Today the ABMA Committee met to get an update on our priority issues, recap Advocacy Day 2023, and begin planning Advocacy Day 2024.
Pat Rita, our Government Affairs Representative gave us an update on our priorities. The LICENSE Act is scheduled to be introduced in the House and Senate tomorrow, and ABMA is on record as supporting the bill. It is bipartisan and we will be working to get even more cosponsors; be on the lookout for an action alert on the ABMA website.
The Strengthen Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act was introduced shortly after Advocacy Day, as expected. We are currently seeking cosponsors. It only takes two minutes to send your federal representatives a message.
The Accelerate Long-term Investment Growth Now (ALIGN) Act would make the bonus depreciation tax deduction permanent and was also introduced shortly after Advocacy Day. Bonus depreciation allows a company to write-off the cost of new equipment in the year in which it is purchased. However, as of January 1, 2023, businesses can now only deduct 80% of the value of any equipment they purchase in 2023 and if nothing is done, this deduction will completely phase out by 2027. You can urge your members of Congress to support this legislation on our website.
The Employer Directed Skills Act has not been introduced yet. However, we are actively working with Rep. Stefanik’s (NY-21) office on an introduction plan.
One of our New Hampshire members—Bob Jackman—had two federal training issues he wanted the Committee to discuss: CDL training and crane certification. The concern was that the recent change to requiring any CDL training to be with a registered trainer has made it difficult for lumber yards to train their own people because the process to register is cumbersome. For the crane certification, it requires training in all aspects of using a crane from offloading a truck to use on constructing a highway bridge. Bob’s concern with the crane certification was that most of the training is irrelevant to our industry. He suggested we push for distinct types of crane certifications based on industry needs instead of one general certification.
The Committee reviewed a draft letter I worked on with Bob and is working on some tweaks before we circulate it among ABMA members to get companies to sign-on. Once we gather enough signatures, we will send that letter to members of Congress, FMCSA and OSHA. Be on the lookout in the Advocate and on social media for the final letter.
The Committee recapped our 2023 Advocacy Day event and discussed possible dates for the 2024 event. Attendees at this year’s event were very happy with how their meetings went and felt Congressional staff were engaged and prepared for the meetings. We have already had a few Congressmen sign on to the Strengthen Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act as a result of our meetings. Attendees are doing follow-up, on top of staff emails, asking that they consider cosponsoring that bill as well as the ALIGN Act, both of which were mentioned during our meetings as bills that were going to be introduced soon.
As for the 2024 event, we are looking at dates of other industry events and historical Congressional calendars to select a date for next year’s event. Watch ABMA social media and the Advocate for our announcement.