MAA NEWS MAA NEWS Sept 18_w - Page 17

addressed. However, those were rejected by the Governor and the stage is set for another round on these matters. Natural Resources and Agriculture recommended this bill as part of a study order, killing it for this session. 2018 ELECTION CYCLE An Act Relative to Sustainable Water Conservation Practices (S.413) This legislation would require irrigation contractors to meet certain educational requirements and be registered with the state in order to install irrigation systems. The bill received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture but did not advance out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Yet to come this fall is the midterm election cycle, which brings a few dozen Senate and House races, as well as the gubernatorial race. Governor Baker, with his super-high approval ratings, is very likely to win re-election. The general election will take place on November 6, 2018. Democrats are expected to retain their super majority in both branches and 10 new Democrats will cruise through the general election without a Republican chal- lenger. All newly-elected and re-elected member of the House and Senate will take the oath of office on the first Wednesday of January 2019 and the process will begin anew. During the general election, Massachusetts residents will also vote on three ballot measures: (1) sets a limit on the number of patients a nurse can be assigned to; (2) creates a citizens’ com- mission to advocate for changes to the U.S. Constitution regard- ing political spending and corporate personhood; and (3) repeals a law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. GIA PRIORITIES An Act to Protect Massachusetts Pollinators (H.4041) This legislation would restrict the use and req uire additional notifications related to the use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides by licensed applicators. The bill never made it out of the House Committee on Ways and Means despite very aggressive and sometimes silly lobbying by advocates. The bill is dead for this session but is certain to return next year. An Act Empowering Towns to Protect Their Environment and Residents From Harmful Pesticides (H.3927) This legislation would essentially gut the statewide authority of MDAR over the regulation of pesticides and allow cities and towns to establish their own rules and restrictions over the use of these products. The Joint Committee on Environment, Please Help Promote MAA Join MAA on Facebook and suggest the same to your colleagues. We are building a community, and often post important industry information and happenings. Please join us! Consider adding the MAA or MCA logo to your website. Calling attention to your association membership and involvement calls attention to your professionalism. DEP System Interruption Device Stakeholder Meeting The DEP held a stakeholder meeting for Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at their office at downtown crossing. The GIA was asked to be prepared to discuss in detail several aspects of the program including contractor documentation/verification, model codes for certification and inspections and our plans to communicate the new program within the industry and to end users. LOOKING AHEAD Fall, especially during election years, is the season for regroup- ing, assessing prior efforts and discussing plans for the new General Court that will officially begin on the first Wednesday of January 2019. The GIA will convene this fall to discuss internal priorities and develop plans for action for the 2019 legislative session, as well as any other Executive branch interactions that can happen prior to the beginning of the legislative session. The MAA is a proud member of the Green Industry Alliance along with the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals, Massachusetts Association of Lawn Care Professionals, Irrigation Association of New England, and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England. Natascha Batchelor, MCA and Russell Holman, MCA serve as the MAA’s representative. If you are interested in becoming involved with the GIA’s legislative and advocacy activi- ties, please contact the MAA Office. The MAA offers sponsorship opportunities for industry vendors at all educational events, as well as advertising in our newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of sponsorship and advertising, or know a vendor who should be involved, please contact the MAA office: info@MassArbor.org or (508) 653-3320. MAA NEWS / September 2018 17