An Association Update

ASCA Update - Director’s Note

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October 16, 2020

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Admittedly, what you most likely heard from the ASCA over the last few months had a lot to do with September’s virtual Executive Summit. Yes, we may have flooded your inboxes with announcements and invitations extolling the benefits and virtues of our two-day online educational and networking event, but we were very excited about getting you involved in the experience that temporarily took the place of our annual in-person event.

But with 2020 Executive Summit behind us, what I want to address today is our continued fight for the professional snow and ice management community through these highly unusual times. As you know, legislative initiatives and the upkeep of the ANSI Industry Standards for the snow and ice management industry are two of the ASCA’s highest priorities.

Here’s an update on our activities with these two initiatives.

Legislative

Our fight for positive legislative change is primarily in the state-level legislative trenches. The COVID-19 pandemic brought most state legislatures to a virtual standstill on non-COVID legislation, which included initiatives that, during a “normal” year, would have included our legislative interests. While the pandemic remains, legislatures in our key states are back to business as usual. Most state legislatures have returned to work debating and considering a broad spectrum of legislation. With the November election on the horizon, elected officials are aware they must show their constituents they are working for them on everything. Therefore, we expect and are experiencing more activity and conversations on the ASCA’s model legislation, The Snow Removal Limited Liability Act, which levels the playing field in indemnity language in snow contracts.

Specifically, we have been working very closely with the Pennsylvania state legislature and our lobbyist in Harrisburg to create some forward momentum for our bill, House Bill 1702. The plan is to include ASCA’s model legislation, House Bill 1702, into a similar bill, House Bill 1887. This bill may be up for consideration by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the coming weeks. The Pennsylvania snow and ice management community must rally around House Bill 1887 and amendment A07334 and generate support among state legislators. Therefore, we need Pennsylvania contractors to contact their state representatives and urge them to support House Bill 1887. Contact me directly (kgilbride@ascaonline.com) for detailed instructions on how to connect with your rep.

In New Jersey, I’m excited to say our behind-the-scenes work in Trenton, in conjunction with our partners at the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA), has resulted in additional support to reintroduce our model legislation. We anticipate Garden State legislators will reintroduce our bill, with bi-partisan support, in the near future.

Likewise, the ASCA continues to work with its strategic partners in other snow states to get the model legislation introduced and passed.

Industry Standards

The ASCA continues to maintain the System Requirements for Snow and Ice Management Services: ANSI/ASCA A1000-2014, commonly known as the Industry Standards. These standards provide a compressive outline for the processes and procedures for snow and ice management companies to maximize operational efficiency and reduce risk. Most importantly, they provide snow and ice management companies the proper documentational requirements helpful in defending your company against slip-and-fall litigation.

The ASCA is currently preparing for annual audit on the Industry Standards, and will have this process completed in early 2021.

Other News Of Note

The ASCA encourages member involvement not only in legislative initiatives, but also in other aspects of the association’s endeavors.

I can’t stress enough that the strides we’ve made and the accomplishments we’ve achieved have been a group effort and could not have been realized without the commitment of association members’ time and energy. While my role as Executive Director places me as the face of the association, the ASCA is the sum total of the efforts and commitment of its membership. And we are only as strong and effective as the involvement of those members who, when needed, have stepped up to the plate and swung for the fences.

If you’d like to get involved for the betterment of your industry, contact me directly. There are a variety of outlets I can match you up with, from serving on an association committee to rallying industry support for legislative change in your home state. Trust me, there is no better feeling then knowing you’ve played a significant role in positive change that impacts and betters an industry.

Lastly, I’d like to announce next year’s Executive Summit is taking place at the Omni Amelia Island Resort, which was the intended site of this year’s event. It is an incredible facility and the perfect site for professional development and networking. The dates will be announced as soon as they are worked out with the host facility. Let’s hope the pandemic is but a distant memory by then, and the only concern is for lots of sunny weather.

Kevin Gilbride is the ASCA’s Executive Director. You can reach him directly at kgilbride@ascaonline.com.