Legislative Committee format new for 2014-15
Under co-chairmanship of Larry Grooms and Lew Stults, the Antelope Valley Joint Legislative Committee will embark this year on format changes designed to increase involvement and effectiveness of participating regional groups in advocating for business, the economy and jobs.
Legislative advocacy is a fundamental mission for chambers of commerce, boards of trade and other likeminded organizations, and can be their most visible and vital intangible benefit for dues-paying members, Grooms said.
Towards maximizing that effort, AV Board of Trade 2014-15 President Al Hoffman suggested the Joint Legislative Committee would benefit in its mission by a few changes in format and scheduling.
Goals are to increase member participation; improve communication between business support organizations and elected lawmakers; provide more timely information leading to action by the individual legislative committees, and achieve greater visibility for legislative action regionally and beyond.
The Joint Committee, previously meeting monthly, will continue to receive informational updates from elected officials at all levels of government, but on a quarterly basis. The quarterly meetings will be timed as closely as possible to coincide with milestones in state and federal legislative processes. Tentatively the committee will schedule meetings for: early March, June, September and November. This is recommended to increase participation by both legislative office representatives and committee member organizations.
The program envisioned would closely model the existing format of the quarterly AV Transportation Summit hosted by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
The Joint Legislative Committee does not vote or take positions on issues brought before it. Instead, its participants take information back to their respective business organizations with recommendations for possible independent action.
AVBOT Legislative Action Committee delegates to the Joint Legislative Committee will meet between quarterly sessions to recommend positions to the board and prepare the White Papers used in Board of Trade annual lobbying trips to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Grooms and Stults said a reformatted agenda for the Joint Legislative Committee is being developed. Grooms said, “While many people see lawmaking as a process which moves at a glacial pace, timing to have effective influence is most often critically important. The earlier our pro-business organizations become aware of legislation, the stronger our chances of success in opposing or supporting bills of high importance to future growth and economic prosperity. The formatting change is a starting point, with full implementation expected by the end of this calendar year.”
AVBOT President Hoffman said he appointed Stults and Grooms as co-chairs in part because of their experience, respectively, in federal and state legislative staff offices. Both are retired longtime residents of the Antelope Valley.
The next meeting of the AV Joint Chambers Legislative Committee is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 3rd in the large conference meeting at the L.A. County Fire Training Center on 6th Street West in Lancaster.