Actions Set on Legislative and Regulatory Initiatives

ASA’s Government Affairs Committee presented its recommended 2008 Legislative Agenda to the ASA Board of Directors at the recent Winter Meeting. “We put together an aggressive,” shares Don Robertson, Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee. “The coming year is significant in many ways and it was important to provide our members a clear agenda, addressing the issues that can have the greatest impact on our industry. I believe we were successful.”

There are four major areas in which ASA will focus its efforts this year: taxes; labor management; workplace health & safety; and environment, water conservation and energy efficiency. Below is a list of specific issues and ASA’s position on each:

  • LIFO REPEAL: ASA opposes repeal of the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of accounting for inventory.
  • ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION FOR SHOWROOMS: ASA supports federal legislation which provides a statutory 15-year recovery period for qualified retail improvement property, provided such legislation is applicable to supply house showrooms.
  • GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS: ASA supports legislation (HR 1023) to repeal a new requirement on all government contracts that goes into effect beginning in 2011. The requirement mandates a 3% tax withholding by federal, state, and local governments from payments to vendors, including distributors, for goods and services.
  • PERMANENT REPEAL OF THE DEATH TAX: ASA continues to support permanent repeal of the death tax, but recognizes that a compromise may be necessary.
  • LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT: ASA opposes legislation (HR 2831/S 1843) that effectively eliminates the current statute of limitations on filing of pay discrimination suits.
  • SECRET BALLOT: ASA opposes the “Employee Free Choice Act” – or “card check” – and is an active part of the effort to ensure the continued right of American workers to freely choose whether or not to be represented by a labor organization via secret ballot.
  • FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE: ASA opposes legislation to require employers to provide seven days of paid sick leave annually for full-time workers.
  • SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH PLANS: ASA supports federal legislation to allow creation of federally regulated small business health plans (SBHPs), also known as association health plans (AHPs).
  • ERGONOMICS: ASA will oppose any attempt by OSHA to issue an ergonomics regulation.
  • OSHA ALLIANCE: ASA and OSHA will form an alliance to provide ASA members with information and access to training resources to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces.
  • ASBESTOS LIABILITY: ASA is dedicated to enactment of congressional legislation ensuring a fair resolution of the asbestos litigation crisis.
  • WATERSENSE PARTNERSHIP: ASA is a partner in EPA’s WaterSense promotional program, which seeks to promote water efficiency products.
  • WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: ASA supports legislation to adequately finance America’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY STANDARDS: ASA supports uniform efficiency standards for heating and cooling equipment. However, ASA opposes the recently enacted regional standards for residential heating and cooling products.
  • LEAD IN PLUMBING PRODUCTS: ASA opposes state and federal initiatives to reduce the lead content in plumbing products to such restrictive levels that manufacturers will not be able to comply. Further, ASA opposes state and federal standards with aggressive deadlines that do not allow for the normal turnover of existing inventories.

    For more information on ASA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of its members, visit us at