The NATSO Board of Directors approved its Priority Legislative and Regulatory Issues for 2017-2018 at its January Board Meeting held during the NATSO Show 2017.
NATSO’s core legislative priorities continue to focus on the industry’s long-standing efforts to oppose commercial rest areas and tolling on existing interstates as well as the need to increase revenues into the Highway Trust Fund to ensure certainty for the nation’s future transportation needs.
Additional top tier issues include preserving the integral role that the private sector plays in providing truck parking and ensuring that EPA maintains the current compliance responsibility structure under the Renewable Fuel Standard. NATSO also will seek an extension of the biodiesel tax credit.
The Board voted to focus staff resources on a number of issues that are detrimental to the overall health of the business community or pose unnecessarily burdeonsome compliance requirements.
NATSO will concentrate on protecting debit fee reform amid efforts by some lawmakers to repeal what is commonly known as the “Durbin Amendment.”
NATSO also is actively supporting efforts to scale back the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules.
Health care and tax reform and several food-related matters — such as clarifying compliance ambiguities under the Food and Drug Administration’s menu-labeling requirements, which are set to take effect this year — also topped the list.
Additionally, NATSO will play a more active role in efforts by the business community to amend the Americans With Disabilities Act to provide businesses an opportunity to identify and correct alleged ADA violations before they can be engaged in a lawsuit.
The Board’s renewal of its long-standing commitment to oppose commercial rest areas and tolling of existing interstates comes at a time when President Donald Trump has made infrastructure improvements a top priority for his Administration.
President Trump is calling for an additional $1 trillion in investments over a decade. The President has stated, however, that the Administration prefers private funding mechanisms, such as tax breaks to private investors to provide toll roads, rather than direct government funding.
Although NATSO has long supported enhanced investment in surface transportation infrastructure, direct federal spending -- rather than simply private sector capital -- is necessary to do it effectively. Legislation that relies on private investment and tax credits could lead to undesirable revenue schemes, such as tolling and rest area commercialization, which NATSO opposes.
NATSO will continue to push for an increase in the motor fuels tax, which represents the most efficient mechanism for collecting revenue for infrastructure projects.
NATSO also will push for repeal of the tolling pilot program known as the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP).
Tolling federal interstates remains prohibited under federal law except for three states that may hold slots under the ISRRPP.
With several slots currently open under the ISRRPP, NATSO anticipates that a number of states will seek tolling authority under the pilot program this year.
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