Senators revisit national concrete masonry check-off proposal

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff

Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Roy Blount (R-MO) have brought the 113th Congress legislation enabling concrete masonry producers to pursue development of a national check-off program, where an assessment per unit sold would support industry research, education, and promotion.

The Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2013 (S.429) is modeled after a 2011 bill Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI; now Senator) introduced in the 112th Congress. The bill provides for establishment of a Concrete Masonry Products Board, comprised of up to 25 producer members proportionally representing markets or regions across the industry. Operating under the Commerce Department, the Board would be empowered to survey the industry on an assessment program, and responsible for planning and executing research, education and promotion activities.

Bill cosponsors are Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The legislation has been assigned to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; additional information on the bill and program framework can be obtained through the CMU Check-off Initiative,