracking more than 100 priority bills that could have a direct and negative impact on the toy industry. The Association is expecting early and aggressive action in the states in 2012 – an election year in 86 of the 99 legislative chambers, with 46 state legislatures in session.

 “2012 will be a unique year as states are emerging from the fiscal crisis of the last several years and more legislatures may have time to ‘take action to protect children’ in ways that could impact the toy industry,” said TIA senior director of state government affairs, Andy Hackman.  “We are also expecting to hear a lot of discussions on the campaign trail about issues that affect children, which will likely garner significant media attention.”

Key issues beginning to take shape at the federal and state levels in the coming year include:

  • Currency rates (federal)
  • Bills addressing costly regulations (federal and state)
  • Online privacy (federal and state)
  • Human Trafficking (federal and state)
  • Recalls (federal and state)
  • Labeling issues (federal and state)
  • Broad chemicals regulation mandates (federal and state)
  • Bans on Bisphenol-A (BPA) (federal and state)
  • Take-back mandates for batteries, packages, and products (federal and state))
  • Restrictions on heavy metals (mercury, cadmium and lead) (federal and state)
  • Bans on the flame retardant “TRIS” (federal and state)

TIA will be tracking these issues closely in the coming months and will keep members apprised of developments. Questions regarding state government affairs can be directed to Andy Hackman (646.520.4851) or TIA director of state government affairs Joe Gregorich (916.454.4281) and questions regarding federal government affairs can be directed to either Peter Sandel (646.454.5580) or TIA director of federal government affairs Rebecca Mond (202.344.4554).