Chicago, IL--U.S. Representative Robert Dold spoke to a packed session room about the emerging legislative concerns surrounding the pest management industry and bed bug management while emphasizing the need for PMPs to work with and educate their local legislators.
As president of Rose Pest Solutions in Chicago, Congressman Dold was selected to speak at the BedBug University: North American Summit’s highlight session based on his deep understanding of the pest management industry and his involvement in the country’s legislative process. You can watch Congressman Dold's here or below or continue reading:
Federal Legislation: Where we are today and where we are going
Congressman Dold began with current federal legislation and focused specifically on H.R. 967: Bed Bug Management, Prevention and Research Act. If passed, this bill would serve as a pilot program allocating funds toward bed bug treatments and management in facilities. The bill would also fund prevention application and grants for research.
The scope of H.R. 967 would encompass Ohio, New York and a third state that has yet to be determined. If the pilot program is successful, a similar bill would likely be created to upscale the project to more states or nation-wide. The bill would also implement other policies including:
· The creation of state-specific bed bug task forces comprised of representatives from affected industries such as pest management, hospitality, multifamily and others.
· Require efficacy data for 25(b) exempted products commonly touted as “all-natural” or “organic” bed bug products to ensure they perform as advertised.
· For more information about the H.R. 967 you can find a digested summary here.
The Super Pack and the Importance of Engaging Federal and Local Legislators
Among the important considerations Congressman Dold highlighted is the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee. This committee is tasked with cutting 1.5 trillion dollars from the national deficit. Congressman Dold noted that it will be critically important for the pest management industry to engage in federal representation to ensure that funding for bed bug grants and research are preserved.
The congressman also encouraged individual PMPs to educate their local municipalities and legislators. These efforts will not only help the goal of securing funding, but also educate entities such as Departments of Housing and Urban Development about the difficulties of bed bug remediation in multi-family housing. This understanding could pave the way for more favorable treatment regulations and fewer contradictory restrictions.
Congressman Dold closed by emphasizing the importance of increased interaction with PMP’s and taking the initiative to offer their expertise to local legislators so that policy makers are able to make informed and practical legislation that ultimately empowers PMPs to do our jobs more effectively.
When prompted by Dr. Michael Potter from the University of Kentucky, Congressman Dold estimated that 97 percent of legislators in Washington D.C. do not recognize how large of a problem bed bugs pose—a clear indication that individual PMPs and the pest management industry at large must increase engagement.