KGVO: Montana Senator Tester Outlines Details of ‘Postal Reform Act’

by Peter Christian

Each year, it seems the U.S. Postal Service has come under scrutiny for its operation – either good or bad. Congress, and Montana Senator Jon Tester, are working toward some comprehensive changes in a bill that has already passed the House of Representatives.

In a news release from Tester, he outlined the major portions of the “Postal Reform Act.” He said the bipartisan bill would ensure long-term, reliable mail service and change some financial issues of the USPS budget.

Tester said, “The Postal Service is critical to Montana’s economy and our rural way of life. Montanans depend on timely and accurate mail delivery for everything from prescription medication to Social Security benefits to essential services that support small businesses and rural communities.” He said that during the pandemic, thousands of Montanans have contacted him about mail delays and rural mail service.

Major Details of “Postal Reform Act”

  • Permanently requires delivery at least six days a week.
  • Special rates continue for rural newspaper distribution to promote local newspapers.
  • Eliminates the 2006 Prefunding requirement for retiree healthcare in the USPS balance sheet. This would reduce the prefunding liability in the budget.
  • Require future Postal Service retirees to enroll in Medicare. Currently, a quarter of postal retirees do not enroll, increasing USPS premiums.
  • Allows the Postal Service to partner with State, local and Tribal governments for non-postal services, such as hunting and fishing licenses.
  • Require the Postal Service to develop an online “dashboard” to provide information on national and local level service performance for additional transparency.

The bill is moving toward a final Senate floor vote.