All NJ forum readers, please read this message and act on it! As you may have heard, the landscape lighting industry in NJ is under fire. The original electrical licensing statute written in 1962 requires any installation above 9 volts to be installed by a licensed electrical contractor. This statute was not applied to landscape lighting for 45 years, then the licensing board took notice and started enforcement. Warning letters and fines are being issued. Green industry professionals are seeing their profits erode through sub-contracting electricians, permits and inspections. All this because of a failure of the state to recognize the inherent safety of low voltage installation. In response, we've enlisted the help of the New Jersey Green Industry Council (NJGIC), the NJLCA, the NJNLA and a host of manufacturers, distributors and contractors. We formed a Landscape Lighting Task Force (under the direction of the NJGIC) to launch a campaign to amend the law to exclude low voltage landscape lighting from electrical licensing. We've succeeded in getting legislative support for the issue and a bill has been submitted to the State Assembly that provides this exemption. The next steps are getting the bill to the floor, getting it through committee, going to a final vote and repeating the process through the State Senate. There are thousands of bills under consideration so each step needs our aggresive support. This has been a massive (and expensive) coordinated effort that has included fundraisers for legislators, surveys, communications and supportive research. Up to this point, only a few individuals (such as George and Dave Beausoleil) and organizations (such as the NJLCA and NJNLA) have contributed financially. Now is the time when every NJ contractor needs to decide whether or not he wants this effort to succeed. We have a number of very expensive events in the near future and our funds are very low. There will also be other supportive efforts needed, such as letter writing and visits to legislators; but the immediate need is for money. On May 21st, we are hosting a dinner reception for Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts. This is our second event with Assemblyman Roberts and it gives us the opportunity to sit with him and impress upon him the importance of the issue. Our goal is to have ten seats at the table filled with good spokespeople for the industry. You, as a member of the industry could either purchase one of these dinner seats or sponsor one that we could fill. If you cannot afford a full seat, you can also contribute any amount toward the effort. At the minimum, if you support this issue, become a member of the NJGIC. Your membership fee will be a big help. And, of course, contributions over and above that will help give us the funds needed to carry this effort forward. Keep in mind that the NJGIC supports a host of other green industry issues that also impact your business. For more information and to make contributions, visit the NJGIC's website: http://www.njgic.org. Thanks for supporting your industry.