"Public Policy" is made by individuals working for regulatory agencies, elected officials, engineering societies, trade and advocacy organizations, and private companies and individuals.
The development of recommended practices and the results of public policy deliberations become the codes, standards, and regulations that all of us use in our work. It's important to care where these rules come from and how they are made.
If we want to be active rather than reactive, if we want to shape the future of codes and standards, instead of just having our business shaped by them, then we must do something!
The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people, politicians and political parties change with them.
Successful Public Policy = Good Policy + Good Politics
Good Policy - occurs when it is concluded that the policy will produce a measurable and positive outcome.
Good Politics - happens when no one is expected to criticize the policy or individuals and organizations behind it.
Current Issue that we Care About:
Wildlife: North Carolina House Bill 597
passed into law on 8/27/2019 and will be effective 1/1/2021. This bill makes various changes to the Wildlife Resources Commission's (WRC) laws, licenses, and fees. Section 6 of this bill makes various license changes, including fee adjustments and the creation of new licenses. Specifically In Section 6.(l) changes were made to establish a wildlife control agent license for individuals who engage in wildlife damage control or removal (including bat work
) for compensation. This license in the amount of $50.00 is an annual license beginning January 1 each year through December 31. This section of the bill reads as follows:
Wildlife Control Agent License - (formerly Wildlife Damage Control Agent) Any individual who engages in wildlife damage control or wildlife removal activities, including bat eviction, for compensation, including reimbursement for the cost of materials, shall first procure a wildlife damage control agent license. This is an annual license issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission for fifty dollars ($50.00). This license shall not be required for licensed trappers taking wild animals during the established trapping season for that species. The Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized by rule to set the standards for and to license wildlife control agents.
Any person who currently holds an active Wildlife Damage Control Agent Certification (WDCA) should have received a letter from the Wildlife Resources Commission stating that on January 1, 2021 all current WDCA certifications will expire. In December 2020, a notice will be sent out from the WRC on how to purchase the new WCA license for 2021.
This new law requires anyone who is working on a job doing wildlife damage control or removal (now includes bat work) will need to be licensed. Annual re-certification credits/training will be required for renewal of annual license. This will create a burden (financially and otherwise) for our members. Because of that, your NCPMA Public Policy Committee has been working with the WRC to add technical language to this bill that would create a Wildlife Control Technician classification. This classification would have yearly training requirements but would not be required to hold a Wildlife Damage Control license.
Currently this technical edit has been included in two different bills and both are sitting in committees until the next session starts in the General Assembly. We are continuing to meet with WRC members to push these changes through as quickly as possible but, at this time, we are not expecting any action before the end of the year. We will continue to update our members on these changes as they happen.