Last week, the Senate passed a one-year extension of the H-2B return guest worker exemption program.
This marks a critical step forward in the continuing push to secure a more permanent extension. Corey Connors, director of legislative relations for the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), stated, "passage in the Senate was just the first hurdle in a longer effort to secure this extension."
As part of an appropriations package, the extension provision will now become part of joint House and Senate negotiations, subsequent to adoption by both bodies, and then must be signed by the President. According to Connors, "the challenge in the House of Representatives is significant, given recent labor union efforts to damagingly increase employer burdens for any guest worker program adjustments."
ANLA will continue to seek avenues for more immediate temporary relief, while also continuing to advocate for a longer-term fix to the industry's labor problems.
"However, we now have some hope that we can get something done on a clean, temporary extension," Connors said.
In a press release, ANLA reiterated the importance of all industry members whose businesses and customers stand to be impacted by access to H-2B workers to encourage their representatives in the Senate and House to pass this extension and work toward a longer term solution to America's labor needs.
For more information, please call (202) 789-2900 or visit www.anla.org .