BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SJR 11


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          (Without Reference to File)





          SENATE THIRD READING


          SJR  
          11 (Leyva)


          As Introduced  May 26, 2015


          Majority vote


          SENATE VOTE:  25-12


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Judiciary       |7-3  |Mark Stone, Alejo,    |Wagner, Gallagher,  |
          |                |     |Chau, Chiu, Cristina  |Maienschein         |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |O'Donnell             |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |11-5 |Gomez, Bloom, Bonta,  |Bigelow, Chang,     |
          |                |     |Calderon, Daly,       |Gallagher, Jones,   |
          |                |     |Eduardo Garcia,       |Wagner              |
          |                |     |Holden, Quirk,        |                    |
          |                |     |Rendon, Weber, Wood   |                    |








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          |                |     |                      |                    |
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          SUMMARY:  Urges Congress to restore services of the United  
          States Postal Services (USPS) and to oppose additional service  
          reductions.  Specifically, this measure:  


          1)Declares that on January 5, 2015, the USPS implemented lower  
            "service standards" to virtually eliminate overnight delivery  
            of first-class mail and periodicals, and further delay most  
            other mail.


          2)Declares that delayed mail negatively impacts businesses,  
            residents, communities and the economy, resulting in lower  
            revenue and damaging the financial situation of the USPS.


          3)Declares that robust service standards implemented by the USPS  
            are essential to providing prompt and timely delivery of all  
            mail.


          4)Declares that planned shutdowns of mail sorting centers would  
            seriously affect hundreds of employees, over 22% of whom are  
            United States military veterans, many with disabilities.


          5)Declares that at least one of these mail sorting facilities,  
            located in Eureka, California, is planning to shift its mail  
            distribution to Oregon, which contradicts the obligation of  
            the USPS to protect voting by mail throughout California,  
            which is now commonplace and will remain essential to our  
            democracy.










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          6)Declares that the USPS has the authority to reinstate  
            overnight delivery standards in order to hasten mail delivery  
            and to prevent shutdowns of mail sorting centers.


          7)Urges Congress to require the USPS to restore service  
            standards in effect as of July 1, 2012, and place a moratorium  
            on planned shutdowns of mail sorting centers, and further  
            urges Congress to oppose any postal reform legislation that  
            does not continue the mandate for six-day delivery service or  
            does not protect door-to-door delivery as it currently exists.


          8)Urges the Secretary of State to publicly oppose changes in the  
            USPS that negatively impact the rights of California voters  
            who vote by an absentee ballot. 


          EXISTING LAW:   


          1)Provides, under the United States (U.S.) Constitution, that  
            Congress has the power to establish post offices and post  
            roads.  Establishes the USPS as an independent establishment  
            of the executive branch of the U.S. government.  


          2)Provides that the USPS shall be operated as a basic and  
            fundamental service provided to the people by the U.S.  
            government and shall have as its basic function the obligation  
            to provide postal services to bind the nation together through  
            the personal, educational, literary and business  
            correspondence of the people and to provide prompt, reliable  
            and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall  
            render postal services to all communities.  


          3)Requires the USPS to provide a maximum degree of effective and  
            regular postal services to rural areas, communities and small  








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            towns where post offices are not self-sustaining.  Provides  
            that no small post office shall be closed solely for operating  
            at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress  
            that effective postal services be insured to residents of both  
            urban and rural communities.  In determining all policies for  
            postal services, requires the USPS to give the highest  
            consideration to the requirement for the most expeditious  
            collection, transportation and delivery of important letter  
            mail. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.


          COMMENTS:  This measure, sponsored by the California State  
          Association of Letter Carriers, addresses recent actions by the  
          USPS that have resulted in closures of distribution centers,  
          losses of jobs and degradation in the quality of postal service  
          provided by the USPS.  


          Quick Background on the USPS.  On a typical day, the USPS  
          processes and delivers 512.8 million pieces of mail to  
          residences and businesses throughout the U.S. including rural,  
          urban, and suburban communities.  (USPS, One day in the life of  
          the U.S. Postal Service?by the numbers  
          .)  Helping to deliver this mail are the 617,000 USPS  
          employees.  (USPS, Size and scope  
          .) 
            In some rural places, it is the physical presence of the post  
          office that defines the community.  In other more urbanized  
          settings, the post office provides important special services  
          such as facilitating passport renewals and providing post office  
          boxes and reliable shipping options for young entrepreneurs. 


          As the USPS works to redefine its role within the shipping and  








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          mail delivery sector, it faces very real fiscal challenges.  In  
          federal fiscal year 2014, the USPS registered a loss of $5.5  
          billion, down from a loss of $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012.   
          (Josh Wikes, Postal Service lost $5.5 billion in 2014 despite  
          more gains in operating revenue, Washington Post, November 14,  
          2014.)  There are a variety of contributing factors that affect  
          both the revenues and expenditures of the USPS.  On the revenue  
          side, the volume of first class mail continues to decline as  
          more individuals and businesses turn to the Internet to connect  
          socially and economically.  Much of the mail delivered to homes  
          and businesses are flyers and other low cost advertising.  On  
          the expenditure side, costs continue to rise and the USPS has a  
          limited ability to impact its fixed costs. 


          USPS Cost Cutting Initiatives.  Since 2012, the USPS has  
          instituted several initiatives aimed at reducing expenses in its  
          mail delivery and processing systems as part of a broader effort  
          to address its fiscal challenges and move towards financial  
          viability.  Some of these initiatives include changing its  
          delivery standards to increase the expected number of days that  
          it can take to deliver some types of mail, consolidating mail  
          processing facilities and realigning its operations to capture  
          potential savings.  It is estimated that 35,000 jobs were  
          eliminated in the first phase of consolidation.  (Angela  
          Greiling Keane, U.S. postal service to cut 35,000 jobs as plants  
          are shut, Bloomberg Business, February 23, 2012).  The second  
          phase seeks to close an additional 82 processing centers, which  
          could impact up to 15,000 USPS jobs nationwide.  Four processing  
          plants are slated for closure in California: Eureka, Redding,  
          Petaluma and City of Industry.  The USPS predicts that the  
          California plant closures will result in a net job loss of  
          approximately 700 California jobs.  (Eric Katz, One map to show  
          where USPS will cut 7,000 jobs, GovExec.com, September 8, 2014).  
           The impact of these closures to consumers is slower mail  
          delivery.    


          Additionally, there have been efforts in Congress to eliminate  








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          door-to-door mail delivery.  The USPS has begun strongly  
          encouraging new developments to use cluster boxes as it seeks to  
          reduce door-to-door delivery.  (Lisa J. Huriash, Postal Service  
          ending door-to-door delivery to new developments, South Florida  
          Sun Sentinel, January 31, 2014).  Further efforts in this  
          direction can be seen with the introduction of H.R. 2748, the  
          Postal Reform Act of 2013, which sought to end "to the door"  
          delivery in favor of curbside service or neighborhood cluster  
          boxes.  That bill passed the Committee on Oversight and  
          Government Reform during the 2013-14 Congress.  


          Legislation Introduced in Congress to Address Reductions Has Yet  
          to be Given a Hearing.  Two resolutions have been introduced in  
          Congress this year seeking to eliminate USPS service cuts and  
          continue six-day delivery, both issues that are addressed by  
          this measure.  First, H. Res. 12 expresses the sense of the  
          House that the USPS should continue six-day a week mail service.  
           That resolution has 212 bipartisan co-sponsors, including 38  
          members from California.  Second, H. Res. 54 expresses the sense  
          of the House that the USPS should restore service standards in  
          effect on July 1, 2012.  That resolution has 198 bipartisan  
          co-sponsors, including 40 from California.  Both resolutions  
          have been referred to the House Committee on Oversight of  
          Government Reform, but neither measure has yet received a  
          hearing.  




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Leora Gershenzon / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  FN:  
          0002405














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