Tester introduces bill to improve rural mail delivery

Senator’s bill keeps post offices open, supports postal workers

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester introduced a bill to improve mail service and protect post offices and postal employees in rural America.

Tester, who has been highly critical of the Postal Service for closing processing facilities that reduce delivery standards in rural America, introduced the Rural Postal Act to specifically address concerns that rural customers have with the Postal Service.

“Each day folks in all corners of the country count on the timely delivery of letters, bills, medicine, and election ballots,” Tester said. “The Postal Service is critical for our rural way of life, and this bill takes important steps to restore delivery standards by preventing future processing plant closures and preserving six-day mail delivery.”

Tester’s bill would:
• Make sure mail reaches its destination faster by restoring stronger service standards, and place a two-year moratorium on the closure of additional mail processing plants.
• Permanently preserve six-day mail delivery, instead of being added annually in appropriations legislation as it has in recent years.
• Protect rural post offices from closures, require specific procedures before reducing operating hours at rural post offices, and enable communities to formally petition the Postal Service to undo closures or reductions in hours.

Tester held a roundtable discussion earlier this year with fellow rural senators, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Association of Postmasters and the National Rural Letter Carriers about mail delivery in rural America.

Tester previously met with newly appointed Postmaster General to discuss improving delivery standards in rural states like Montana.

Tester’s Rural Postal Act, which is sponsored by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), is available online HERE.