Issue Brief: 2018 predictions

January 22, 2018 -  By

Looking into government relations for the upcoming year, we see the ripple effects of the election of President Donald Trump working their way through the regulatory state.

If your business relies on the H-2B seasonal guest-worker program, you can anticipate much more competition for the 66,000 available visas. We continue to work for visa cap relief in 2018, but Congress has not yet authorized it. Despite our efforts to educate Congress members that H-2B is a workforce issue that has nothing to do with the overall immigration reform debate, the issue gets conflated with illegal immigration.

Also notable is the effort to reduce the role of the Environmental Protection Agency at the federal level and return some of the functions to the states. We anticipate a significant uptick in activity from environmental activists at the state level targeting the use of fertilizers, pesticides and small engines by landscape contractors. Nutrient management legislation seeks to limit the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that can be applied. Other legislation seeks to restrict the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.

The services you provide also may be a target of activists. That’s why it’s vital to get involved with advocacy efforts, especially at the state and local levels where so many legislative decisions can have a direct impact. Not being involved politically at these levels increases the potential for the passage of policy and regulations that can hurt your ability to conduct business. Actively joining advocacy efforts, whether at the national level or in partnership with your state association, is an excellent investment in your company’s future.

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