The Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals elevates the professional standards and business success of its members through education , certification , advocacy , and networking .
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SNOW & ICE LEGISLATION : A priority for 2021 by Steve Boksanski , GIA Legislative Agent
With the new year comes a new President and Administration , members of Congress , and closer to home , a new General Court , the 192nd . As usual , all newly elected and reelected state representatives and senators took the oath of office on the first Wednesday of January . However , unlike any other new session over the past several decades , the previous legislative session didn ’ t conclude until earlier the same day .
In 1995 a set of rules reforms were adopted by the Legislature to implement a carry-over rule so all bills , except appropriations , picked up in year two where they left off in year one . Also included in this package was a change to move the end of formal sessions to July 31 to allow incumbents more time to spend in their districts campaigning and to prevent any lame-duck shenanigans . This rule ( Joint Rule 12A ) stood out as the one that was never broken … until 2020 .
The pandemic has had a major impact on the Legislature and stopped anything that wasn ’ t COVID-19 related in its tracks . It also gave the Legislature an extra six months to wrangle over a set of conference committee negotiations as the only matters really on the table . Once the rule change was passed , the heat was off and seemingly so was the desire to reach compromise . It came as no surprise to close observers that real negotiations didn ’ t materialize until the final days and that the House and Senate were scrambling into the wee hours of the last day to push their legislative achievements across the goal line .
For MLP the impact couldn ’ t have come at a worse time . In 2019 we began an aggressive campaign in support of legislation that would prohibit the use of unfair waivers when contracting for snow and ice