State Senator Anderson Learns of Key Issues
from CMSA Members on Improving the Industry
On behalf of California movers, CMSA President Steve Weitekamp and key CMSA members in the area attended a special moving and storage industry meeting with California State Senator Joel Anderson and his staff in El Cajon on Friday, June 20. Thank you to RaeDeane VanMeter of Republic Moving & Storage who brought the opportunity of this meeting to CMSA’s attention and attended this meeting as an industry representative. With CMSA President Steve Weitekamp leading the discussion, the focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges and possible solutions on improving the industry for California movers and consumers.
The conversation began with the discussion about the financial impact of insurance costs to the moving business with Anderson and his legislative aides. Workers’ compensation insurance, a hotly debated issue with moving companies, has increased in rates over the past few years. Specifically, workers’ compensation base rates for Class Code 8293 have risen steadily from the low $20s in January 2011 to middle $30s in February 2014. For companies large and small, this takes a significant bite out of companies’ annual revenues.
Next, the issue of the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) approach to enforcing industry laws against illegal operators was discussed. To encourage increased enforcement actions, CMSA has worked with the CPUC over the years by sending reported information on illegal operators to the agency for further investigation. However, there is much room for improvement in the agency’s enforcement efforts. CMSA members discussed with Anderson our desire for CPUC sting operations, more website shutdowns and imposing of significant fines to curtail illegal activity in California. CMSA’s recent legislative success of AB 2118 provides the CPUC more enforcement power in fines and permit requirement for brokers to chase down illegal operators.
Weitekamp also discussed the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) regulations and current state bills as causing financial burdens for California movers. One example is the current SB 1204 California Clean Truck, Bus, and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program bill. This bill is aimed at aiding CARB’s goal of reaching near- or zero-emission standards in trucks by 2050 by creating a program that funds trial programs for cleaner technology in trucks. With the tested technology for cleaner trucks, it would expedite and encourage further restrictions on trucks for the moving and storage industry as companies are continuing to struggle with existing regulations. In addition, CMSA also opposes the bill due to its restrictive definitions of vehicles for study that appears to exclude moving trucks from receiving funding. Lastly, low-mileage carriers like moving companies are required to comply with regulators at the same standard as high-mileage carriers like the freight industry in the life expectancy of trucks, which is not practical for our industry. Moving companies need to keep trucks longer and it causes a heavy financial burden to buy new trucks at a faster rate than what is necessary.
Lastly, CMSA had brought up the “Good Faith” extension that ended July 1. At the time of the meeting, there was no path moving forward for moving companies to use in avoiding CARB fines when this extension ends. If moving companies were to enter their financial hardship information on the CARB TRUCRS online system, the printable certificate displayed would only keep companies safe until July 1. However, since the meeting, there are developments in the works to help moving companies after July 1.
Overall, the Power Breakfast meeting with Anderson on industry issues was a success. Thank you to the CMSA members who attended the meeting to support the industry and to help express industry concerns. Because of this meeting, Anderson has a sympathetic ear to the issues that face California movers and we can consider him as an ally to our industry.
State Senator Anderson Learns of Key Issues from CMSA Members on Improving the Industry
- CMSA Communicator