Greetings fellow Investigators, Finally we have a signed bill for the efforts involving the IVIPs issue. It has been a great experience to under go this process and learning the way here in Washington by which a bill is successfully turned into law. There are numerous steps by which to accomplish this and there are more ways to kill a bill than there are by which to get one passed. It is with great thanks to our lobbyist, Grant Nelson, of True North Public affairs for helping us with this process. Without him by our side we would not be successful.
This issue came to my attention in a WALI board meeting where several WALI members has initiated action in an attempt to change the issue at hand. Their attempts have not gone unnoticed but were not successful in their legislative session attempts. It takes a lot of time away from ones regular working schedule to babysit a bill issue. I approached the PNAI board with the question of what do we want to do about this and is it important enough of an issue to take the time to work on this. It was voted that PNAI would pick up the efforts to initiate Legislation action as part of our bylaws in providing a service to its membership and to continue an ongoing Legislative effort as WALI was not going to pursue further Legislation action at this time but concentrate on Education and Seminars.
It was recommended to me by AWB, Association of Washington Business, that Grant Nelson would be a great choice for a lobbyist as he recently left AWB to start his own company after about 20 years with AWB. True North Public Affairs. I contacted Grant and he made a presentation to PNAI and the board accepted. I then signed a contract with Grant Nelson on behalf of PNAI as its then Vice President. I have spent a great deal of time with Grant in Olympia for the past two years, putting in my own time meeting with other lobbyists’ and Senators and Representatives talking about our specific issue, there have been many e-mails and phone conversations with Grant on a weekly and daily basis during the regular legislation sessions and special sessions. We have spoken to many different organization’s who have expressed interest in our bill efforts. The main stake holder in the disclosure issue was the Domestic violence and sexual assault victims advocates. Up to this point no one had spoke to them and asked about their concerns. We invited them into discussion and talked with Lonnie Johns Brown, Pam Crown and many others to hear their concerns. They were initially against any bill changes and they have a very powerful influence in Olympia when it comes to these issues. In further discussion the following year we were finally able to come to some language that was agreeable to both parties but it was vary clear in the beginning that getting rid of the notification all together was something that was not going to happen.
Many PIs have asked me why we could not get rid of the notification all together and this is why, for now. We can revisit this issue in the future and attempt to do so but for now this is the best we can get. Everyone involved around Olympia seems to be very happy with the results of the language and the fact that we were able to communicate and cooperate together to come up with a solution for a successful passage of our bill efforts. I look forward to continuing conversations with those advocates in the future to work with them and continue to build a positive relationship there for any future improvement efforts.
DOL has asked for extra time to initiate changes to their system therefore the bill does not take effect until January 1 2014. I discovered why. DOL and DOR are getting a new database computer system. This new system will allow them to share information such as our insurance certificates and license information. The delay would allow implementation of the changes in the new system and not cause a further cost of programming twice.
Now, I would like to say that I am excited to be “all in”, with this process and getting the bill successfully passed is quite an accomplishment. although some may not view this as a success because we did not eliminate the notification all together, but come on we are professionals here, if accessing this information would compromise and investigation then don’t use it. Be smart. I am also disappointed in the lack of response from members of PNAI and WALI as we continued to send out notifications, post cards, e-mails and list serve updates not only to association members but to all Licenses PIs in Washing State almost 1000 licensed PIs total and the Attorneys around Pierce and King Counties. The efforts from last year and this year cost over $20,000.00. The costs last year were covered by donations sent in from various members and non members but this year there have been very few financial contributions despite the asking. Maybe due to lack of information in the process but too much information put out too soon could of easily killed our efforts in Olympia as well. I trust that you all trusted my efforts in doing the right thing working on the bill as well as listening to our Lobbyist experienced suggestions. I am still working with a couple of Law Firms who have promised to make donations and to get their fellow association members to donate as well, It is a team effort here to raise funds. I would ask, now that we have success, maybe some of you are inclined to donate financially as we still have a bill to pay to the lobbyist. PNAI has covered the expense so far but we still need help. So each of you may ask your Attorney clients or Attorney friends to donate as well as this has opened a useful tool for them to. Thank you to all who have contributed last year and this year and for the continued support.
It is my goal to continue to provide a service to our members and to the PI profession and to grow the membership in PNAI. There are almost 1000 licensed PIs in Washington State but only about 250 of them are members of a professional organization. I would encourage our members to pass along invitations to those who are not PNAI members to also join PNAI as well as WALI. I believe both professional organization’s can provide a valuable contribution to your business. PNAI will continue working to improve the professional image in the PI industry, Some topics that are being discussed are Licensing reciprocity with other states, a requirement for continuing education credits to accomplish this, ongoing training requirements for licensing, State issued photo Identification for PIs among a few things. Some of you may not agree with these topics but PNAI will put it up for discussion and vote of its members as to which is most important and which topics to be discussed. Some issues can be dealt with administratively with DOL and some may require a legislation effort but either way it is a reason to grow in membership as well and to continue our efforts. It all cost money as we know. Thanks you everyone for a successful Legislation session !