The President's Column
By Steve Weitekamp
June started with the 49th annual meeting of the National Council of Moving Associations, of which I currently serve as chair. Ten moving associations (California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, AMSA and IAM) and several industry partners were represented at the meeting. We shared new ideas and best practices for the betterment of our Associations and the industry at large as well as a broad discussion of general association management issues. We organized an in-person meeting with the National Conference of State Transportation Regulatory Specialists (an association for state transportation regulators), where we discussed issues of common concern including: consumer protection, consumer education, app-based operators and other bandit operators performing illegal moving services. This session was a valuable opportunity for industry and regulators from around the country to discuss challenges and better understand issues while establishing a dialogue that can only be helpful to our membership.
Much of the month was consumed by activity related to the Governor's Reorganization Plan. As I discussed in my June column, the initial plan was to transfer Household Good (HHGs) regulation from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) as part of a budget bill. This approach failed to receive the reception needed to pass. Subsequent to this failure, Senator Jerry Hill authored SB 19 Public Utilities Commission: duties and responsibilities: governance. (2017-2018). SB 19 has language similar to the budget bill regarding the transfer of HHG regulation from CPUC to DCA. We have conducted a meeting , with Senator Hill's staff, starting a dialogue to discuss the bill and modifications in the potential transition that would benefit California; consumers, regulated industry and taxpayers.
We also had our first discussion with the Chief Deputy Director of the California DCA, who would serve as the first Household Goods program manager if the transfer is approved by the legislature. If SB 19 is successful we want to ensure a smooth, effective and successful transition of our program. We agreed to set up a schedule of regular meetings once we have a legislative transfer. Our discussion included a review of the DCA and their long history of working with industry and protecting consumers. They have established programs that include licensing, regulation and enforcement, starting with the medical industry in the 1890s. They currently oversee 39 bureaus with the newest being the regulation of the cannabis industry from seed to sale. They agreed that a strong, unlicensed enforcement program is critical to support the validity of the regulated industry. We were assured that they have enforcement staff around the state and have utilized sting operations as a tool to address unlicensed operations. They stressed that they see licensees as customers and CMSA shared that we are ready to dedicate whatever resources are required to assist in the development of an effective program. We will keep you updated on future developments.
- CMSA Communicator