Day On The Hill Matters

Some of the biggest decisions affecting your business aren’t made in the truckstop.

In 2015, elected officials are expected to tackle a host of issues that stand to dramatically shape the business climate as well as the way truckstop and travel plaza owners run their operations.

NATSO’s annual Day on Capitol Hill marks your biggest opportunity to speak with lawmakers before they vote on legislation that’s bound to impact your future success. 

Each year, more than 50 NATSO members take time away from their businesses to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers and make their voices heard on the key issues that stand to impact their truckstops and travel plazas. 

We don’t always have the benefit of good timing when it comes to meeting with lawmakers and presenting our issues. But in 2015, the scheduling of this event couldn’t have been more fitting. 2015 represents a critical year for NATSO’s top issues.

In May 2015, the current extension of the highway bill, which funds the vast majority of the nation’s infrastructure projects, is set to expire.

Lawmakers already are discussing how best to generate revenues for a long-term highway funding bill.

NATSO members will meet with lawmakers on May 13, giving them a significant opportunity to share opposition to highway funding schemes such as tolling existing interstates or rest area commercialization that hurt highway-based businesses.

Nothing sways lawmakers more than hearing from their constituents. After all, voters have the power to hire—and fire.

Regardless of whether you are a first-time attendee or an industry veteran, this is the year to make your voice heard.

How It Works
NATSO makes it easy. We handle all the work. NATSO arranges all of your meetings between you and your elected officials or their appropriate staff representatives. The day before you are scheduled to meet with your elected officials NATSO assists you with meeting preparation. That evening, all attendees are invited to participate in NATSO’s annual Congressional pie reception, where hundreds of pies are served to key legislators and their staff.

What We Will Talk About
Each year, NATSO determines its top discussion items based on legislation that is expected to move within the Halls of Congress.

This year, the major focus will be on highway infrastructure funding needs. With highways and transportation infrastructure crumbling, needs far exceed the revenues coming in to the Highway Trust Fund. With lawmakers reluctant to raise taxes, other measures that allow states to raise revenues and hurt highway businesses—such as tolling and rest area commercialization—are likely to surface. 

In May 2014, the Obama Administration unveiled its transportation legislation, which would eliminate the longstanding

ban against interstate tolls and allow states to use tolls to fund highway reconstruction, as well as other non-highway transportation spending including transit. NATSO joined with the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates in opposing the President’s plan and will continue to educate lawmakers about the detrimental effects of tolling on businesses and safety.

Rest Area Commercialization
With state and federal transportation revenues continuing to decline, states will continue to ask for more flexibility in funding projects such as rest areas, and it’s possible that the idea of rest area commercialization may resurface. The last time this proposal was considered during the Senate transportation reauthorization, it was soundly defeated by a vote of 12-86. While this overwhelming margin makes the topic somewhat toxic, NATSO stands ready to mobilize once again should a proposal surface. 

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