New Missouri newspaper vending rules take affect

If your newspaper is sold or distributed at Missouri interstate highway rest stops, here is a development just released:

Proposed rescissions of current rules and proposed new rules involving newspaper vending machines located at interstate highway rest areas in Missouri were published Aug. 16, 2010, in the Missouri Register.

Comments about the proposals may be filed with the Missouri Department of Transportation, Pamela J. Harlan, Secretary to the Commission, P.O. Box 270, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

Comments must be received within 30 days after publication of the notices in the Missouri Register.  This means comments must be received by the Commission by Sept. 15. No public hearings are scheduled on the proposals.

Missouri Press Association needs to hear from publishers whose newspapers will be affected by these proposed regulations.

To read the proposals, see pages 1173 to 1180 of the following link:

http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/moreg/current/2010/v35n16/v35n16a.pdf

Here are a few of the highlights of the proposals:

No publication vending machine shall be installed at a rest area except those machines owned and installed by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

At each rest area, the commission may provide one publication vending machine bin which may hold up to four individual machines to allow the vending of publications. The commission, in its sole discretion, may provide additional bins if the commission determines sufficient room exists within the rest area to accommodate additional bins.

A publisher shall not install is own newsrack(s).

The commission may grant to a licensee (for instance, Sheltered Workshops) an exclusive license to authorize publishers to lease machine space.

The licensee may lease machine spaces within the bins to such publishers or such publishers’ agents and such spaces shall be available on a first-come, first served basis.

The licensee shall collect a license fee of $12 per year from each publisher or its agent for each machine space in a rest area to cover the administrative and maintenance costs the licensee shall sustain due to the operation of the machine and the debris the machine will generate.

The visible contents of the publication as displayed in the machine shall not be offensive to members of the general public.

The publisher is responsible for damages to bins and machines.

The licensee, or a publisher or its agent, shall remove any outdated issue of such publication from within each machine and remove all debris which is not properly placed in rest area trash containers from the rest area grounds.

Each publisher and is agents shall be liable for damage sustained to the commission’s bins, machines, and the contents thereof that is caused by the publisher or its agents.

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