Last Thursday, the Postal Reform Act of 2018 (a bipartisan bill), was introduced to the Senate. It has similarities to the bill introduced last year, which has not advanced to a floor vote yet. The new Postal Reform Act will include:
- Elimination of the statutory payment schedule to prefund future retiree health care costs, cancel any outstanding payments, and amortize payments over 40-years.
- Allow a one-time 2.15% across-the-board rate increase, representing half of what was authorized for the “exigent surcharge”, while freezing any further rate increases until the controversial new rate setting system can be finalized by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
- Require “strong service reforms”:
- By improving mail service performance across the country
- Require transparency and enforcement to ensure the USPS’ accountability
- Service performance would be stabilized by preserving current services standards for at least two-years.
- Introduce new non-postal products and services; allow the shipment of beer, wine, and distilled spirits; and urge partnership with state and local governments in offering government services.
Leo Raymond, President of Mailers Hub (a industry advocate) said; “That the bill was introduced is a good sign of awareness among legislators that action is needed to restore the USPS to financial stability, but it’s only one step in the process.”
Both chambers of Congress need to pass the same measure which would be sent to the president for signature. Given the precarious and combative nature of Washington; we will have to see what becomes of the bill. We’ll keep you posted!