In February the Kern County Chapter hosted two informative meetings at Ewing Irrigation on Ashe.
On February 6, members heard from Tammy Meyers, Conservation Coordinator at California Water Service Company. Thank you to Ewing for providing dinner.
On February 15, members gathered at Ewing for an update on 2018 Employers Labor Law. Thank you to the Kern County Chapter for providing lunch.
CLCA Legislative Conference
By Megan Rios, Director of Legislation
This year’s CLCA Legislative Action Conference in Sacramento was very successful. Six members of CLCA’s Legislative Committee were able to participate--Pete Dufau, Mickey Strauss, Richard Cohen, Dave Norred, CLCA President Aaron Huxley, and Megan Rios--along with our CLCA Executive Director Sandra Giarde, and CLCA’s legislative advocate Maria Garcia of Greenberg Traurig.
Above: Pete Dufau, Megan Rios, Richard Cohen, Senator Jean Fuller, Senator Pat Bates, Dave Norred, Mickey Strauss, Aaron Huxley.
On the first day the group focused on CLCA’s support of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and it’s work against the rampant underground economy, or unlicensed operators. Recently the board has been focusing on unlicensed operators who have been taking advantage of unknowing property owners after the fires and mudslides in Northern and Southern California. CLCA is supporting a budget request or allocation from the state to the CSLB for $1 million to conduct a targeted public outreach campaign in those impacted areas to promote using licensed landscape professionals and educate the public regarding possible scams and fraud.
CLCA also supports these bills that will help CSLB fight against unlicensed, illegal operators:
- AB 2046 (Daly) Allows easier access of data between state agencies to investigate workers’ compensation fraud.
- AB2705 (Holden) Provides CSLB with additional authority to extend prosecution of unlicensed operators from one year to two years to match the same timeline for licensed contractors and level the playing field.
- SB 1042 (Monning) Provides CSLB with the authority to host informal citations appeals conference to resolve administrative issues and thus conserve financial resources.
- SB 1217 (Galgiani) Expands the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force within the California Department of Justice to combat unlicensed operators thru multi-agency collaboration.
CLCA received positive feedback for these common-sense additions to the law and support for a state agency by the public industry.
The group from CLCA also focused on voicing a need for the Legislature to alleviate business cost and litigation pressures. The last several years have seen the minimum wage increased, the gas tax increased, family leave expanded, and the implementation of mandatory sick leave, which has increased costs as well as administrative work for CLCA members and all businesses in our state. CLCA members urged their representatives to limit the number of bills that involve increasing taxes as well as those that expand the window of opportunity for employees to file complaints against employers citing concerns that these types of legislation increase burdens, limit companies from growing, and stall economic growth.
CLCA opposes the following bills, which are bad for business:
- AB 2587 (Levine) Eliminates employer’s ability to require that an employee take up to two weeks of earned but unused vacation as a part of employee’s Paid Family Leave.
- AB 2067 (Bonita) Undermines an employer’s ability to provide a safe, drug free workplace by creating a new protection classification for employees who use marijuana for medical purposes.
- AB 2946 (Kalra) Extends from six months to three years for any past or present employee to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.
CLCA supports the following bills, which are good for business:
- AB 2131 (Melendez) Reduces the minimum franchise tax by 50% for every business corporation.
- AB 2353 (Frazier) Shortens the timeframe for action against a person or business for a construction defect from ten years to five years after substantial completion of the project.
- AB 2410 (Grayson) Reduces the annual tax for small limited liability companies from $800 to $400 for first two years of operation beginning 2020.
- AB 2510 (Muratsuchi) Reduces the annual tax for microbusinesses (businesses with annual income of $150,000 or less) from $800 to $100 retroactively effective January 1,2018.
The Legislative Committee invites all chapters to designate a delegate to parti- cipate in monthly leg conference calls. For more information on how you can help the legislative committee, please contact Megan Rios 661-835-9259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bold Spring Color
Anigozanthos, commonly known as Kangaroo Paw, is an evergreen perennial native to southwestern Australia boast-ing a breathtaking array of colors (reds, pinks, golds, yellows, and oranges) during spring and summer. The “wand” shaped stems and fuzzy, long-lasting blooms make Anigozanthos a great option for borders and mass plantings. Not to mention, hummingbirds and other pollinators love them!
Some important things to remember when planting Anigozanthos:
- Placement. Give them lots of sun and room to grow, especially the larger sizes.
- Water. Anigozanthos do best with regular irrigation and well-drained soil. Lightly fertilize in spring but keep phos-phorous level low.
- Pruning. Cut stems back to the base af-ter flowers are spent. Or for cut flower ar-rangements that last, cut the stems just as the buds are opening and place in warm water fortified with sugar-in-the-raw.
Anigozanthos ‘Yellow Gem’
Yellow Gem Kangaroo Paw. Tall and hardy with flowering stems reaching up to 5’ tall. Blooms are bicolor red and yellow.
Anigozanthos rufus ‘Backdraft’
Backdraft Kangaroo Paw. Attractive, deep red blooms stand out against blue-green, sword-like leaves. Stems reach up to 3 feet tall.
Anigozanthos ‘Kanga Burgundy’
Bush Elegance Kangaroo Paw. A more compact variety with leaves reaching 10” and stems growing to 20”. Blooms are purple-red from spring to fall.
Anigozanthos ‘Kanga Red’
Kanga Red Kangaroo Paw. Kanga Red grows to 1’-2’ tall and wide with bright red-orange blooms.
Anigozanthos ‘Kanga Pink’
Kanga Pink Kangaroo Paw. True pink blooms adorn this variety which grows from 1’-2’ tall in a clumping habit.
Information courtesy Village Nurseries.
Member Benefit: Customizable Handbook
One of the best ways to ensure your employees know what is expected is to have an employee handbook specific to your company. CLCA, along with the California Employers Association, is making it easier to create this document. We have compiled a new, first-of-its-kind employee handbook written specifically for employers in the landscape industry. Some of the items included that are specific to our industry include:
- Use of company vehicles
- Working with subcontractors
- Directions for inclement weather call-in
The handbook is in an easy-to-use Microsoft Word format, which you can fully customize to fit your company’s size, needs, and special programs. The result is an accurate and up-to-date employee manual, one of the best defenses available against employee job actions and lawsuits. Order Online, or contact CLCA HQ at (800) 448-2522.
Welcome to Our New Members