Message from the President
FASCO's Goals for the 2009 Session
Dear FASCO Members:
For the first time in recent years, our Industry suffered more losses than we gained during the 2008 Legislative Session.
First, the Commissioner of Agriculture recommended to the Legislature during a Special Session that the DOL Regional Offices be closed to "save money". Virtually every Industry member regulated under Ch 493 would have been adversely affected by the closings. FASCO members teamed with our very competent FASCO Lobbyist, and we were successful in having the Commissioners recommendation removed from the chopping block. A short lived victory, I fear!
The DOL Regional Office closing recommendation appears to be resurfacing for the 2009 Session. The Special Session created an unexpected drain on the FASCO Lobbying Budget.
The Industry's first big loss on the 2008 Session came when the Commissioner handed the Legislature $2 million of your Trust Fund license fee dollars to fund "other" Government business. FASCO's Lobbying resources were becoming more scarce since Lobbying fees come from FASCO Membership fees. We tried to fight the $2 million "sweep" but failed.
The final blow came when our Detain & Hold Bill, after unanimously passing all Senate Committees, was surreptitiously torpedoed in the House by Police Unions Lobbyists.
By the end of the 2008 Session, FASCO's Lobbying Budget was depleted.
FASCO is at a crossroads and I remain optimistic. Despite the fact that many of our former members have not renewed and new members are few, my optimism comes from knowing that FASCO has had a recent infusion of young creative tallent. FASCO's new VP K.C. POULIN and Secretary/Treasurer Patty Smith have teamed up to take FASCO to the next level. K.C. recognized the past successes and future potential of this Association. K.C. has donated his time and his Agencies many resources to help strengthen FASCO, through membership promotions, and an alliance with other Industry Associations regulated under CH. 493.
During this "cross roads" process, FASCO will be rebuilding our war chest. If membership fees don't come in immediately, we will have to forego hiring a Lobbyist this year.
Without a Lobbyist, the DOL Regional Offices will likely close and the Legislature will surely do another $2-$4 million dollar "sweep" of your Trust Fund monies... But all is not lost.
Included in our new strategy will be to make maximum utilization of the 150,000+ votes (More than the Police Unions) of 493 members, to elect Government Officials that will listen to, and look out for the interests of, our Industries.
Please join me today in building FASCO to accomplish our Goals!
Major Alan Lamarche, President, FASCO
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