Moving Forward After the COVID 10
Exercise equipment and weights have been flying off the shelf this past year as people have been stuck at home, and they want to remain in shape or get into shape without risking exposure by going to the gym during the pandemic. I am not one of those people. Other than sports, I am not much of a tv watcher but, I have been busy catching up on Netflix shows that I heard people talking about or referencing, such as Ozark, Schitt’s Creek, The Queen’s Gambit, Dead to Me, All American, and Bloodline to name a few. My sedimentary ways have resulted in the dreaded COVID 10 – extra pounds. As I recommit myself to healthier habits, it crossed my mind that KTA should examine what is important for us in 2021.
The most important thing is – YOU, the member. We want to keep you informed and engaged as much as possible in 2021. I am looking forward to our Golf Classic on June 24th at Wildwood County Club and our Annual Membership Conference and Expo at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana, from August fifth through the seventh. These will be great opportunities to reconnect, network, socialize, and learn from each other.
Our highest priority issue will always be highway safety. We will certainly get back to Safety Management Council meetings as soon as it is prudent, and most people are comfortable attending this type of meeting. Additionally, we would like to offer North American Transportation Management Institute classes during 2021. Our Kentucky Road Team is a great resource to educate our teenagers and adults, for that matter, about the operation of a commercial vehicle and the proper way to drive around it. Their message emphasizes the danger of distracted driving and the importance of seat belt usage. Our road team provides testimonials on how rewarding a trucking industry career can be for a young person to consider.
Advocacy on your behalf is undoubtedly a primary goal of the association. We have been actively monitoring legislative efforts and keeping you informed about national and state issues. A few items we have been watching on the stateside are HB 278; this bill will allow for the deduction of expenses paid with forgiven PPP loan proceeds. Without this bill, those that used PPP in Kentucky could receive a tax bill from the Department of Revenue. Hopefully, this bill will be signed into law while you are reading this message. Other state bills include the towing and storage bill, infrastructure bills, eliminate the $34 clerk fee, and many bills with an impact on small businesses. A future discussion will include surtax as Kentucky is just one of two states that collects a surtax on fuel. On the federal side, we are watching how the Biden administration handles the preemption of state regulation of interstate trucking, specifically the meal and rest breaks. The Sixth Circuit upheld FMCSA’s preemption under the previous administration. We are watching the Rhode Island truck-only toll case. This will have implications across the United States should the trucking industry lose this battle. The American Trucking Association litigation center is fighting this on all our behaves. Please consider donating to the litigation center to make sure we win this case. You do not have to be an ATA member to donate. If interested, please visit https://www.trucking.org/law-litigation.
Also, we are monitoring transportation infrastructure funding – highway trust fund, lawsuit abuse issues – Kentucky’s Constitution is very restrictive on limiting civil judgments, minimal level of financial responsibility, workforce development – including a graduated CDL program, driving training rules, driver health, and wellness. Other issues include autonomous vehicles, drug and alcohol clearinghouse rulemaking, redundant background checks, and truck parking.
There are so many opportunities for us to educate people on what we do. We need your continued support to keep the association moving in the right direction. It is a privilege to represent this incredible industry and to be able to meet and work with great people on a regular basis. I have learned so much over the past two years. I am looking forward to a wonderful 2021.
Rick Taylor, President/CEO
Kentucky Trucking Association