April 30, 2017

NAHB: Your Association in Action

NAHB Helps to Roll Back Onerous OSHA Regulations

·        At NAHB’s urging, Congress has passed a bill to force OSHA to reverse a recent record keeping rule that would harm small employers.

·        OSHA’s so-called “Volks rule” would have changed the statute of limitations on citations for record keeping violations from six months to five years.

·        In other words, small businesses could have been cited for alleged recordkeeping violations for more than five years after they occurred.

·        NAHB led the charge for Congress to roll back this regulatory overreach and President Trump signed the bill into law.

·        As a result, OSHA’s illegitimate new rule will simply go away. What’s more, because of the unique legislative approach used to do away with the rule, the agency is prevented in the future from issuing a similar rule unless Congress tells it to do so.

·        This action means record keeping requirements revert back to the original law – OSHA can still issue a record keeping citation up to six months after the violation occurred.

·        And employers will still have the same obligation to record injuries as they always had.

·        But the agency will no longer be able to play “gotcha” by issuing a citation five years after the occurrence.

·        The OSHA victory shows that part of the value of NAHB membership is to gain access to the highest levels of government to fight for the interests of our industry.

·        Here are other recent examples of your association in action:

·        NAHB First Vice Chairman Randy Noel on March 29 testified on Capitol Hill regarding a top priority for home builders.

·        He called on Congress to work with federal regulators to fix the regulatory rulemaking process by ensuring that effects on small businesses are a primary focus for existing and future regulations.

·        Noel told lawmakers that regulations account for more than 24 percent of the price of a new home.

·        It is therefore imperative, he stressed, that federal agencies work with the business community to create more effective regulations that reduce compliance costs for small businesses.

·        NAHB Senior Officers on March 29 held a productive meeting with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to seek ways to make regulations more cost-effective without undermining their intent.

·        Discussions focused on several key issues for the home building community, including the waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, lead paint and stormwater regulation.

·        NAHB called on EPA to consider the impact of federal regulations on existing state and local government requirements, as well as on small businesses.

·        As EPA carries out President Trump’s regulatory streamlining directives, NAHB also urged the agency to focus not only on new rules but also on opportunities to revoke or revise existing ones.

·        The House on March 22 approved the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), association health plan legislation that would put small businesses on an equal footing with large employers and unions when it comes to negotiating lower insurance costs.

·        Of note to the home building community, the bill includes an amendment which clarifies that small businesses that have already established and administer association health plans, including some HBAs, can continue to operate under existing state and federal law.

·        NAHB has been a long-time proponent of association health plans and continues to work with Congress to ensure that this market-based health care option remains a viable alternative for small businesses and their employees.

April 24, 2017

Long Live the Past

"History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does not change the present does; each generation asks new questions of the past, and finds new areas of sympathy as it re-lives different aspects of the experiences of its predecessors."

It's true; you can't relive your past or even apply revisionism to alter what was. It happened and, more importantly, it will be remembered.

 Our association has a lot of past, decades worth. I remember my association past and it is one of quite a few emotions. Great fundraisers, packed networking events, great friendships and outstanding mentors. I can only imagine our association at its beginning and what those members were thinking when our past was their present. What will our future look like as our present slides into past memories? I haven't a clue but I do know this; things have changed quite a bit from my early days of volunteerism to today. Today's volunteers are not as engaged as they once were. I'm sure the horrific downturn in our industry played a significant role in the decline of dedicated volunteers. We are still looking up at the potential for our industry but we are a long way from the dearth of permits.

What happened to the passion of volunteerism?

There are still volunteers who give a damn but those ranks are dwindling. We lost some great mentors over the years which is one reason the more recent volunteers are contributing with less frequency and dampened passion. 
The relevance of committee work may also be on a decline. Maybe it's because it seems like every discussion tends to go off point or maybe it's because any direction feels like it takes an eternity to arrive at a decisive point.

We have to figure out what our association needs to focus on for success and apply those needs to our areas of volunteerism. Today's present can help tomorrow's present but we have to be committed to reshaping our association for tomorrow's needs.I offer no direction, no examples or even a nudge in the right direction. It's up to each local's leadership to figure this one out and bringing the Young Professionals into the mix, now.

My volunteer days seem to be trending downward. I'm not leaving anytime soon; I'm just realizing I have many yesterdays and my amount of tomorrows are certainly shrinking. I have to pick and choose where my talents are best suited and hopefully can help one or two more members with guidance a long the way.
I do hope that we can all focus on what we will look like and how we will conduct association business in the days, months and years ahead.

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

April 16, 2017

True Meaning of Easter

While celebrating Easter dinner, Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets, let's all remember the true reason for celebrating Easter.
Try and keep religion in religious holidays, as best as you can and always remember to honor those with religions that are dear to them. 
We are in this together