Trust in a Digital Age – In an age when you can tweet or post your opinion to the entire planet, the value of trade associations are greater than ever. This may seem counterintuitive, but think about it. Because we are bombarded by so many digital messages, we put even more value on the opinions of sources we know and trust. We desperately want someone to help us separate the unimportant from the critical. Trade associations like the MTA do exactly this analysis for legislators, regulators and our members.
What Do the Truckers Think? – Over the years, the MTA has established a strong reputation for carrying out its mission: serve as the voice for a safe and successful Minnesota trucking industry. Lawmakers in St. Paul know if they want the pulse of our industry, all they have to do is reach out to the MTA. From experience they trust us to be accurate, fair and effective. Lawmakers commonly seek our feedback regarding bills before they are introduced. Often those bills are modified or just filed away because of our support or opposition. The MTA brand is strong in St. Paul.
Making it Real – However, I think we are at our very best when we connect our members directly with lawmakers. Hosting legislative leaders at MTA board meetings is one approach. The best strategy, far and away, is visiting with legislators in their hometowns. Our secret weapon is something we often take for granted, the truck itself. When you seat a lawmaker in a truck, whether male or female, they all become like little kids. The smile on their face when they complete their ride is always huge. The iron and rubber we use every day leaves quite an impression on legislators. In the course of visiting a truck line they meet staff, tour facilities and understand our issues from a very hands-on perspective. When we do lobby them in St. Paul, the truck ride serves as a powerful frame of reference.
Your Top Issues in Minnesota – When we do have the ear of Minnesota legislators, we focus on your most important issues. In 2016 we are working to: 1) increase funding for Minnesota roads and bridges; 2) repeal the fourth tier of the personal income tax, 3) exempt off-road diesel fuel from the sales and use tax, 4) expand available truck parking, and 5) retain the current definition of an independent contractor in the trucking industry.
Calling on Washington- Many of our most critical issues are federal in nature. We work hard to stay connected to our Minnesota delegation in DC. Just next month we will travel to Washington to: 1) clarify the FAAAA exemption, 2) protect the right to use independent contractors, 3) increase the number of truck drivers, 4) expand available truck parking and 5) retain the 34-restart provision of the hours of service rules.
Thank You for Your Trust – Thank you for letting us be your trusted partner as we serve the best interests of the Minnesota trucking industry!