The President's Column
By Steve Weitekamp
On September 1, the California legislative session ended before AB 2903 was brought up for a vote. AB 2903 was an Assembly bill that proposed a suite of reforms of the operations of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), including clarifying the responsibilities and oversight of various positions; improvements to ethics practices; reports related to telecommunications services and CPUC staffing; stating the intent of the Legislature to transfer most non-rail, for-hire transportation services to the State Transportation Agency (STA); and others. At the close of the legislative session, AB 2903 (known as the Gatto bill), did not receive a rule waiver and never came to the floor for a vote. The bill is dead and Gatto, one of the architects of the legislative changes to the CPUC, is termed out.
Please be advised that the transfer of transportation from CPUC authority to CalSTA is still a part of the Governor's Reorganization Plan, but not constrained to timelines or language that AB 2903 might have imposed. We are pushing for stakeholder meetings on this issue. Our opinion is that this outcome has given us greater flexibility and latitude. Our legislative advocate Chuck Cole and I spent most of the day on Aug. 29 walking the halls of the California Capitol, sharing our concerns related to specific aspects of AB 2903. With the support of our membership, the Association will continue to work for the best possible outcome for the industry and its customers.
Also in September, there was the AMSA Fall Board meetings and Day on Capitol Hill event as well as the SDDC's annual Military Personal Property Forum (PPF) in Washington, D.C.
At the PPF, it was a privilege to participate in a panel discussion and share concerns of agents participating in the DOD program. The presentations I gave were based upon discussions and feedback from CMSA Military Affairs Committee members and others from state associations (specifically, members of NCMA) around the country.
One of the topics discussed was the military base access issue. Long delays and frequently changing security standards are a huge issue for agents, costing time and money and is the source of much frustration. While agents support and understand the need for base security, they find it difficult to understand the inability to institute a standardized system of identification and fitness. There is broad support for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), a relatively cost effective and recognized identification and fitness tool.
The months of October and November will have many networking opportunities available for members to participate in CMSA chapter meetings as well as several fundraising events. I hope to see you there.
- CMSA Communicator