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Top Headlines

Increase Truck Registration Fee – NO!

 HB 1123 – House Transportation committee – Tuesday, April 15th 

     HB 1123 that proposes a truck registration fee increase will be heard in the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday, April 15th. This bill does not include an increase for automobiles. The fiscal note is $80 million in increased revenue for non-federally funded highways – or rural roads.

Read this week’s LMTA Legislative Bulletin for a spread sheet comparing the current registration fees with the proposed fee for several common truck weight classes.

     First and foremost this legislation is not a part of a comprehensive plan to address highway funding in the long term – or short term for that matter. And, since funds generated from truck registration fees are dedicated to the highways that are not eligible for federal funding, will you be asked for additional tax increases to fund road projects that are eligible for federal funding but require the customary state match of 20%?  

     Please contact the members of the House Transportation Committee and ask them to OPPOSE this legislation and support a comprehensive highway funding plan that involves all highway users – not just the trucking industry.

 How to Contact House Members at the Capitol:

PH (225) 342-6945 * FAX    (225) 342-8336

HB 917 – Lower Jury Threshold – Debate April 15th!  Call Reps NOW!  HB 917 by Reps. Garofalo, Ivey, Seabaugh, Simon and Stokes removes the cause of action threshold amount of $50,000 to be entitled to a jury trial. The judges, district attorneys, clerks of court and the Supreme Court “tipped the scales” with their strong opposition and the bill was returned to the calendar. But, we have not given up and will continue to lobby the Representatives until it is debated on the floor - probably Tuesday. They need to hear from you! 

     There will be an amendment to gradually reduce the threshold by $10,000 over the next four years, resulting in a final $10,000 threshold. This should satisfy the Representatives need to appease the “courthouse crowd “and it will give us all time to determine the real impact on the court system.  

     The $50,000 jury trial threshold has been identified by the Insurance Commissioner, trucking defense attorneys, and most major insurance companies as the primary reason that 1) there are so few companies writing motor carrier insurance in Louisiana and 2) why the rates are so much higher in Louisiana than most other states.

     Legislators are NOT hearing from the trucking industry! Please contact your Representative and ask him/her to support the amendment to gradually reduce the jury trail threshold.  

House of Representatives:

PH (225) 342-6945 * FAX (225) 342-8336 

SB 518 – Anti-Indemnification “Teeth” – Still on Senate Floor.  As previously reported, Sen. Danny Martiny (R-Metairie) filed SB 518 to put some “teeth” into the anti-indemnification law passed in 2010.  The bill passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee amended to provide for recovery of attorney fees, court costs, and reasonable costs incurred in the dismissal of the indemnity claim.

     Although the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI) was neutral on the original bill in 2010, they now join the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA), Shell Oil, Dow Chemical, Koch Industries and others in opposition to SB 518. They will vigorously lobby to kill the bill on the Senate floor!

     We feel this is a reasonable compromise that will put “teeth” into the anti-indemnification law as too many shippers are ignoring the law and continuing to put the prohibited clauses in contracts. Motor carriers have no choice but to sign the contracts and hope that the “public policy” declaration will protect them.

     SB 518 is still on the Calendar pending debate before the full Senate. Please call your state Senator and as ask him/her to support SB 518 by Sen. Martiny as amended in the Senate Commerce Committee.    

How to Contact Senators at the Capitol:

PH (225) 342-2040 * FAX (225) 342-0617

Kentucky Passes Anti-Indemnification Law – 41st State!  On April 7th, Governor Beshear of Kentucky signed into law S.B. 59, which makes provisions in contracts for motor carrier transportation that require the carrier to assume liability for the shipper’s negligence void and unenforceable in the state. Kentucky is the 41st state to enact such legislation, which has spread very quickly. Colorado passed a similar law last month. Our congratulations to the Kentucky Motor Transport Association and to its president & CEO, Jamie Fiepke!  

TWIC System Upgrade – Services Temporarily Unavailable.  TSA is upgrading its technology. During the system upgrade, specific TWIC card services will be TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE.

How to Contact Legislators at the Capitol: 

        House:      PH    (225) 342-6945           

                                            FAX  (225) 342-8336                             

Senate:      PH    (225) 342-2040    

                FAX (225) 342-0617 

Official Legislative Website: www.legis.state.la.us 

Read this week’s LMTA Legislative Bulletin for more information on these stories…

 
   
 
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Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc.
4838 Bennington Avenue | P.O. Box 80278 | Baton Rouge, LA 70898
Phone: 225-928-5682 | Fax: 225-928-0500