Update on NECA Lobbying in Massachusetts
October 6, 2020
The New England Car Wash Association (NECA) Lobbying committee and The Public Policy Law Group had a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Karen Polito, on September 29, 2020. The discussion was directly related to whether car washes were going to be classified as “Essential” if Massachusetts were to return to business closures statewide due to resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.
We are pleased to share that our lobbyists together with NECA demonstrated to Governor Baker’s administration our position on why the car wash industry should remain open during COVID-19. We were successful in lobbying for car washes to open under Phase 1 – Part 1 with only 3 other industries. This was made possible through the generosity of NECA members and many hours of phone calls, letters, presentations, and documentation compiled by our committee led by NECA President, Mathew Paisner.
During our recent meeting, Lieutenant Governor Polito discussed the Administration’s evolving policies based on the scientific data as they continue to open Massachusetts for business. The Governor’s office has transitioned from an industry-focused approach (i.e. Essential vs Non-essential) to a community focused approach, using their color-coded map data which shows weekly reporting of COVID risk levels by city/town. The new approach requires any Massachusetts community classified in the “red” risk level for 3 consecutive weeks to take a step back in the reopening phases. Right now, every community is in either Phase 3 - Part 1 or Part 2 depending on risk level. This means a community would need to show over 3 months of consecutive weekly “red” reporting to step back to Phase 1-Part 1 where car washes first reopened. The Lieutenant Governor assured NECA that a return to Phase 1 is unlikely and there have been no discussions on that scenario. As we continue conversations at the State level, our lobbyists believe the new approach ensures Massachusetts car washes will remain open.
NECA urges all operators to continue being vigilant with the required safety measures of PPE (i.e. masks) for all employees where applicable and regular disinfecting activities until this pandemic is over. The Lieutenant Governor is thankful for the information NECA provided and recognizes both the critical service our car washes provide to first responders and the important role our industry has played to reduce virus spread.
Please call or email the NECA first with any questions so we continue advocating with one consistent voice and message with all governing bodies. Our office phone number is 781-245-7400 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org.