ALCC LAB
Rep. Becker named Legislator of the Year Email

State Representative Jon Becker Named Legislator of the Year by the Green Industries of Colorado

Rep. Jon BeckerDENVER, CO – Representative Jon Becker (R-Sterling) was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Green Industries of Colorado (GreenCO). The award was presented to Representative Becker at the annual ProGreen EXPO conference and tradeshow on February 10, 2016.

“GreenCO chose Representative Becker as its Legislator of the Year because of his knowledge and support on a variety of key GreenCO legislative issues in the past year, including transportation and tax issues, but most notably for his work on reauthorizing the state Pesticide Applicator law,” said GreenCO lobbyist Jay Hicks. “He is a knowledgeable, business-friendly legislator and an asset at the state capitol.”

House District 65 includes which includes Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick and Yuma counties. Currently, he is the ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee. Representative Becker was elected in 2014. Since being elected, Rep. Becker has also been named the Community College Legislator of the Year.

 
State bill would help simplify Colorado sales tax system Email

Simplify Colorado Sales Tax

On Tuesday, February 9, at 2:00 PM, the Colorado Senate Finance Committee is scheduled for a hearing on SB36, which will help reform the Colorado sales tax system. ALCC will testify in support of the bill. View the fact sheet about the bill here.

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Contact your representative about H-2B delays Email
Thursday, February 04, 2016 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. facts

There are two letters circulating on the Hill asking to address the processing delays in the H-2B program. One letter is from Rep. Andy Harris to Secretary Perez (view/download here) and the other is from Reps. Keating and Benishek to Asst. Secretary Wu (view/download here). Please reach out to your House representative and ask them to sign on to these letters. Explain the urgency that you and other landscape companies and seasonal businesses in Colorado are facing.

It’s possible that a Senate version of this will come up in the coming days. Watch the LAB for updates as they are available. Contact Kristen Fefes at 303 757-5611 if you would like to discuss.

 

Recently on the LAB:
The effect of H-2B processing delays
H-2B program experiencing delays

 

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The effect of H-2B processing delays Email
Tuesday, February 02, 2016 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. facts

Many business owners have expressed frustration about the delays at DHS and DOL that threaten their ability to get workers on time and have additional consequences related to running a business. The delays and breakdowns appear to be at many points along the process.

 

ALCC invites members to take a few minutes to send a sentence or two about what it means if you don’t get your workers on time (e.g., “If I don’t have them April 1, it will mean X US workers laid, off $500,000 in business, etc”). Submit your comments by Friday so ALCC can share it along with employer testimonials from around the country. The goal is to show the systemic problem within the program.

 

 

Those of you who are experiencing delays, please also reach out to Senators Bennet and Gardner as well as your House Representative. You can find their contact information here, or you can reach them via the Capitol switchboard (202-225-3121).


In the meantime, the H-2B Workforce Coalition is continuing to reach out to Congress and discuss additional oversight of DOL and DHS through letters, phone calls, appropriations hearings and other mechanisms. Your efforts to contact the Hill to share your concerns will greatly enhance those efforts. Please contact Kristen Fefes if you’d like to discuss.

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President vetoes Congressional attempt to repeal WOTUS rule Email
Friday, January 22, 2016 02:00 AM

 

Waters of the United States

On January 19, President Obama vetoed Senate Joint Resolution 22, Congress's attempt to nullify the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule, using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

On Thursday, opponents of the WOTUS rule attempted to override the President's veto. The effort did not garner the 60 votes needed, ending with a 52-40 vote in the Senate.

Read the President's veto statement here.

Read the statement from Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) regarding his vote on Thursday to override the veto.

Previously on the LAB:
House to vote disapproval of WOTUS rule
WOTUS Resolution Passes Senate, Moves to House

What is a WOTUS?

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ALCC releases 2016 legislative priorities Email

 

ALCC advocacy update

ALCC has announced its legislative priorities for 2016. You can follow the development of these issues in real time at www.coloradocapitolwatch.com. The priorities are:

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H-2B program experiencing delays Email
Monday, January 18, 2016 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. factsThe following was posted last week by the US Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification regarding the H-2B visa program:

The Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is making this public service announcement to employers who participate in the H-2B temporary nonagricultural visa program. We have received a number of inquiries and correspondence concerning recent changes and delays in processing H-2B applications at the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC). The Department takes your concerns seriously and strives to support U.S. small businesses, consumers, and communities.

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Response to EPA announcement regarding imidacloprid Email
Friday, January 15, 2016 12:00 PM

 

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) had the following response to a recent EPA announcement:

Last week EPA announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, which shows a potential threat to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators. The assessment was highly preliminary and simplistic and the focus was primarily on agricultural crops. Nevertheless, we are concerned because EPA could go beyond the targeted crops listed to include the landscape site and landscape plant application rates.

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Regulatory Update: Pesticide Applicators' Act Email
Friday, January 15, 2016 02:00 AM

 

Pesticide applicationThe Pesticide Applicators’ Act (S.B. 15-119), renewed in early 2015, included new provisions on training for limited commercial and public applicators. Those new regulations are now in effect (as of January 1, 2016). They are:

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House to vote disapproval of WOTUS rule Email
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 02:00 AM

 

Waters of the United StatesNALP issued the followed call-to-action regarding S. 1140 (Federal Water Quality Protection Act):

Please take a few minutes to once again send a letter to your Representatives related to Waters of the United States rule promulgated by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

This week, the House of Representatives is expected to take up S. J. Resolution 22, to disapprove the WOTUS rule using the authority of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The Senate passed this measure in November. The resolution would nullify the WOTUS rule. 

While President Obama will veto the measure, the fact that both the House and Senate passed the resolution will send yet another strong message to the Administration about opposition to the rule. More importantly, a strong vote by Congress could be raised in the various legal challenges to the rule to demonstrate that EPA and the Corps’ action is an example of regulatory overreach. 

Earlier this year, United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recently issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from implementing the rule while the court reviews the various legal matters raised in the lawsuit. The legal maneuverings in that case and others continue. 

Thank you for your engagement on this important issue. 

Previously on the LAB:
WOTUS Resolution Passes Senate, Moves to House
Clean water rule injunction extended nationwide
What is a WOTUS?

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Important announcement regarding the H-2B program Email
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. facts

The following was posted today on the US Department of Labor Web site regarding the H-2B visa program:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE H-2B PROGRAM 
(OMB Approval of Revisions to Appendix B of Form ETA-9142B and Form ETA-9165 in order to Implement Provisions of 2016 DOL Appropriations Act)

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Dept of Labor issues emergency guidance for 2016 DOL Appropriations Act Email
Tuesday, January 05, 2016 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. facts

The US Department of Labor issued emergency guidance on implementing the 2016 DOL Appropriations Act. Download the guidance at this link.

According to the guidance:

1) DOL will not approve PWDs based on wage surveys until a notice of action is issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

2) DOL will not issue final certification determinations until OMB approves changes to the form. Until a new form is approved, employers may continue to use the old form.

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The H-2B Program: Myths Vs. Facts Email
Friday, December 18, 2015 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. factsThe following fact sheet has been released by the H-2B Workforce Coalition. You can download the full fact sheet here.

The H-2B Program: Myths Vs. Facts

Do H-2B workers take jobs away from Americans?
No, H-2B workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, retain their full-time workers and contribute to their local economies. Seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. Every H-2B worker is estimated to create and sustain 4.64 American jobs, according to an American Enterprise Institute study, Immigration and American Jobs. If the H-2B program did not exist, many seasonal businesses would go out of business. Those that could survive would operate at a lower capacity. These companies would also purchase fewer vehicles, computers, office supplies, seed, fertilizer, machinery and other items. Sadly, this economic reality has been realized time and time again by numerous businesses who were unable to find American workers to take seasonal jobs and who were unable to hire H-2B workers due to the limiting 66,000 annual cap on the number of H-2B workers admitted into the United States.

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