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Legislative Watchdogs

Most, if not all associations keep track of bills and proposals on federal and state issues that can favorably or adversely affect their members' businesses, and then act on their behalf to promote or prevent said legislation. As examples:

New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association
Members of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association and the Accredited Snow Contractors Association traveled to their state capitol in Trenton to raise awareness about the increase in snow management liability insurance due to the high number of slip and fall claims, some of which are false, that are being made against snowplow contractors.

Jody Shilan, executive director of the NJLCA said, "Government officials were welcoming to the group, sensitive to the issue, and impressed with the group's professionalism and numbers, as well as their message and proposed solutions."

Professional Landcare Network
The Professional Landcare Network released its Legislative Quarterly Update, in which Tom Delaney, director of government affairs, reported on the 2014 Legislative Day on the Hill that took place July 29 on Capitol Hill.

Many issues were presented such as seasonal health care, tick-borne diseases, the "Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act" (H.R. 5078); and immigration reform. To support this event, more than 100 PLANET members, representing 26 states, helped inform legislators of these issues and as a result, some lawmakers are likely to co-sponsor H.R. 5078, S. 2496, and H.R. 5213.

Irrigation Association
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, exceptional drought, the highest level, covers four states - California, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma, while extreme drought the second highest level, covers twelve states - Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

John Farner, Government & Public Affairs Director of the Irrigation Association said, "One of our top priorities is the drought. We are ensuring that all the water is being used efficiently and any decisions being made by the state governments are taking into account the economic, environmental, and social benefits of landscape irrigation."

The IA also created Smart Irrigation Month, launched in 2005, an initiative that promotes efficient water use with water-saving products, practices and services, and works closely with WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, whose goal is to protect the future of the nation's water supply.

California Landscape Contractors Association
Although the CLCA has struggled to bring value to its membership, they recently showed that they can be effective when they focus on legislative issues, asking their members to actively oppose a pending bill whose passage could threaten their businesses.

The bill in question, AB 2416, would allow employees or their lawyers to put a lien on an employer's property for "an alleged, but unproven claim for unpaid wages or other compensation such as meal and rest period time." It would also allow an employee to put a wage lien on a property where an employee worked "under certain circumstances."

This makes a good case for associations sticking to their strengths, such as keeping a watchful eye on governmental issues . . .

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June 15, 2019, 10:38 pm PDT

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