Congratulations to Region 4 for a sucessful meeting. We want to thank everyone that attended and all that sponorserd this meeting. Without your support this would not be possible!
The Texas Legislature has announced changes to your DWC Filings for 2013. You are now required to file form DWC005 each year during the period of February 1st and April 30th of each year. Failing to do so will expose non-subscribers to penalties up to $25,000 per day. You are also required to post Notice 5 in your workplace in English and Spanish. Non-subscribers are also required to give notice to new employees. You are also required to file DWC7 to notify the Department of Workers’ Compensation listing all job injuries. This form must be filed no later than the 7th day of the month following an injury.
If you do not carry workers’ compensation, we do suggest you have an Occupational Accident Plan that covers employees hurt on the job. To protect your company and yourself from employee law suits, we highly recommend a Program.
Shortino & Associates, LLC
Joe & Pam Shortino
CRAWFORD (March 13, 2013)-A BNSF train hit a flatbed wrecker late Wednesday afternoon at a rural crossing north of Crawford, leaving one man dead.
The train's crew reported the crash at around 5 p.m. at the crossing on Simpson Road, just off North Lone Star Parkway.
The wreckage of the badly damaged truck was strewn along the railroad siding.
The train was headed south when it hit the truck, which was eastbound on Simpson Road, authorities said.
The truck's driver, 28-year-old David Reid McCartney was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected, Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was apparently in the area to pick up a vehicle, authorities said.
BNSF will continue to investigate the crash, the front engine of the train has a camera that most likely recorded the collision.
Any video recordings could play a large part in determining the cause of the crash.
There were no crossing arms, lights, or bells at the railroad crossing where the crash occurred.
If you would like to help the family you may make a donation to the David McCartney Benefit Fund at State National Bank P.O. Box 98 West, Texas 76691 254-826-3741.
You have been hearing a lot about the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA)
The answer to all these questions will be coming over the next few weeks and will give you plenty of time to plan your future. Some of the reasons you want to offer health insurance to your employees are:
Overall – The ACA is going to raise consumer’s prices on groceries, dry cleaning, and every other consumer purchase. My dry cleaner has already raised his prices by 10¢ on shirts and 20¢ on dry cleaning, grocery prices are also raising – Towing & Storage rates will have to increase to cover insurance costs, etc. So, what is the answer?
We can discuss that next.
Health Insurance Specialist
The 83rd Texas Legislative Session convened in Austin on Tuesday, January 8, 2012. House and Senate committee assignments have been made.
"Thank you to all Southwest Tow Operator members and Affiliate members. Your membership dues and training fees provide the resources we need to be very effective legislatively."
ISSUES WE ARE WORKING ON:
IM TOW FEE REGULATION.
The IM Tow Fee Study was commissioned by the legislature last session. It was completed and published in December. As expected, the study RECOMMENDS THAT IM TOW FEES BE REGULATED IN TEXAS.
To read the entire study, go to this link; http://www.license.state.tx.us/towing/IMfeestudy.pdf
We anticipate that there will be legislation filed to regulate our IM tow fees. Southwest Tow Operators strongly opposes any IM fee regulation in areas that are already regulated, or served by an agreement with a municipality or county.
We will give you a comprehensive update on this issue on March 19th at Legislative Day in Austin. Please make plans now to attend this important meeting.
The STO office is coordinating car pools to help increase attendance. If you need a ride, or can provide a ride for 2 or more people, contact us at 972-247-9454. If you have enough people in your area, we will help coordinate buses if necessary.
It is critical that we have representation at the capitol on this issue.
Tow Hearing Jurisdiction: Representative Ryan Guillen has filed House Bill 338 to fix the tow hearing jurisdiction issue. Right now, the statute has the tow hearing in the precinct where the vehicle was towed from, but the notice has to tell the vehicle owner the precinct where the VSF is located. This is bad for the vehicle owners and the tow companies. We want it simplified so that the vehicle owner knows where to go and there is no confusion or mistakes on who has jurisdiction.
Notification on Expired Tags/Registration: Representative Ryan Guillen has also filed House Bill 356 to allow a warning sticker to serve as notice for expired tags/registration (in lieu of certified letters). This will make it easier for apartment owners to keep their properties clean and free from non-running, illegal vehicles. It will also encourage vehicle owners to keep their registrations and inspections up to date and increase State and local revenue.
And, as usual, we will be working on any adverse legislation that is filed and watching any tow/vsf-related bills that are filed. We are currently watching several related bills to make sure no adverse amendments are added.
To follow any of these bills, go to Texas Legislature Online: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Home.aspx There is a wealth of legislative information on this website.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS FROM LAST SESSION:
MOVE OVER LAW NOW INCLUDES TOW TRUCKS!
REDUCED NUMBER OF DAYS OF STORAGE FROM 72 TO 45!
SAVE THE DATE: LEGISLATIVE DAY IS TUESDAY, MARCH 19
WE NEED EVERY ONE TO PARTICIPATE, especially those who live in or within a few hours of Austin. Your association does a lot for you, but nothing gets done without individual participation and sacrifice. If you can’t come, send someone to represent you. We don’t have our final agenda yet, but it will start at the capitol around 10:00 a.m. and end with a reception at 5:00 at The Brick Oven, which is within walking distance of the captiol. We are a small industry, so we have to work twice as hard to get things done. We have a lot of tallent in our midst. We need your time, tallent, and treasure to make our industry stronger.
"DONATIONS FOR LEGISLATIVE DAY ARE APPRECIATED! IF YOU CAN HELP, SEND YOUR CHECK FOR $50, $100, OR MORE TO THE STO OFFICE, MARKED “LEGISLATIVE DAY DONATION.”
As soon as we confirm the details, we will be inviting all the legislators and their staffs to the reception. This will be a great opportunity to visit with your representative or senator in a casual environment and let them know we need their help. PLEASE INVITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE and SENATOR.
Our last Legislative Day was a huge success. Everyone (including family and friends) is invited to converge upon the capitol for a great day of learning, fellowship and visiting with lawmakers. We fanned out last session and visited EVERY representative and senator’s office in the capitol. It is definitely worth taking a day off for. And, if you can bring your school-age children, it is a great learning experience for them to see our beautiful State Capitol!
Important Legislative Dates for 2012-2013
• Tuesday, January 8, 2013 (1st day)
• Friday, March 8, 2013 (60th day)
• Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Southwest Tow Operators Legislative Day at the Capitol
• Sunday, May 26, 2013 (139th day)
Last day for house to adopt conference committee reports or discharge House conferees and concur in Senate Amendments [House Rule 8, Sec. 13(e)]
Last day for senate to concur in house amendments or adopt conference committee reports [relates to Senate Rule 7.25, limiting a vote on the passage of any bill during the last 24 hours of the session to correct an error in the bill]
• Monday, May 27, 2013 (140th day)
Last day of 83rd Regular Session; corrections only in house and senate [Sec. 24(b), Art. III, Texas
Regular Session Ends
• Sunday, June 16, 2013 (20th day following final adjournment of Regular Session)
Last day governor can sign or veto bills passed during the regular session
• Monday, August 26, 2013 (91st day following final adjournment of Regular Session)
Date that bills without specific effective dates (that could not be effective immediately) become law
I hope you like the new look! We have updated the documents (requires a login to view). The store is starting to take shape, check it out!