ISRI West Coast Chapter Participates in Engaging Lobbying Event

Feb 28, 2024, 12:14 PM
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Abby Blocker
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ISRI’s West Coast chapter hosted a dynamic two-day lobbying event on Feb. 21 and 22. These lobby days were organized by chapter lobbyists Tim and Ryan Flanigan of The Flanigan Firm, as well as Chapter President Sandy Brooks of SA Recycling. This event gave members the chance to engage in advocacy efforts and talk face-to-face with elected officials.

Chapter Advocacy Efforts

Throughout 2023, chapter members and lobbyists were active on various legislative initiatives. Notably, they focused on AB 641, which pertained to catalytic converters. By working with the bill’s author, ISRI members got amendments added that exempt the recycled materials industry from the bill. The language stated that the bill does not apply to a junk dealer as defined in CA B&P section 21601 or a recycler as defined in CA B&P section 21605.

The chapter also submitted a letter and testified in committee in support of SB 353. This bill authorizes the department to adjust the processing payment quarterly, based on the applicable preceding three-month average scrap value instead of the prior 12-month scrap value.

Several two-year bills carried over from the 2023 session into 2024. Most notable, SB 615 sponsored by Senator Ben Allen (D-24) creates an EPR program with a core exchange concept for vehicle traction batteries. This bill was introduced last year and moved through the Senate as a “work in progress” and was subsequently parked in the Assembly.

In 2023, ISRI chapter lobbyist Ryan Flanigan participated in weekly stakeholder meetings about SB 615 with car manufacturers, recyclers, dismantlers, and local environmental groups. Flanigan helped craft language favorable to the industry in the drafting process and will continue the effort as the stakeholder process is ongoing. This bill has until the first week of July to move out of policy committee in the Assembly.

Engaging with Policymakers

During the event, ISRI members met with representatives from several offices. For example, ISRI members engaged with Assemblymember Tina McKinnor (D-61) who serves on the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. During the meeting, Assemblymember McKinnor recognized the importance of the industry and expressed interest in gaining firsthand insights by touring a member facility. This interaction signifies a promising opportunity for collaboration and advocacy within the recycling sector.

On Wednesday evening, the chapter held a reception to commend state Treasurer Fiona Ma for her support of the industry. Treasurer Ma showcased her dedication by touring the Radius Recycling facility on Tuesday, Jan. 9 and SA Recycling’s LA Port/Terminal Island Location facility on Friday, Jan. 26. After the Jan. 26 tour, she highlighted SA Recycling in her social posts noting that the company employs 1,800 people in CA, and exports 1.2M tons of ferrous materials.

Left to Right: Kate Brandenburg, SA Recycling lobbyist, Ryan Flanigan, Chapter Lobbyist, Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, Abby Blocker of ISRI, and Kubi Karul and Jeff Farano of SA Recycling. Credit: ISRI

During the Feb. 22 chapter breakfast, Senator Allen delivered a compelling keynote address highlighting the significance of the industry. He is the Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, member of the Natural Resources and Water Committee, and a member of Environmental Caucus. His remarks sparked an engaging Q&A session, which fostered valuable discussion and a deeper understanding of how legislators and industry members could collaborate effectively.

During the chapter’s legislative committee and chapter board meeting on Feb. 21 members engaged in strategic discussions about forming a state Political Action Committee (PAC). A PAC can amplify ISRI’s advocacy efforts and influence state-level policymaking. Through fundraising and mobilizing resources, the PAC can support candidates who align with the association’s goals, helping to shape legislation and regulations in its favor.

As California progresses through its legislative session, ISRI’s West Coast chapter remains dedicated to monitoring bills through ongoing stakeholder engagement and meetings with legislators. California’s legislative process sets a crossover deadline for bills to pass their chamber of origin by Friday, May 24. The final opportunity for each house to approve bills is Saturday, Aug. 31

For more information, ISRI’s State Resources and Tracking webpages have details on bills that ISRI tracks in each state. These pages help users stay well-informed about legislation and provide updates categorized by state or specific issue areas. Members can also access our latest bi-weekly ISRI State Update on Region and Chapter Policy Activities sent to ISRI’s Lobbyist Network. The update is compiled from submissions from members and member-affiliated lobbyists.

Featured Photo Caption: ISRI Members with Assemblymember Josh Hoover. Credit: ISRI. 

ISRI’s West Coast chapter hosted a dynamic two-day lobbying event on Feb. 21 and 22....
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