The Home Furnishings Association is committed to championing the causes and issues that affect your business. We are guided in our efforts by the Government Relations Action Team (comprised of your fellow members) and your responses to this annual survey.

Please take a few minutes to answer these questions.

Online/Remote Sales Tax
The HFA advocates for a federal online/remote sales tax law. This year, two options were put forth for discussion in the House Judiciary Committee.

* 1. Would a federal online/remote sales tax bill improve your competitiveness and sales?

* 2. Should HFA continue advocating for passage of federal online sales tax legislation?

Overtime Rule
The Department of Labor released new overtime rules that will take effect Dec. 1, 2016. The rule raises the salary threshold to $47,476 with an automatic increase every three years.

* 3. Will this OT rule affect your business and staffing decisions?

* 4. If so, how? Please write your comments below.

Deferred Interest
This year the HFA joined a coalition with a goal to educate Congress and policy makers about the importance of the use of deferred interest products in our industry in the hopes of preventing regulatory activity that could limit the access and availability of this product.

* 5. Do you offer deferred interest financing options?

* 6. Should the HFA continue its efforts of education?

* 7. Would your business be affected if this product was no longer available?

Furniture Tip-Over
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every two weeks a child is killed when a TV or furniture falls on them. The furniture industry has a voluntary tip-over standard designed to reduce these incidents. The HFA has been educating members on the standard and on the importance of carrying furniture that meets the voluntary standard.

* 8. Do you know if the furniture you sell meets the voluntary tip-over standard?

* 9. Do you realize if there were a tip-over incident involving furniture you sold you could be liable?

Hours of Service
The new language in the House FY2017 Transportation Appropriations bill does not allow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to enforce the new 34-hour restart restrictions, with two 1am-5am off-duty periods. Rather, it allows them to enforce a simple 34-hour restart with no additional terms. HFA is part of an HOS coalition that supports use of the 34-hour restart without restrictions.

* 10. Have the new Hours of Service regulations affected your business?

* 11. Should HFA continue to advocate for changes to the Hours of Services regulations?

Labor Relations
Many states and cities are raising their minimum wages and offering paid sick leave.

* 12. Would raising the national minimum wage affect your business?

* 13. Would a national paid sick leave law affect your business?

* 14. Should HFA continue to monitor these and other labor issues that affect your business?

Furniture Formaldehyde Emissions Standard
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule covering formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products. For retailers, compliance will be one year from the publication of the rule (August 2017). Under the new rule, retailers must maintain bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents for three years with a statement of TSCA Section VI compliance. Aside from the chain-of-custody documentation, importers must have the ability to make records identifying the panel producer, the date the products were produced, the supplier (if different) and the date the products were purchased available to EPA within 30 calendar days of request. Importers of covered laminated products have two years from the rule’s publication date to obtain TSCA Title VI import certification. Overall, the rule is a deviation from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and it will take significant effort to implement.

* 15. Will the new formaldehyde rule affect your business?

* 16. Do you import any products containing composite wood?

Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been considering a national flammability standard for decades. California has revised its flammability regulation to TB117-2013. The new standard test (which is smolder-only rather than open flame) eliminates the need for flame retardant chemicals.  The industry would prefer the CPSC adopt a national standard modeled after California’s TB117-2013 to avoid additional manufacturing costs.

* 17. Should the HFA continue to engage with the CPSC to support a smolder-only approach to a national upholstered furniture flammability standard?

Calls to Action
The HFA issues Calls to Action for members, encouraging them to contact their legislators to support or oppose certain bills or to meet with them in their districts.

* 18. Do you participate in these Calls to Action and reach out to your legislators?

* 19. If no, why not? Please write in comments below.

* 20. Have you ever met with your state or federal legislators?

* 21. If yes, what issue prompted your engagement? Please write in comments below.

Monthly Updates
The HFA sends state and federal legislative and regulatory updates via email each month.

* 22. Do you read the updates?

* 23. How do you prefer we share information with you?

* 24. What issues are you most concerned about? Please write in comments below.

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