State Legislators Congratulate OLCA for Legislative Day at the State House

The second annual Ohio Lawn Care Association (OLCA) Legislative Day at the State House was a great success. More than 25 lawn care operators met at the Columbus Renaissance Hotel on February 22 to gain an understanding of the legislative and regulatory process and the elements of effective advocacy. There was a common message among all speakers; that holding a legislative day, learning about the legislative process, and meeting with lawmakers was very important and will have long-term benefits to Ohio’s lawn care industry. Many industry groups do not take a proactive approach. Rather, they wait until pending legislation threatens their industry – then react. The educational program featured State Representatives Joyce Beatty (D; Columbus); Representative John Schlichter (R; Washington Court House); Representative Thom Collier (R, Mt. Vernon); Bill Reisenberger, Attorney, Sales and Use Tax Division, Ohio Department of Taxation; and Beth Vanderkooi, Aide to Senator Tim Grendell.

The afternoon provided an excellent opportunity for members to attend a session of the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate as well as the chance to sit in on committee hearings. Furthermore, members met with legislators and legislative staff to introduce the Ohio Lawn Care Association, to offer assistance as a resource, and to promote a “benefits of healthy turf” message. OLCA Board member Bill Hoopes said, “We now have a core of operators who are much more informed and understand the process and how to impact it.” But the highlight of the day was the attention given to the lawn care industry by State Representative Thom Collier.

State Representative Thom Collier (R; Mt. Vernon) was named the 2004 OLCA Legislator of the Year. He stressed the importance of meeting, informing, getting to know and showing respect to legislative staff. Representative Collier is currently serving as the Chair of the new House Economic Development and Environment Committee. Rep. Collier spoke at the Legislative Day in 2004 and attended the Ohio Turfgrass Conference & Show in December. OLCA appreciates and recognizes Rep. Collier’s dedication and attention to Ohio’s green industry.

Everyone in attendance felt the day was a great success and went home looking forward to next year. OLCA plans to hold its third annual Day at the Statehouse in February 2006. All members of the green industry are encouraged to attend.

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