OOIDA board meets

By Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief

Members of the OOIDA Board of Directors, executive officers, D.C. office and others assembled Oct. 21-25 at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo., and spent four days conducting Association business and producing a substantial work agenda for 2016.

The full board of 22 directors from all over the U.S. and Canada approved the Association's strategies for legislative issues, legal actions and significant regulatory participation.

Board members approved minutes from the previous meeting and heard the finance and business report from OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston and Chief Operating Officer Rod Nofziger.

Government affairs. The overview on federal matters was presented by Executive Vice President Todd Spencer and Director of Government Affairs Laura O'Neill-Kaumo with assistance from Ben Siegrist of the Association's government affairs staff. They updated the board on regulatory affairs and legislative matters.

The six-year House highway bill was a big topic. OOIDA's D.C. office has worked furiously on Capitol Hill for the bill to include critical requirements members support and to keep language out that would open the door to rulemakings the Association opposes. O'Neill-Kaumo provided a rundown of what was in and what was out of the fast-moving bill. Managing Editor Jami Jones has an update on this legislation at press time, Page 24.

Regulatory affairs. Director of Regulatory Affairs Scott Grenerth updated board members on the regulatory plan developed by the Association in an effort to promote a true safety-minded agenda in D.C. while countering overbearing regs that do little to improve highway safety and that simply drive up the cost of business. The big-ticket issues were EPA-NHTSA's greenhouse gas phase 2; electronic logging devices, insurance minimums; and entry-level driver training.

Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched a negotiated rulemaking. As part of that process the Entry-Level Driver Training Committee, composed of dozens of industry stakeholders, was tasked with hammering out the framework for a driver training regulation. Grenerth was in D.C. as part of the committee, along with Board Member Bryan Spoon of Grandy, N.C., representing Spoon Trucking. Grenerth called the work of the Entry-Level Driver Training Committee "a huge effort." The proposed rulemaking is projected to publish in December 2015.

Spoon said he thought the positive results that were reached at the meetings provided the foundation for a minimum standard.

"Is it 2,000 hours? No. But at least we got enough to effectively shut down CDL mills. I'd say overall it was successful."

Spoon said he'd like to see more negotiated rulemakings.

"Frankly, it worked," said Grenerth.

Lawsuit update. OOIDA's Litigation Counsel Paul Cullen Sr. and Paul Cullen Jr. reported on the Association's litigation activities, including details on the successful conclusions of OOIDA's lawsuits against Comerica Bank, C.R. England and Swift Transportation. The attorneys detailed a status report on several other active cases, including the proceedings in OOIDA's court battle with the California Air Resources Board over the Truck and Bus rule. LL