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H.R. 3319 (114th): Postal Innovation Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 29, 2015.

Postal Innovation Act

This bill directs the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to establish a pilot program to provide nonpostal services through public-private partnerships in five postal districts or regions, including at least one rural area. Such nonpostal services may include financial services, warehousing, experimental postal products market testing, community support services, Internet voting, municipal broadband and public wireless Internet service, emergency broadband Internet service, and passport services. The bill also authorizes the USPS to furnish property and services to a state, local, or tribal government. USPS may use cost savings from providing such services to reinvest in innovation, research and development, and operations.

The bill sets forth conditions under which alcoholic beverages shall be considered mailable. They must be mailed: (1) by a covered shipper, (2) in accordance with delivery requirements otherwise applicable to privately carried shipments, and (3) by a means that ensures direct delivery to a duly authorized agent at a postal facility or to the addressee, who must be at least 21 years of age and must present a valid, government-issued photo identification at the time of delivery. The alcoholic beverage may not be for resale or other commercial purpose.

The bill authorizes USPS to enter into contracts to upgrade its fleet of vehicles to increase long-term savings by reducing collision, maintenance, fuel, or other costs. USPS must: (1) develop guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions, fuel economy, and safety for its vehicles; and (2) reduce the petroleum consumption of its vehicles by not less than 2% annually through the end of FY2025.

The Government Accountability Office must conduct a study on the feasibility of USPS providing Internet services to the public.