Last week, TLMI leadership and staff joined nearly a dozen other sponsoring organizations on Capitol Hill at the annual Print and Packaging Legislative Summit. The Summit marked a milestone for the organization, as it was the first formal event on Capitol Hill for TLMI. This year’s event saw the Summit’s highest attendance to date, with over 100 participants engaged on important legislative and regulatory issues.
Leadership from the Printing Industries of America (PIA), Association for Print Technologies (formerly NPES) and the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) were just a few of the allied organizations TLMI spent time with discussing legislative, regulatory and industry initiatives. Connecting with these organizations and strengthening the voice of TLMI in Washington, DC is a key directive of the TLMI Strategic Plan, and the Summit provided a perfect opportunity.
Joining TLMI President Dan Muenzer at the Summit were incoming TLMI Chairman Michael Ritter, Gary Jones, CEO, Dot-It Label, TLMI Government Affairs Committee Co-Chair Alex Joesten, TLMI Director of Environment and Outreach Rosalyn Bandy and Bryan Vickers, who covers government affairs issues for TLMI.
To help kick off the event, TLMI moderated the Recycling and Environmental Regulations panel, which covered a variety of industry topics, including PROP 65, California recycling legislation, the impact of China’s contamination policy on the US recycling markets, packaging migration issues, the EU’s REACH initiative and extended producer responsibility (EPR). The well-received session drew several questions from the audiences on PROP 65’s August compliance deadline, how the industry is responding to recycling challenges and packaging migration.
The afternoon panels that followed focused on workforce development, and the impact of tariffs on the paper and printing industry. The attendees heard from industry leaders in these areas, including top trade staff from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). One of the key issues reviewed, theReauthorization of the Perkins Act, which directs future Career Technical Education (CTE) funding to consider the local economy and connected jobs, passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on June 26th. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote.
The second day of the Summit kicked off with an awards breakfast, where Members of Congress came to accept industry awards for their advocacy and support of legislative initiatives on behalf of the printed paper and packaging industries. Attendees heard remarks from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME).
After breakfast, TLMI attendees participated in nearly 20 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff, including the offices of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), just to name a few.
To maximize effectiveness, Hill meetings were set in Congressional districts and states were TLMI member companies have operations. At the meetings, TLMI attendees focused its attention on issues key to the organization, specifically workforce development, tax reform implementation for S-corps and paper advocacy. TLMI encourages everyone to review the leave-behinds for the Congressional offices to understand the scope of issues covered.
Video coverage of the Summit can be found here:
TLMI found tremendous value in the Summit, and plans to participate again in 2019. We will keep TLMI members apprised as the issues and legislation covered at the Summit progress.