GCSAA Director of Congressional and Federal Affairs Bob Helland joined the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) at their annual “Legislative Days on the Hill” in Washington. Issues discussed that are of importance to both to landscape professionals and golf course maintenance included H-2B reform and pesticide review and regulation. Helland made sure that golf’s viewpoint was heard on these shared issues.
On H-2B Visas, attendees heard the latest on reform efforts in Congress and the Administration. Laurie Flanigan, Executive Vice President of D.C. Legislative and Regulatory Services; Brad Henry, Counsel for Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC); and Arnulfo Hinojosa, Vice President of the Federation of Employers & Workers of America (FEWA), spoke about the likelihood for changes to the program, including increases to the current 66,000 cap, and how that might impact the 2020 application process. GCSAA works closely with NALP and others dependent on the H-2B program on efforts to improve it and make it more reliable for all users, including course management.
Additionally, Wynne Miller, Acting Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs at the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed the regulatory review of pesticides. Topics discussed included the latest changes to the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA), which helps funds the review of pesticides; the EPA’s pending guidance on the growth nutrients known as plant biostimulants; and how the EPA and USDA were improving the Endangered Species Act consultation for pesticides. All of these are matters important to golf course management and for which GCSAA will continue to advocate on golf’s behalf.
GCSAA will continue to work with our partners in the landscape industry to make sure golf’s voice is heard on matters impacting labor and pesticides.