February 2, 2017
Dear VPPPA members,
A belated Happy New Year to everyone, and welcome to what I believe will be an exciting year at VPPPA!
We were blessed in 2016 to have the support of both houses of Congress and the Obama Administration for continued funding and support for VPP, without any fees for VPP participants.
A decidedly bipartisan group of 43 members of the House of Representatives co-sponsored the VPP Act, which would make VPP a permanent part of OSHA. It was a measure introduced by Congressmen Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Gene Green (D-TX) and Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-AL). Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) co-sponsored an identical bill in the Senate.
In 2016, VPPPA conducted over 250 legislative visits to educate members of Congress about the value of VPP in the workplace. Clearly they worked, as policymakers and their staffs began to nod their heads in unison when we would bring up VPP. While acontentious presidential election effectively halted work on VPP and other initiatives, key legislators are making VPP a priority in 2017 and are reaching out to the Trump Administration.
States are getting the message as well. Several statehouses are considering VPP Acts right now.
In 2017, we will renew our efforts to educate Congress about VPP, particularly its new members. We can't do this alone. We need as many volunteers to attend the board of directors meeting the week of March 6, 2017 and participate in Capitol Hill visits. It is a great experience and a fun opportunity to gain an understanding of how our government works.
I certainly hope that we can share our success at the annual event, Safety+, in New Orleans. But we need your help! Please continue writing to your congressional representatives and senators. Nothing impacts members of Congress more than hearing from their constituents back home. To learn more, please contact our Legislative and Regulatory Committee Chairman, Terry Schulte, at Terry.Schulte@nustarenergy.com or our Government Affairs Counsel, Courtney Malveaux, at email@example.com.
With the change in leadership, we will revamp our efforts to establish an improved working relationship with our friends at OSHA. Thank you for your help and support.
Mike Guillory, Chairman
VPPPA Board of Directors