Working with policy makers to effect change

|  May 1, 2019

Policy makers at the state, national and local levels create the laws and regulations that affect pest management professionals (PMPs) and their businesses. With that in mind, the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) Public Policy Committee met during Legislative Day 2019 to approve a plan that will help guide the ways in which PMPs work with lawmakers to effect change.

Editor’s note: Read our Legislative Day 2019 coverage here.

“The strategic plan approved by the NPMA’s Public Policy Committee will allow us to educate, create and solidify relationships with policymakers as we pursue priorities that showcase our industry’s commitment to protecting public health and property,” says the NPMA’s director of Public Policy, Jake Plevelich.

The plan includes guidelines for educational opportunities when working with federal, state, local and regulatory policy makers; priorities for conversations on pest management and public health; and supporting programs to facilitate the NPMA’s educational efforts and action steps.

Educational opportunities involve:

  • Visiting with Congressional representatives during Legislative Day to inform them of the services PMPs provide to protect public health.
  • Calling on NPMA State Policy Affairs Representatives (SPARs) and members to foster relationships with policy makers and their staff members at the state level.
  • Serving as a resource for regulatory agencies tasked with determining the use of structural pest management products and application patterns.

Priorities PMPs can use to lead the conversation on pest management and public health when speaking with policy makers at the federal, state and regulatory levels include:

  • Engaging with new allies at the federal level, such as those in the retail, hospitality and housing segments, in addition to those in agriculture.
  • Exploring opportunities at the state level to offer briefings on the variances states have for licensing requirements.
  • Tracking action alerts in the State Net legislative tracking tool regarding pest management-related legislation and regulations.

The NPMA also plans to use collaboration to help increase the effectiveness of its SPAR program. Resources for SPARs would include a template for the presentations they make at state meetings on the importance of government affairs, as well as a welcome letter for agriculture commissioners about the pest management industry and an invitation to use the NPMA and SPARs as a resource.

It also plans to create a SPAR development program that would provide current and future SPARs training in person and through regularly scheduled conference calls and webinars.

“We want to create a culture of engaging NPMA members as state advocates and supporting SPARS,” he says. “SPARs do a lot on their own, but they can’t do it all on their own. It’s important to have the state associations help out.”

The four key regulatory issues currently deemed priorities are:

  • Structural fumigation.
  • Pyrethroid label changes.
  • Spray foam.
  • Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS).

Supporting programs designed to facilitate the NPMA’s efforts include:

  • Creating a portal through which NPMA members can share their relationships with federal and state policy makers. That way, key policy makers can be immediately identified when needed.
  • Helping the pest management industry understand how important it is to raise funds for political action committees (PACs) at the state level, as well as how to evaluate the effectiveness of state lobbyists.
  • Providing consistent support to the pest management industry by leveraging Issue Defense Funds.

“Whether it’s life-saving surgeries performed by doctors; PMPs treating for cockroaches and rodents in homes, hospitals, restaurants, and schools; or residential mosquito and tick treatments executed by PMPs, these are all critical services that protect public health,” Plevelich says. “Our industry’s efforts illuminate that pest management is public health protection.”

To see the entire plan, email VP of Public Policy Ashley Amidon at aamidon@pestworld.org.

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