Ever wonder why the California Landscape Contractors Association has a staff member assigned to legislative advocacy, a contract lobbyist, and a committee of member volunteers who not only provide oversight for the association’s governmental affairs program, but also use their personal relationships with elected officials to advance the association’s legislative goals?

You already know that construction contracting is a heavily regulated occupation in California. But do you know that the state Legislature introduces hundreds of other bills relating to water, taxation, employment, and other subjects that directly impact the work of landscape contractors during a typical two-year legislative session? Are you aware that state agencies consider dozens of new regulations every year that directly affect our industry?

Having a strong voice in Sacramento has yielded tangible benefits for CLCA members. We have defeated countless hostile proposals and led many successful efforts to pass beneficial laws that protect the C-27 license and create new tools to combat unlicensed contracting.

Expanding the scope and value of the C-27 license is an area where CLCA lobbying has had particular success:

CLCA continuously lobbies the Legislature, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), and other state agencies to more aggressively combat unfair competition in the landscaping industry by increasing penalties for unlicensed contracting and improving enforcement of current licensing laws.

CLCA also has led numerous coalitions to kill harmful legislation. In recent years CLCA has opposed extending the sales tax to services, shifting the burden of the personal property tax on heavy construction equipment from owners to renters, and imposing liens on the owners of real property if employees of a landscaping, janitorial, or security service business who had done work on the property subsequently alleged that they were unpaid or underpaid.

Shaping water conservation laws and regulations has also been a top CLCA priority. The association worked closely with the Department of Water Resources, the California Urban Water Conservation Council, and other entities in updating the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance a few years ago. This past summer CLCA participated in the public process to develop emergency drought regulations for the entire state. The resulting State Water Resources Control Board regulations, which target runoff, are preferable to the water board’s initial proposal to limit landscape irrigation to no more than two days a week. CLCA has actively supported bills to expand the use of recycled water, promote better landscape water management through water budgeting and conservation pricing, and provide that rebates received by property owners for replacing turf with more water efficient landscaping plants are not taxed as income by the state.