Congress is currently negotiating the fiscal year 2019 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill. The forest industry and allied groups are working to include the Tillis/Harris H-2B package in the final bill.
The legislation will likely be completed by December 7. Please contact your congressional representative about this important matter now!
Specifically, the legislation would permanently double the H-2B cap from 66,000 to 132,000 and allow employers of forestry workers to access the uncapped H-2A program. It would require H-2B employers to participate in the E-Verify program within a year. It would also eliminate the costly newspaper advertising requirement and replace it with a requirement to list jobs through an online Department of Labor job registry.
Ask your federal representative and senator to include the Tillis/Harris H-2B package in the final DHS appropriations bill. You can reach your elected officials through the Capitol Switchboard at 202.225.3121. Once connected to your legislator’s office, ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues.
Please make these calls today.
Please include the Tillis/Harris H-2B Package in the DHS appropriations package. This legislation ensures that enough guestworker visas are available for nonimmigrant workers to replant forestlands. This work is critical for the regeneration of our nation’s public and private forestlands following timber harvests or catastrophic events such as hurricanes, wildfire or insect/disease outbreaks.
FLORIDA EMERGENCY HURRICANE SUPPLEMENTAL REQUEST
The Florida Forest Service has requested supplemental funds on the federal level to assist the recovery of tree farmers, producers and manufacturers after Hurricane Michael.
Please share this information with your congressional representatives for consideration when work begins on a hurricane supplemental package. It is believed the request would most likely be addressed in a possible extension of last years's Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) that helped fund citrus damage recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma.
Please support funding for Florida's Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Request. Those in the forest industry affected by Hurricane Michael have few resources for recovery. Reforestation of the damaged and destroyed acres is vital for the industry as well as the state's economy and environment.