The National Association of Landscape Professionals sent the following information regarding the H-2B program – PLEASE FOLLOW THEIR ADVICE AND CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Grassroots Support for H-2B Reforms, Focusing on Returning Worker Exception
As Congress looks towards finalizing some of the major legislative items that were sucking all the oxygen out of the room we must start to mobilize grassroots for H-2B reforms NOW. With the first half cap hit, with our pro H-2B provision in FY 22 Appropriations, mentioned below, and the Returning Worker Exemption Act of 2021 introduced in the house we must act now. We need your support to hold the line on our FY 22 Appropriations language but also look towards permanent cap relief, and now is the time to act!
More Details Re H-2B Progress in Congress
The House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the Fiscal 2022 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations (DHS) bill over the summer. The bill contains language that states that DHS “shall” release additional H-2B visas if it determines that the needs of seasonal businesses cannot be met with U.S. workers. The language is similar to the language that has been in law for the past few years, but it converts the word “may” to “shall” and takes away some discretion from DHS about whether or not to issue supplemental H-2B visas. In addition, over the summer the full House of Representatives passed the Fiscal 2022 Department of Labor Appropriations bill, without any language related to the H-2B program. Harmful language that would have decimated the H-2B program was removed by amendment during the committee markup process.
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released draft versions of several Fiscal 2022 appropriations bills, including the bills to fund DHS and Labor. The draft Senate DHS Appropriations bill contains the same discretionary language that has been included in law for the past several years. This language is significant, because it marks the first time in several years that the Senate included cap relief language in its version of the DHS bill. The draft DOL funding bill includes the same H-2B provisions that have been included in law during the past few years, including language allowing for staggered crossing for seafood workers, prohibiting DOL from enforcing the ¾ guarantee and corresponding employment provisions of the H-2B regulations, allowing for the use of private wage surveys and providing for a maximum season of 10 months.
Come to our Annual Conference for current information on H-2B and other state and federal issues affecting our industry!
Here is a list of Wednesday classes
Wednesday, February 2, 2022: Legislative Day
Regulatory Challenges to Our Industry: A Look at National Issues and the Experiences of Other States
(Bob Mann, NALP)
EPA Regulatory Update (Cameron Douglass, Office of Pest Mgt Policy)
H-2B Status – (Karla Segundo, NALP)
VDACS’ New OnLine Pesticide System (Liza Fleeson Trossbach, VDACS)
Virginia’s General Assembly Update (Virginia Agribusiness Council)
New Rules for Certified Fertilizer Applicators (Larry Nichols, VDACS)
Developing Partnerships in a Challenging Regulatory Climate (Lindsay Thompson, 24d.org )
Partnering With Environmental Groups: Lessons from the Field (Cindy Smith)
Sod Growers Track (Open to All Conference Attendees)
(Visits to General Assembly will begin around 9AM BUT COVID restrictions may be in place that will not allow those visits to happen)
Program and Registration for the Mid Atlantic Turfgrass Expo Available
Download the Program Overview
Download the Registration Form
Register and Pay Using PayPal
MAKE YOUR ROOM RESERVATION FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC TURFGRASS EXPO
Dates and Location
February 1-3 (Tue – Thur) at Virginia Crossings (just north of Richmond): 1000 Virginia Center Parkway, Glen Allen 23059