Right now, 47 House and 9 Senate Conferees are negotiating the final version of the Farm Bill. As you know, the Farm Bill is the vehicle in which our industry has the opportunity to amend FIFRA, the law that governs pesticide use. Unlike any other point in recent history, this Farm Bill includes proactive language to advance the ability of pest management professionals to defend public health and property from unwanted pests. Specifically, the reforms that NPMA is advocating for:
Codifies pesticide preemption at the state level, preventing localities form irresponsibly regulating the sale and use of pesticides and solidifying the ability of State Lead Agencies to regulate use of pesticides.
Fixes the broken pesticide consultation process between FIFRA and the Endangered Species Act
Eliminates the need for unnecessary and redundant National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES)
NPMA’s preferred regulatory reform language is in the House version of the bill, but not the Senate version. It is imperative that you make your voice heard to the Farm Bill conferees so we can bolster the pest management industry for generations to come. Let’s do this and secure regulatory reform language in the final version!
By Connie Rogers
July 7, 2018 In this issue: Fall Specialty Courses
GPCA Announces Fall 2018 Education Specialty Courses
Are you looking for specialty education courses? If so then GPCA has you covered. This fall GPCA will be offering the 6 week PCO Course and the 4 week Train the Trainer Course. Information for each course follows:
Train the Trainer
To help meet the State’s training requirements the GPCA Education committee developed a comprehensive state-of-the art Train the Trainer program that satisfies the state’s goals and the state has accepted our program as the standard.
If you wear any of these hats, you will benefit personally and professionally from the lessons you will learn in this program:
· In-house trainer
· Technical Director
· Manufacturers Representative
· Customer Service Representative
· Sales Staff
For more complete information and to register click on these links:
This comprehensive 6 week course is an excellent tool to prepare for the pest control operator’s exam. This course is also a great training tool for the new pest control technician. For the second time in the history of the six week course, GPCA is offering members the ability to attend the course in real time as it is being taught at the GPCA office. This remote course will be similar to a webinar whereas the attendee will sign on and review the course in real time as it is being taught in the GPCA office. It is our hope to reach as many members outside of the metro area who have a desire to attend the PCO course but are unable to due to distance restrictions. Remote attendees will NOT receive CEU credit for the course.
By Connie Rogers
June 19, 2018 In this issue: Distracted Driving Law
Effective July 1, 2018
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW LAW
The new law means you cannot drive a vehicle while holding a cell phone or supporting a cell phone with any part of your body.
Hands Free Law
A driver may not hold/support a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone computer with any part of their body. Exceptions – Earpiece, headphones, smart watch.
May not write, send, or read any text-based communication. Exceptions – Automatic voice-to-text
Navigation/GPS can be viewed while driving as long as it is not being held/supported with any part of the driver’s body.
A driver may not watch a video.
A driver may not record a video.
At no point while the vehicle is being operated can a driver use ANY apps to include social media and music.
Drivers would be allowed to:
Use their phone for voice communication on a hands-free basis.
Touch their phone for dialing, receiving or ending a call as long as the driver is not holding or supporting the phone.
Use their phone for GPS navigation apps.
Use voice-to-text technology.
There are circumstances where you can handle an electronic device while driving: Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, a crime or delinquent act or a hazardous road condition. You can also use your hands if you’re lawfully parked (not at a stoplight – “lawfully” means off or beside the road in an area open to parking).
We urgently need your help now to communicate with Senators on the Senate Agriculture Committee. The Committee will mark-up the Senate Farm Bill tomorrow, and it is paramount that we secure language that acknowledges the exclusive authority of state agencies to regulate the sale, use and distribution of pesticides within their respective state. We are pushing to add this language via an amendment but we need bipartisan support!
Unlike other alerts, you are receiving this message because you live in a state that has a Senator on the Agriculture Committee, this means that your voice is even more meaningful and important because not all NPMA members are receiving this notice.
With the House Farm Bill stalled until later this month, we need your help NOW by sending a note to your Senator and helping us continue to build bipartisan support for our common sense statutory fix.
World Pest Day was created to build awareness around the importance of pest control to protect food, homes, families, lives and businesses. The day begins in Portugal this year in conjunction with the Global Summit of Pest Management Services for Public Health and Food Safety with support from CPCA, along with The Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA), FAOPMA (Australasia) and NPMA (USA).
Every day, pest control professionals are working to protect people and properties from the potential diseases and damage caused by pests. World Pest Day is an opportunity to reflect on the variety of pests that can affect us, and to help raise awareness of the possible health risks associated with pests such as rodents, mosquitoes and flies.
By Connie Rogers
May 8, 2018 In this issue: NPMA Legislative Action Alert – Freedom Caucus Outreach
NPMA Farm Bill – Freedom Caucus Outreach
As many of you are likely aware, NPMA has been working over the past year to insert language in the 2018 US Farm Bill that would enact much needed regulatory reform for pesticide issues. Specifically, recognizing the exclusive role of State Lead Agencies as the regulators of pesticides, enacting much needed improvements to the pesticide registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and fixing the duplicative National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirement for pesticide applications in and near water.
Now is the time we need your help the most to assist in whipping Republican votes in anticipation of a full House vote within the next two weeks. Due to partisan disagreement over changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), i.e. “food stamps”, we need all our republican allies to support the 2018 Farm Bill to get to that magic number of 218 yes votes.
Working in conjunction with our allies within the Pesticide industry and under the direction of Chairman Conaway himself, we need your assistance in ensuring that Republican members of the “Freedom Caucus” vote for the 2018 Farm Bill. These fiscally conservative members need to hear from you on how the Farm Bill includes provisions that help you protect public health and removes unnecessary regulatory burdens.
We are reaching out to you specifically because Rep. Jody Hice represents member companies and constituents in your state. Therefore, we’re asking for your assistance by agreeing to attach your state association logo along with contact information to the attached letter. This is extremely important and time is of the essence, please review the letter and let us know by C.O.B. Wednesday May 9th.
We will be visiting with these offices on Thursday and will hand deliver the letter from your state association.
Additionally, if you have a close relationship with any of the House Freedom Caucus members or their respective offices, please let us know as well. Any questions or if you’d like additional clarification on the issue, please let me know and are happy to setup a quick call to elaborate on these efforts. Thank you for your dedication to this industry.
By Connie Rogers
May 1, 2018 In this issue: CRAM Day
GPCA CRAM DAY FRIDAY, June 29, 2018 – REGISTER NOW!
On Friday, June 29th, you will have another opportunity to act like a college student before finals – CRAM, CRAM, CRAM!!!!! The CRAM day goes from 8 AM to 5 PM with instructor Jim Chase reviewing as much as he can Cram into the time to help you study for the state PCO exam. The morning program (about 8 to 11:30) is dedicated to HPC subjects. Middle of the day (about 11:30 to 1:30) is Rules and Regulations. The rest of the day (1:30 to 5 PM) is spent on WDO.
GPCA provides pizza so you don’t have to break your learning process.
If you have taken the GPCA PCO course within the past 12 months, the cost is $50, per session, 1/2 day or full day.
If you have NOT taken the GPCA PCO course, the program is $75 morning, $75 afternoon.
Non Member Prices—$150 1/2 day, $300 full day.
Register by calling the GPCA office at 770-417-1881.
Payment must be received when registering. No refunds for no shows or cancellations received less than 24 hours in advance.
The US House of Representatives Agriculture Committee introduced language for the 2018 Farm Bill. As you know, the Farm Bill is the vehicle in which our industry has the opportunity to amend FIFRA, the law that governs pesticide use. Unlike any other point in recent history, this Farm Bill includes proactive language to advance the ability of pest professionals to defend public health and property from unwanted pests. Specifically, the fix NPMA is advocating for:
-Codifies pesticide preemption at the state level, preventing localities from irresponsibly regulating the sale and use of pesticides and solidifying the ability of State Lead Agencies to regulate use of pesticides.
-Fixes the broken pesticide consultation process between FIFRA and the Endangered Species Act.
-Eliminates the need for unnecessary and redundant National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES).
Partisan bickering over food nutrition programs (SNAP) endangers the passage of the Farm Bill. This makes it even more imperative for you to let your elected Representative understand your support of the Farm Bill and the negative ramifications on the pest management industry if not reauthorized prior to the September deadline.
By Connie Rogers
April 3, 2018 In this issue: Legislative Update Week 12
2018 Weekly Legislative Update Week 12 – March 30, 2018 Legislative Days 39-40
Last week marked the end of the 2018 Georgia General Assembly Legislative Session. The legislature completed Sine Die, day 40 of its 40 day session, just after midnight on Thursday, March 29.
HB 930 by Representative Kevin Tanner allows for expansion and coordination of transit in the metro region. The House and Senate adopted the Conference Committee report on HB 930 on Thursday, March 29. The bill goes to the Governor.
SB 402 by Senator Steve Gooch addresses broadband. The House and Senate adopted SB 402 as reported by the Conference Committee on Thursday, March 29. The bill is goes to the Governor.
SB 426 by Senator Steve Gooch addresses small cells and allowed for EMCs to compete in served markets. The Senate did not adopt the House substitute to SB 426 and the bill is dead.
HB 887 by Representative Jay Powell seeks to expand broadband across the state, was substituted with SB 426. The House did not adopt HB 887 as amended by the Senate and the bill is dead.
The House and Senate adopted the FY19 Budget, HB 684, as reported by the Appropriations Conference Committee on Thursday, March 29. The bill is awaiting action by the Governor. To review highlights of the budget, click here.
SB 406 by Senator Brian Strickland requires criminal background checks for long-term care facilities personnel. The Senate adopted the House’s substitute to SB 406 on Thursday, March 29. The bill goes to the Governor.
SB 407 by Senator Brian Strickland seeks to provide comprehensive criminal justice reform. The Senate adopted the House’s substitute to SB 407 on Thursday, March 29. The bill goes to the Governor.
HB 217 by Representative John Carson increases the cap on contributions to student scholarship organizations. The House and Senate adopted the Conference Committee report HB 217 as reported by the on Thursday, March 29. The bill goes to the Governor.
HB 853 by Representative Katie Dempsey ensures that instructional dollars follow students who are receiving treatment in residential facilities. The House adopted the Senate substitute to HB 853 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
HB 787 by Representative Scott Hilton increases funding for state charter schools. The House adopted the Senate substitute to HB 787 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
SB 339 by Senator William Ligon provides for the establishment of free speech policies for institutions in the university system. The Senate adopted the House substitute to SB 339 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
SB 403 by Senator Bruce Thompson provides for uniform election equipment throughout the state. The Senate disagreed to the House substitute to SB 403 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill is dead.
SB 364 by Senator Chuck Hufstetler gives a higher supervisory ratio to physician assistants who have completed a board approved anesthesiologist assistant program. The bill passed the House on Tuesday, March 27 and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 769 by Representative Rick Jasperse would implement recommendations from the House Rural Development Council relating to health care issues. No changes were made to the CON law. The bill is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 818 by Representative Lee Hawkins allows health care providers to choose the method of reimbursement by insurer. The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, March 27 and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 419 by Representative Deborah Silcox authorizes counties to regulate the use of fireworks. The House adopted the Senate substitute to HB 419 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
SB 355 by Senator Chuck Hufstetler changes provisions relating to the recovery costs of financing the construction of nuclear generating plants. The bill is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 329 by Representative Jay Powell was substituted with HB 327. HB 327 by Representative Shaw Blackmon revises the manner in which used car sales are taxed. The House adopted the Senate substitute to HB 329 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 658 by Representative Earl Ehrhart removes the sunset date for the time during which certain excise taxes on lodgings can be collected. The House adopted the Senate’s substitute to HB 658 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
HB 849 by Representative Allen Peake provides provisions for the reporting of federal partnership adjustments. The bill passed the Senate on Thursday, March 29 and goes to the Governor.
HB 696 by Representative Trey Kelley creates a tax exemption for certain high technology computer equipment used in data centers. The House adopted the Senate’s substitute to HB 696 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
HB 898 by Representative Alan Powell enables implementation of new technology at the Department of Revenue to issue much more cost-effective license tag renewals for large fleet operators like UPS, Publix, GA Power, etc. The House adopted the Senate substitute to HB 898 on Thursday, March 29 and the bill goes to the Governor.
On Friday, March 30 Governor Nathan Deal, Department of Community Health Commissioner Frank Berry, and Sharecare co-founders Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz hosted an event at the State Capitol to announce the start of the Sharecare Movement in Georgia. Please see the attached picture.
This week GeorgiaLink hosted a luncheon for Paula Hastings, candidate for State House and Randy Robertson, candidate for State Senate. We also sponsored the House Majority Caucus dinner, the House Appropriations Committee lunch and the Senate Democrats Sine Die dinner.
Wednesday, April 11 – Speaker David Ralston’s Campaign Kickoff Reception
Monday, April 16 – Kevin Tanner Campaign Kickoff Luncheon
As you review your legislative tracking page, please feel free to give us a call with any questions. For detailed information on specific legislation visit the General Assembly’s website here.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent your organization.
The GeorgiaLink Team,
Trip, Boyd, Skin, John, Lauren
The GPCA Calendar for 2018 is filling up fast. Be sure to save these important dates: July 15 – 19, 2018 – GPCA Summer Conference, Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast, FL September 12 & 13, 2018 – GPCA North Georgia Conference, Dalton, GA October 10, 2018 – GPCA Charity Golf Tournament, Reunion Country Club, Hoschton, GA – PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE November 7 & 8, 2018 – GPCA South Georgia Conference, Rural Development Center, Tifton, GA
The 3rd Annual GPCA best photo contest is open! Join us and take advantage of this opportunity and submit your best most unusual pest photo to Connie@gpca.org. Photo submissions will be taken until the end of April. The winning photographer will take home a GoPro HERO5, valued at $300.