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Roscoe Goes to Washington

Julia Buik - Friday, June 09, 2017

Sustainably Funded Transportation: Roscoe Goes to Washington

The following guest blog was written by Julia Buik, who recently joined Roscoe as a 4th generation Buik family member. Julia is a graduate of Marquette University's College of Business Administration with majors in Accounting, and Operations and Supply Chain Management. Her previous work experience includes Tandem HR in Westchester, IL, as well as working as an intern for Roscoe from 2004 through 2010. Julia became a full time team member of Roscoe in November 2016.

TRSA Mission & Meeting with Congress

This spring I had the opportunity to attend the Textile Rental Service Association's (TRSA) 2017 Leadership & Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. As the national trade association for the textile services industry, a component of TRSA's mission is public and government advocacy. 

Conference attendees had the option to register for Congressional visits. Those attendees were put into small groups by the TRSA staff, who worked diligently to schedule meetings with local Congressional staff on our behalf.

My group included my father Jim Buik, President and Owner of Roscoe in Chicago, and Brian Polatsek, CEO and founder of EcoBrite Linen in Skokie. Roscoe was founded over 95 years ago by my great-grandfather, George Buik, and we continue to Take Pride in the variety of services we offer to our customers throughout the greater Chicagoland area. EcoBrite Linen was established in 2015 to provide healthcare linen and laundry service to skilled nursing communities in Northern Illinois.

Initially, our group split up to meet with staff of Representatives for our hometown districts. Then, we met in the  Hart Senate Building for back-to-back meetings with staff of Illinois' Senators.

Transportation Improvements

Our main discussion point was the need for a long-term, sustainably funded law to improve transportation. Industrial laundries rely on roads and bridges to transport products to and from our customers' locations. We also depend on a safe way for suppliers to ship their goods to us. Furthermore, we know our customers depend on reliable transportation to provide products and services to their customers. 

The improvements to, and maintenance of, our nation's roads, bridges, railways, and airports are a common goal. We shared our views that a tax based on miles driven would be a double tax when paired with the existing gas tax. The required record keeping would be an additional burden on companies. We also acknowledged the current gas tax is not a sustainable revenue stream, with increases in fuel efficiency. A long-term funding plan is necessary because infrastructure projects require substantial planning by all stakeholders.

Next Steps

This week, President Trump outlined many ideas for infrastructure improvements. I am curious to see which ideas Congress utilizes to create detailed bills. I am hopeful Congress will focus on creating a long-term solution. I look forward to reviewing bills as they are proposed, because we were encouraged by one of the staff members to provide feedback on drafted legislation.

I strongly encourage you to contact your congressional representatives with feedback regarding important issues such as transportation, and vote in all elections. The Congressional website has a search feature for legislation by topic or bill number, which allows the public to easily view proposed legislation. I also encourage you to join a trade association to learn more about regulatory concerns for your industry. Active participation in trade associations, such as TRSA, contributes to both personal and professional growth. 

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