In April of 2017, a group of snow and ice management professionals and myself bounced from meeting to meeting inside the Colorado State House meeting with congressional representatives, senators, and if unavailable, their aides.
I had “recruited” Kim Jewell from Snow Management Services in Denver to help lead the charge to get the ASCA’s model legislation moving with law makers in the Centennial State.
Kim did a wonderful job recruiting 17 people to attend that first day. We attended 25 meetings, all with the hope to secure a commitment from a representative or senator to carry our bill for us. While we felt we were having good meetings, we failed to land a commitment. Nearly three quarters of the way through the day, we met with State Senator Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City).
I remember Senator Moreno being quiet throughout the presentation. As we outlined the issues the industry faced we referenced similar legislation that has been passed in most of the states we are dealing with. It was at this point Senator Moreno finally spoke: “I sponsored that legislation.” We had had our sponsor, he was familiar with the type legislation we were asking for, having been successful in getting it passed in another industry. In addition, he believed in us and the merits of the bill.
With that, we accomplished the first step of the mission.
Then we sat and waited. At least most of us did. In Colorado, the legislative session ends in June. Shanae Dix, CAM Services, kept an open line with Senator Moreno and his staff. Kim also kept communication going, updating me frequently figuring out what we could do to spark some forward momentum. Frankly, there was not a lot to report since the state legislature was not in session.
In early November, Kim sent an email to Senator Moreno to keep the conversation going. In early December, we received word from him that ours would be one of the first three bills he would introduce when the session opened in January. And the senator proved to be true to his word.
As the bill was being introduced, John McMahon, Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) Executive Director, reached out to me wanting to learn more about the legislation. The ALCC quickly put its support behind the bill.
Together, our teams worked together to get this bill going. We were fortunate to have our bill as one of the early ones the committee held a hearing on. Truthfully, most bills never even get a hearing, so this was a big win for the ASCA.
At this week’s hearing we were opposed by four groups, three testified against, all basing their testimony on prohibiting government from getting involved in private contracts. The forth opposed, and send in written opposition.
Once we heard the opposition, it was our turn. While I led the way testifying, it was the ASCA’s Colorado team of contractors (including Kim Jewell, Snow Management Services; Shanae Dix, CAM Services; Chad Lunde, Martinsons Services; and Matt Harman, Denver Commercial Property Services) who brought home the victory. Telling powerful real stories from the field of how everything really works, the impact that has on businesses, what impact it has on hiring and firing, and decisions that need to be made on risk, not on what a contract says, and the real losses incurred by the contractors.
The vote came, and we ended up ahead 4-1.
Now our bill moves on to the senate floor for a vote, which we hope happens in the near future. Once we get it through the senate, it then goes through the same process in the house.
In all, from last April to today, we are less than a year in and have real progress and, to show for our efforts, an opportunity to make Colorado the second state to adopt the ASCA’s Model Legislation.
If you have questions on this legislation, or the same legislation in other states, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our offices at 216-393-0303.
If you want to support this legislation (in any state) join the ASCA today by CLICKING HERE.
Finally, I want to thank the 17 people that showed up that first day to get this legislation moving. (Even those of you who “thought we never had a chance”)
1 Kimberly Jewell Snow Management Services
2 Shanae Dix CAM
3 Butch Hartman CAM
4 Chad Lunde Martinson
5 Hunter Hartman Martinson
6 Todd Lunde Martinson
7 Casey Blue Martinson
8 Scott Carlson CCIG Insurance
9 Mario Rocha Bob Popp
10 Matt Harmon Denver Commercial Snow
11 John Reffel JLS
12 Greg Ritscher Metco
13 Jason Sesko CDI
14 Kevin Gilbride ASCA
15 Ryan Neumann Brightview
16 Andrew Mahoney CCIG Insurance
17 Eric Moroski Weisburg