Associations Focus: A Look at Current Legislation
Aug 1, 2005 12:00 PM
National and state governments focus on policies that affect the industry.
A full vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on HR 525 (The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005) was held during the week of July 25. HR 525 permits small businesses to buy health insurance through bona-fide business or trade associations. This bill is commonly known as the Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation.
NSCA officially endorses HR 525 and its companion bill, S 406, in the Senate and has had several large grassroots campaigns surrounding the issue. S 406 currently sits in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee. No action has been announced, but both bills have bipartisan support.
Early this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Administrative Law Judge John M. Vittone recommended a decision that the DOL have the authority to derecognize the state of California’s apprenticeship system. Vittone’s recommendation will be submitted to DOL’s Administrative Review Board and then presented to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
The news comes as NSCA continues working toward California’s approval of its EST Apprenticeship Program. By Jan. 1, 2006, certain industry professionals must become certified in order to continue working in California without one-on-one supervision. This mandatory certification program includes completion of either an approved apprenticeship program or documented completion of thousands of hours of on-the-job experience.
One of the highlights of this legislative cycle is the growing trend of state legislatures actively pursuing the issue of electronic waste (e-waste).
To date, 34 states have introduced legislation geared toward the source reduction, recycling, and safe disposal of e-waste. NSCA is developing a formal position on the issue. Members can track their state’s activities on the grassroots action center at www.nsca.org.
With the help of its in-state members, NSCA has submitted its “for the record” stance on how the new licensing regulations should be structured for its members in the state of Idaho. Earlier this year, Idaho lawmakers passed legislation to close a loophole that restricted proper member regulation. The state is looking to promulgate rules within the next year and has asked NSCA for help.
For more information about NSCA, visit www.nsca.org or call (800) 446-6722.