Bill Would Prohibit U.S. Postal Service From Permanently Closing Post Offices Without Community Notice or Appeal Process
Oct 12 2016
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Post offices in Kansas and across the country would be protected from indefinite “emergency closure” under new bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). The bill (S. 3452) would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from using its emergency suspension process – meant to be temporary – to indefinitely close post offices without notice to the community, opportunity to appeal, or a timeframe for either reopening or permanently closing the facility.
“The U.S. Postal Service plays an important role in the American economy, and the opening or closing of a post office can make a big difference to small towns and rural communities,” Sen. Moran said. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will help to make certain the postal service remains transparent and accountable, and maintains a dependable presence in communities across our country.”
Since 2011, 650 postal facilities across the country were “temporarily” closed under emergency suspension. Of those closures, 511 remain closed today, and the Postal Service has not told those communities if – or when – those post offices might reopen. Since 2011, there have been 14 such suspensions in Kansas – 10 due to staffing issues, three for expired or canceled leases and one due to safety and health concerns.
“This bipartisan legislation improves the transparency and accountability of the postal services provided throughout the country, but particularly to rural America,” said National Association of Postmasters President Anthony D. Leonardi. “Many times, Postmasters, workers and communities have been surprised by abrupt and unexpected post office suspensions with little notice and no timetable for their reopening, if they reopen at all. That’s why Senators McCaskill and Moran’s Postal Closure Accountability Act is critical—it would help end these unexpected closures, and ensure that communities are informed about the status of their community post offices.”
Click here to read the bill text.
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