The holidays are finally over; spring is coming (we hope!); and the legislative sessions have begun. By now, all 50 states have convened their 2005 sessions. There is not much to report yet, so let’s go over a few things.
Legislative Tools Available to You
If you haven’t already, take a look at the two-part series by Janet Swandby, “Legislative Update: Trends and Tools” and “Be Prepared for the Shifts in Momentum in Regulating Home Inspectors” in the December and January issues of the Reporter respectively. These articles are chock full of strategic and tactical tips for dealing with regulation, and they include significant new trends that even the most experienced grassroots organizers may not be aware of.
Position Statement on the Regulation of Home Inspectors
ASHI’s groundbreaking Position Statement, in its third edition, is your starting point and road map for navigating the legislative highway. The Statement contains a model bill that you can use as a template for sharing with legislators. With this model, you can determine whether you can support or oppose a draft bill. Even if you are working against regulation, you will need this Position Statement to determine if and when you need to shift tactics and promote a draft that is pro-inspector and pro-consumer.
The Position Statement contains summaries on key elements of regulation that identify ASHI as the private sector leading source for all parties interested in having this question answered regarding the regulation of our profession.
Want to see how individual states have done with their regulations? Turn to the report card in the back of the Statement.
You can download the Position Statement in PDF format from the ASHI Web site at http://www.ashi.org/documents/pdf/ASHI_Position_Statement.pdf. Call 847-954-3177 or e-mail email@example.com if you would like saddle-stitched copies.
Want to read thumbnail descriptions of all 29 existing laws? Want to read the laws themselves and the rules and regulations? Go to http://www.ashi.org/inspectors/state.asp and scroll down until you find the state for which you are searching.
ASHI Legislative Guidebook
Whether you are just beginning with legislative activity or are a seasoned pro, you’ll want to read the ASHI Legislative Guidebook. Written in 1997 by Janet Swandby, this classic manual gives you detailed information on every aspect of the legislative arena, from contacting your elected officials, to building coalitions, to testifying at hearings, to hiring a lobbyist and more. This is an insider’s look at the legislative process. It will give you the confidence and tools to make a difference. You can find the Guidebook on the ASHI Web site in the Members Only area, in ASHI Documents.
ASHI has created a special Web site, the Legislative Action Center, to create awareness of important home inspection issues and to facilitate discussion on matters involving government regulation of home inspectors. You can access this new service through the Members Only page by going to Legislative Action Center on the menu on the left side of the page. Or you can enter http://www.homeinspectorregulation.com in the address bar of your browser. The Center allows you to find out who your elected representatives are, from the White House to town hall, and it provides e-mail addresses and other contact information. You also can find election and candidate information. One of the best features is an Issues and Legislation page that ASHI can use to develop grassroots campaigns. We will be posting updated information on introduced legislation here.
Your ASHI Legislative Committee
Last, but not least, you have the services of the ASHI Legislative Committee (LGC) just an e-mail or phone call away. The LGC will respond to requests for bill review and tips on coalition building, hiring lobbyists, PAC startup and other vital issues. Contact the LGC through Bob Kociolek, ASHI director of chapter relations and state affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-954-3177.