The President's Column
By Steve Weitekamp
September was an event-filled month for your Association and many of our members. The 2017-18 CMSA chapter meeting schedule started with several valuable meetings around the state. The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) conducted their annual Fall Board Meeting and Legislative Day on Capitol Hill. The United States Military held their annual Personal Property Forum (PPF) and Hot Wash in O’Fallon, IL reviewing the program for moving and storage of our service members and their families. And, on top of that, the California Legislature ended its 2017 session, passing SB 19 in the final hours of the session.
It is always a privilege to spend a day in the halls of congress visiting with representatives and staffers, sharing our concerns on national and California issues impacting our industry and its members. CMSA had a strong contingent for AMSA’s recent Day on the Hill. CMSA Members John Chipman Jr., Chris Higdon, Jeanette Homan, and Rhonda Stephens joined me for a visit to the office of Senator Diane Feinstein and then Jeanette, Rhonda and I met with congresswoman Linda Sanchez while John and Chris met with Sacramento congressman Ami Bera. As a group we also made several successful cold calls on congressional offices where we shared concerns including: issues with Military Base access, preserving the tax deduction for moving, protecting personal information on international moves.
Several CMSA members including former chairmen Tim McCarthy and PJ Welch and current Vice Chairman Alan Freese and Military Affairs Committee Chair Jeanette Homan joined us at the US Military PPF and Hot Wash. There were two days of program review and discussion, with day one an open forum and day two a meeting of Associations and Military personnel and representatives. The issues of specific concern to CMSA and its Military Affairs Committee continue to be related to base access. The first being reasonable compensation for excessive waiting time at the gate for carriers that are eventually cleared for base access. The other issue is the request for standardization of fitness standard for access. Carriers are frequently frustrated when an individual is granted access one day and then denied the next day at the same installation.
SB 19(Hill), the California Public Utilities Commission Governance, Accountability, Training, and Transportation Oversight Act of 2017, was voted in by the Legislature in the final hours of the legislative session and on October 2, 2017 (quicker than anticipated) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. If you have read our letter to the Governor (cover article) you know that now the real work begins.
- CMSA Communicator