Modular Building Institute
May 2020 Government Affairs Update | Modular Building Institute

May 2020 Government Affairs Update

As COVID19 continues to dominate the headlines, it continues to provide opportunities for MBI Government Affairs and MBI members to promote our industry in times of crisis.

In May we launched MBI’s COVID19 Elected Official Outreach Campaign through our new Phone2Action advocacy tool. This system provided an opportunity for every MBI member contact to reach out to elected officials from the local level to state, federal and provincial leadership to offer their services and promote their company. We are pleased to report that the actions of you, our members, resulted in 523 emails being sent to elected officials! Thanks to this powerful communication tool, MBI members were able to send emails directly to:

30 Governors
34 US Senators
65 US House Members
104 State House Members
4 State Senators
89 Local Officials (Mayors, City Council members and other local leaders)

A total of 326 different US elected officials were contacted by MBI members!

In Canada, the following connections were made:

Alberta: 6 House Members, 6 City Leaders
British Columbia: 6 Senate, 5 House, 6 Assembly Members, 39 city/local leaders
Quebec: 1 Assembly member, 1 Opposition Leader, 6 city/local leaders

A total of 76 different Canadian elected officials were contacted by MBI members!

Thank you to all who participated in this opportunity. We would like to recognize Barb Bieganski with Vanguard Modular as the MBI member contact who sent the most emails in the US and Christoph Neufeld with Britco who was the leader in Canada. Great job!

If you have any success stories to share from your outreach, please let us know. We’ve heard from some members who received a positive reply within 2 hours of sending their emails.

MBI Government Affairs Director, Jon Hannah, participated in the monthly BBRS call in Massachusetts. There is no news to report on the study committee’s proposal to impose stricter guidelines on our industry. Much of the discussion were centered on Net Zero Energy for commercial buildings. This topic is still being discussed by a study committee.

The New York State Legislature came back into session last week. Our lobbyist in NY is continuing to work on S5420/A2933, which would require members to use NYC union labor for their welding, plumbing, HVAC, etc. regardless of where the structure is manufactured. Our best opportunity will be to defeat these companion bills on the Assembly side, but due to the legislature’s focus on COVID19, they may not come up for a vote in 2020.

Additionally, our lobbyist is monitoring a new bill, S8334, which is a prevailing wage bill that would include drivers for the delivery, hauling, loading, and unloading of products.

MBI Executive Director, Tom Hardiman and Jon Hannah participated in a call with Pennsylvania Secretary Gavin and his staff to discuss their response to COVID19. They are currently looking to implement virtual inspections as well as factory certifications. If these go well, they could become new standard processes for their department.

The MBI team also reached out to over 300 emergency managers, covering all US states and Canadian provinces. They promoted the industry and helped to educate officials on the powerful advantages of modular construction, including the availability of rapidly deployable and built structures. Officials also received information on specific COVID-19 response efforts that MBI and the industry are making.

MBI continues to participate in weekly calls with the National Governor’s Association. They are all working at their own pace to get their states economy up and running with some new guidelines for workers on the job site. These vary state by state.

The MBI website has been updated with new contact information for each state and provincial regulator as well as updated IBC codes that are in place for each state and province.

Jon Hannah and two other MBI members were asked to work with the Facility Guidelines Institute to develop a guideline for the use of temporary medical structures during a catastrophic event. This guideline is expected to be published by mid-year 2021.

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