Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 28

TOP STORY:  Postal Reform Bills – The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform overwhelmingly passed two bipartisan bills this week to overhaul the U.S.  H.R. 5714, the Postal Service Reform Act, which was cosponsored by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), would enhance revenue, improve efficiency, integrate Medicare, and streamline governance and oversight of the Postal Service.  H.R. 5707, the Postal Service Financial Improvement Act of 2016, which was cosponsored by Reps. Lynch and David McKinley (RWV), would authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to invest a limited amount of the Retiree Health Benefits Fund in market-based index funds and establish a Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund Investment Committee to help advise the Treasury Secretary on investments made from the Fund.  Source:  Oversight Committee

Highlights from Postal Reform Bills – In summary, points of interest to mailers include:

  • Allowing the Postal Service to increase postal rates by approximately 2.15% for market-dominant products – making permanent a partial reinstatement of the exigent surcharge
  • Requiring the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to complete its full review of the market-dominant rate system by January 1, 2018
  • Establishing priority factors for consideration in the PRC’s rate review
  • A phaseout of door delivery for new postal addresses and beginning a voluntary conversion to centralized, curbside, or sidewalk delivery of residential addresses
  • Authorizing the USPS to provide non-postal services to state, local, tribal and other federal agencies
  • Restructuring the Postal Service Board of Governors in both amount and term, and consolidate the Postal Service and PRC Offices of Inspector General into one body
  • Requiring Postal Service retirees and employees to be enrolled in Medicare to remain eligible for federal health care in retirement
  • Requiring the Postal Service to establish and appoint a Chief Innovation Officer

Source:  RRD Blog Postal Action Alert

NPES Lauds Progress on Bipartisan House Postal Reform Bill – NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, President Thayer Long lauds the unanimous voice vote approval of H.R. 5714, Postal Service Reform Act of 2016, by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee on July 12, and congratulates its congressional sponsors for their initiative in crafting a bipartisan bill that seeks to put the U.S. Postal Service on a sustainable course for the future.  “This legislation still needs refining and NPES will continue to participate in that process, but passage by the OGR Committee is a very important next step toward achieving the goal of enacting it into law by the time this Congress adjourns,” said Long.  Source:  NPES

Verso Successfully Emerges from Bankruptcy – Verso Corporation (NYSE:VRS), leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers and pulp, announced this week that the company and its subsidiaries have emerged from bankruptcy following a successful financial restructuring and confirmation of its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on June 23, 2016.  Source:  Verso

2016 AF&PA Sustainability Report – Did you know 66.8% of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2015? Check out the report here.  Source:  WSEL

From E-Commerce to Drones, USPS Looks for Competitive Edge – The U.S. Postal Service has always been known for its mail service, but in recent years it has grown in new ways to survive. First was its package service.  More recently, it was integrating e-commerce and shipping.  USPS has done that by becoming competitive with other shippers.  “We have some distinctive advantages in the marketplace,” said Jim Cochrane, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer said on the Federal News Radio’s Agency of the Month program, featuring the Postal Service for the month of July. “We go everywhere — we knock on 153 million doors every day to deliver the mail.”  Source:  Federal News Radio