What they’re referencing is the ASCA’s Model Legislation, or the Commercial Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act. This legislation proposes prohibiting your clients from passing on their negligence through hold-harmless agreements and indemnification clauses.
And certainly, this isn’t an unusual question to field. Legislative change is one of the pillars that the ASCA was founded upon. And in recent years we’ve had success getting the ASCA’s Model Legislation passed in Illinois, Colorado and (most recently) Connecticut. And, as I’m writing this column, the ASCA’s Model Legislation is before elected officials in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, while a handful of other states are in the initial stage of getting the legislation before elected representatives.
What the professional snow and ice management community may not fully realize is that it takes more than just the ASCA showing up at the state capital with legislation in hand to rally legislative support from elected officials. In fact, the first step toward change in any state we’ve experienced legislative success starts with grassroots leadership. This is typically a small group or even a single snow contractor who take responsibility for generating the initial momentum. It’s these unsung heroes who do the due diligence that paves the way for the ASCA’s involvement in their state.
A great example is the legislative day we had in Harrisburg, Pa., earlier this week (Tues., Nov. 19). That initiative was essentially fueled by the efforts of a handful of Keystone State snow contractors, primarily Sauers Snow & Ice Management, About Time Snow (ATS), Young Contractors, C. Caramanico & Sons, and Snow and Ice Management of Pa. Through their groundwork we were able to bring in the necessary resources to bear to educate elected representatives on the professional snow and ice industry, as well as the merits of the legislation, which is before Pennsylvania legislators as House Bill 1702.
Therefore, my frequent response to the “my state” question is: “We’re there tomorrow, if you’re ready to take point and begin doing the really hard work.” Yes, it’s a tall order, especially if you’re an owner or top manager already tasked with leading the success of your own company. Now you’re being asked to take up a legislative endeavor that will demand more of your time and attention.
I’ve been told my whole life that nothing good ever comes easy, and this axiom rings true when bringing legislative change to a snow state. This endeavor asks an incredible amount of time, determination and sacrifice be paid to produce real positive change.
So, let me ask you: “When is the ASCA coming to your state?”
If you feel you have the answer, reach out to me and, together, let’s start building momentum for real change in your state.
Kevin Gilbride the Executive Director of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA). You can reach him at email@example.com or (216) 393-0246.