While the SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) has been off to a strong start this year, SHRM members have not limited their advocacy efforts to the federal level. Understanding the importance of ensuring that state-level policymakers also need to hear from HR professionals, a number of state councils have been active with their own legislative conferences in 2012. Many of these state councils included A-Team sessions and/or legislator visits at the state capitol in their conference programming.
Several state councils have hosted legislative conferences for a number of years, and this year has been no different. To date, Illinois (March 27), Georgia (March 27), Maryland (January 31), Ohio (April 27), Oklahoma (February 15), Pennsylvania (April 16-17), Rhode Island (March 18), West Virginia (February 1) and Wisconsin (March 28) all held such conferences in 2012. Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin included SHRM A-Team training sessions in their conference agendas, while Georgia, Illinois, Maryland and Oklahoma coupled A-Team training with face-to-face interactions with state legislators.
In other states, legislative conferences are fairly new program offerings. New Hampshire hosted its third legislative conference (April 19, pictured above) in 2012, California (May 17-18) and Florida (February 15-16) their second (pictured at right during their 2011 visit), as well as North Carolina (May 22). All four incorporated A-Team sessions to help train their members in advocacy best practices. Legislator visits were also conducted by members during the conferences in California, Florida and New Hampshire.
Combined, these conferences demonstrate that SHRM’s volunteer leaders understand and value the benefit of SHRM members being engaged in the HR debate. We are greatly appreciative of these efforts.