ALCC LAB
Omnibus spending bill signed into law, includes important H-2B relief Email
Friday, December 18, 2015 02:00 AM


H-2B myths vs. facts

The omnibus bill passed the Senate on Friday and has been signed into law. The latest statement on this bill comes from the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

This evening, President Obama has signed into law an omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2016 that includes important H-2B relief. The bill does the following:

• Exempts H-2B returning workers from the 66,000 annual cap;
• Addresses H-2B wages and allow the use of private wage surveys, which were not allowed under the 2015 final H-2B wage rule;
• Clearly defines seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the new interim final H-2B comprehensive rule;
• Prevents DOL from implementing the provisions of the interim final rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee; and
• Prevents DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the IFR related to audit and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment; and
• Allows for the staggered crossing of seafood H-2B workers.

Thanks to everyone for the continued outreach to the Hill, which made this victory possible.

Laurie, Brian and Gregg

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H-2B under assault - please call Congress today Email
Thursday, December 17, 2015 11:30 AM

H-2B legislation update

We received the following urgent call to action this morning from the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

The H-2B provisions in the omnibus appropriations bill are drawing the fire of anti- immigration groups, especially the returning worker exemption. Senator Sessions (R-AL), Rep. King (R-IA) and others have been speaking against the H-2B program on the Senate and House floors and in the media. Rep. King offered an amendment to strip the H-2B provisions from the bill. Luckily, under the rules set for debating the bill, he will not be able to offer the amendment. Please call your two Senators and Member of Congress today and express support for the H-2B provisions in the appropriations bill.  You can reach them through the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. [Contact info for Colorado representatives can be found here .]

Please see below a positive statement that was released from House Majority Whip Scalise and well as links to the various press stories.

We need your help ASAP!

Thanks.

Laurie, Brian and Gregg

Read more...
 
Omnibus Spending Measure Provides H-2B Relief: Action Needed Today Email
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 02:00 AM

H-2B legislation update 

The following message comes from the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

Thanks to everyone’s continued engagement over the year, we have some good news to report. Late last night, Congress released the final omnibus spending bill for the remainder of fiscal 2016 and it includes important relief for H-2B employers. The House and Senate are expected to pass the measure in the next few days, and President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. Lawmakers who fought for these provisions face an onslaught of criticism from anti-immigration and labor groups, so please take a few minutes to thank them for recognizing the importance of the H-2B program to seasonal employers.

Read more...
 
GreenCO Dives Into Colorado Water Plan Email
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Lake Granby ColoradoColorado experienced a watershed moment in 2015, one with ripple effects on the state for generations to come. On the surface, the Colorado Water Plan approved by Governor Hickenlooper on November 19 is an ambitious road map for managing, conserving, and protecting this vital resource.

But still waters run deep, and if you look closely, you’ll see the plan is designed to help Colorado face climate change, population boom, protect wildlife, keep agriculture vibrant, and support economic growth. All while preserving our quality of life.

Read more...
 
Input needed for Colorado 811 study Email
Thursday, December 10, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Colorado 811In 2009 after many years of legislative work, ALCC was successful in exempting routine landscape maintenance from the existing utility locate statutes. There were many ancillary discussion and issues about damage prevention and utility locate process for contractors in the eight years that we pursued this legislation, and we prepared to be part of those subsequent discussions.

Currently, ALCC is working with Colorado Contractors Association (CCA) to gather information for a study commissioned by Colorado 811. The study will address the current pros and cons of Colorado’s current call-before-you dig system, with a specific focus on the following:

  • Pros/cons of Tier 2 membership
  • Pros/cons of stabling a central authority to enforce state damage prevention laws (aside from District Court)

To gather information for this study, the research team wants to hear from excavators, facility owners and other stakeholders. They will conduct phone surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one in-person interviews. If you are interested in participating in the study on behalf of ALCC, please contact Kristen Fefes at [email protected].  We will host a focus group in January. Phone interviews being as early as December 14.

The LAB will be updated as this project progresses.

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Denver construction defects litigation bill puts pressure on state legislators Email
Tuesday, December 08, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Condo construction

With a recent construction defects litigation bill, Denver became the ninth Colorado community to introduce a law aimed at curbing the amount of litigation regarding condo construction in the state.

Previous communities that have addressed the issue of construction defects litigation include Arvada, Aurora, Commerce City, Douglas County, Lakewood, Littleton, Lone Tree, Parker, and Wheat Ridge. With the addition of Denver, its largest city, Colorado may be feeling pressure to enact legislation at the state level.

Read more...
 

 

Colorado's water plan

ALCC has been involved in the development of the Colorado Water Plan by carefully reviewing the drafts and offering the expertise and guidance of Colorado's green industry through public comments. As stewards of outdoor water use, we look forward to continued involvement in the evolution of the plan and implementation of it. We will continue to make ALCC available as a resource for science-based information and as a partner in influencing responsible water use and conservation.

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ALCC looks forward to Colorado Water Plan Email
Thursday, November 19, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Lake Granby ColoradoToday the Colorado Water Plan is being released. ALCC will review the plan in detail and share our analysis soon. You can hear the presentation of the plan at https://youtu.be/iLAwtxKIDqM. Once approved, the plan should be available for download at www.coloradowaterplan.com.

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Construction defects legislation proposed in Denver Email
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Condo constructionALCC has closely followed the development of construction defects legislation in the state legislature. Construction defects litigation is a source of concern, and developers and those in related industries are eager for bills that will help protect them from unnecessary lawsuits.

Recently, Denver area Denver City Council proposed a bill (Bill 15-0811) that would amend the Denver Revised Municipal Code by adding a new Article XII to Chapter 10 concerning construction defect claims in common interest communities.

Key Ordinance Features include:

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SEASON Act seeks to reform H-2B program Email
Thursday, November 05, 2015 10:00 AM


H-2B visa program udpates

News from the House Judiciary Committee regarding a bill to reform the H-2B program:

Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.), and Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD (R-La.) today introduced a bill to reform the H-2B seasonal guestworker program. The H-2B guestworker program is used by American employers to hire foreign workers for temporary and seasonal work, such as forestry, seafood processing, and other industries.

Read more...
 
WOTUS Resolution Passes Senate, Moves to House Email
Thursday, November 05, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Waters of the United StatesNALP issued the followed update regarding S. 1140 (Federal Water Quality Protection Act):

Thanks to everyone who called and sent letters in support of S.1140. While S. 1140 failed to garner the necessary 60 votes to advance the legislation, the Senate followed up earlier today to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution.

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Help needed today to support H-2B appropriations letter Email
Wednesday, November 04, 2015 02:00 AM


H-2B visa program udpatesThe H-2B Workforce Coalition issued the following call-to-action today, urging supporters of H-2B reform to contact Congressional delegates and ask them to sign a letter asking leaders of the House & Senate Appropriations Committees to include "all of the beneficial H-2B provisions from the House and Senate Departments of Homeland Security and Labor Appropriations bills." View or download the letter here .

The deadline for signing is noon on Friday, November 6, so we urge you to take action today and contact your Senators and Representatives. Contact information for Colorado Congressional delegates can be found here or at the bottom of this post. You can also follow @COGreenNOW for sample tweets.

Read more...
 
Urge Senate to vote for S. 1140 - Federal Water Quality Protection Act Email
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 02:00 AM

 

Waters of the USALCC requests your help with a key vote this week on a bill and issue we’ve been watching for months – WOTUS/S. 1140. It’s a Senate bill that would require EPA to withdraw its Clean Water Act rule. The rule would have a profound and significant impact on the industry’s ability to protect public and private property near water from harmful pests, as well as our ability to install plants and other landscape features. The rule creates a great deal of confusion and potential liability for lawn care and landscape professionals about whether or not permits are needed when working on landscapes with 

certain water features.

[Read about the EPA WOTUS rule and the various court proceedings.]

Please contact both Senate offices and ask them to support S. 1140. Contact Senator Gardner (202-225-5941) and Senator Bennet (202-224-5852) You can also contact Senators Bennet and Gardner via Twitter: @SenBennetCO and @SenCoryGardner.

Follow ALCC on Twitter at @COGreenNOW for sample tweets and breaking news regarding this and other legislation. 

The National Association of Landscape Professionals has issued the following call-to-action (see below) in support of S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act

Read more...
 
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