New USPS reform bill clears Senate
April 29, 2012 - A bill that includes many needed reforms, and which includes measures favored by ABM chief legislative lobbyist Tom Carpenter, has passed the Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives.
According to Carpenter, "Postal reform is desperately needed — the postal service has been losing money hand over fist and is really outsized for the kind of mail volume they have." He says that the system has the capability to handle 300 billion pieces of mail per year, but currently handles about half that.
Carpenter says that labor costs are the largest cost, and the Senate bill includes provisions to offer buy-outs and incentives to trim the USPS work force by 100,000.
ABM has worked to keep provisions in the legislation that treat periodical publishers fairly. "To be a viable service, periodicals need service standards that they can count on, so the USPS needs to do that in an orderly way, which is our bottom line," says Carpenter.
"The fact that a bill has been reported out is great news, but the Senate bill is weaker than we would like in terms of reforms. ABM fought hard to make sure if a lot of the reform provisions would be stripped out that they weren’t going to turn to mailers to pay for those," Carpenter adds. "We pushed back very hard when rates were raised and we fought against amendments and ultimately we prevailed and we’re pleased."
For more detail on the pending legislation, check out the report at Folio:.