Each Spring representatives from the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association head to Washington, DC to join lumber dealers from across the country to help educate the United States Congressmen and women and Senators on issues that impact our industry and your livelihood.
This year there were three primary areas of focus:
- The Innocent Sellers Fairness Act which is an attempt to reign in the scope of product liability lawsuits while protecting building material dealers, distributors, and other retailers from unwarranted litigation.
- DOL Proposed Overtime Rule – The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposal last summer that would significantly alter existing overtime rules by raising the salary level under which employees qualify for overtime pay from $455 per week ($23,360 annually) to an estimated $970 per week ($50,440 annually). DOL is expected to issue a final proposal this summer. NLBMDA is a member of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity and has met with House offices regarding the rule’s impact on lumber and building material dealers. This month 108 Representatives sent a letter to DOL Secretary Thomas Perez expressing opposition to the current proposal.
- Health Care Reform – Last summer, in a survey of NLBMDA members, health care was rated as the top issue affecting their businesses. A bill in both the House and Senate (H.R. 30, S. 30) would define a full-time worker under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as one who works 40 hours a week, rather than the law’s current definition of a full-time employee working only 30 hours a week. NLBMDA is also a member of the Stop the HIT Coalition and remains committed to full repeal of the health insurance tax (HIT) that raises the costs of fully-insured health care plans. Repeal legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 928, S. 183). In 2015 and 2016, the federal government is expected to collect $22.6 billion from the HIT.
In addition, we always bring forward issues on beetle-kill, general forest health, multi-use of our forests, and other business and compliance issues that will impact how you do business.