The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
Advocacy is an important part of CMSA’s regular activity and September was busier than usual on that front. We saw the opening of a dialogue with new CPUC senior enforcement with a discussion that will hopefully lead to opportunities for greater understanding of challenges and issues facing the regulated industry.
After visits with the Chairman Casey to several chapters (see the Chairman’s column for a detailed account), I traveled to the AMSA fall board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., where California issues are of frequent interest. Part of the agenda was a presentation on the current state of the CARB On-Road Diesel Engine program and where CARB is planning to go next. We also had the opportunity with other CMSA members Rick Curry and John Chipman Jr. to spend an afternoon lobbying on the Hill, where we met with the legislative staff of several California legislators and shared our concerns related to interstate transportation and, of course, CARB.
Interstate issues that were reviewed included:
- Combating unscrupulous rogue movers and the lack of impact that the FMCSA household goods consumer protections enforcement programs currently possess;
- Requiring container companies brokering household goods moves to comply with household goods consumer protection rules, involving a discussion of the need to revisit the Limited Service Exclusion (LSE);
- Drafting a multiyear highway bill to address deteriorating highways and bridges; and
- Retaining the federal moving expense tax in any comprehensive tax reform.
The month also included a meeting with Advocation Inc., CMSA’s longtime legislative advocate, with presentations to the CMSA Executive Committee by Chuck Cole and colleagues as well as CPUC legislative staffer Nick Zanjani. Cole reviewed the current political climate in Sacramento, stating that California is the bluest of the blue states, noting that California Democrats were in no danger of losing their majorities in both state legislative chambers. The only possible area of concern would be a loss of their two-thirds supermajority, which allows the party in power to exercise their will on budgetary and other matters without minority input.
CMSA has been reviewing and monitoring two bills, both of which the Association opposes, that were recently signed by Governor Brown. The first bill is AB 1897, which requires that businesses share the civil legal responsibility and civil liability of labor contractors for workers supplied by a labor contractor for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers' compensation coverage. Early this month, CMSA emailed all members an AB 1897 bill analysis, drafted by CMSA Legal Counsel Mark Hegarty, that shows the potential implications of this new law to moving companies in California. The legislation was also a priority of organized labor, and it was one of only two bills given the California Chamber of Commerce’s “job killer” label to make it to Brown’s desk this year. For a more detailed look of the new law, you can view the text at:http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1897.
The other bill that CMSA opposed was the SB 1204 California Clean Truck, Bus and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program legislation. This bill was recently discussed by CMSA members in a meeting with California State Senator Joel Anderson in June. To learn more about the new law, please see its full text at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB1204.
We were advised in September that our past engagement with the California Department of General Services (DGS) has had some positive impact on the recently released, Master Services Agreement (MSA) for Office Moving Services. This is a valuable opportunity to work with state and local governments to bring a full range of services to remove free-standing or affixed office and/or lab furniture (including modular furniture), equipment and related supplies from an existing location, transport items to a new location, and place the objects according to the direction of the Ordering Agency. In late September, CMSA sent out a link to solicit all members for bids.
- CMSA Communicator