Up Front-High Gear
- Created: 03.20.2017
The Regular Session of the 91st Arkansas General Assembly convened on January 9, 2017. The following days of the legislative session are some of the busiest days of the year for Arkansas Trucking Association.
All year, we listen to our members’ challenges in the state and identify ways we can address those challenges, and while the wheels of ATA are always moving forward, we tend to swing into high gear when our elected officials come to town.
One of the biggest issues our carrier members are currently facing is the financial uncertainty stemming from litigation following an accident. You may have seen the headlines about “nuclear verdicts” bankrupting small businesses and driving up settlement and insurance costs for even the safest carriers. Right now, there is a real opportunity to improve the legal climate in the state which will enable job growth and economic improvement.
ATA is partnering with health and business groups to put a cap on non-economic damages and lawyer’s contingency fees in civil actions and to ensure that punitive damage awards are reasonable and directly relate to negligence. We are working on your behalf to educate lawmakers about the real threat of frivolous lawsuits, protecting Arkansas businesses.
Much of the time, the work we do for members is behind the scenes. We make the calls, we draft the letters, and we correct misinformation with the help of our staff, lobbyist and board of directors—the cogs and gears you may not see slowly moving and grinding forward. But for our latest efforts to address these specific industry challenges, we will need your help.
The best way to confront an unhealthy legal climate and its effect on our economy is to pass the necessary tort reform amendment through the legislature this spring and ask Arkansas voters to add these reforms to the state Constitution next Fall.
This particular issue is important for trucking, but the opposition’s concerns will be loud, and we need to make sure that Arkansans hear the voice of real business to counter that noise. That voice is yours.
If you resolved to be more invested in local and state government in 2017, I invite you to take advantage of this advocacy opportunity. Or maybe, you have plans to attend more educational sessions or promote your business better this year.
ATA can help you reach those goals too with a full calendar of workshops and meetings including the 85th anniversary ATA Business Conference & Vendor Showcase in May and a new advertising/sponsorship opportunity, The Founders Club, for brands looking to maximize exposure. Whatever you attempt this year, it’s time to swing into high gear to achieve it.