ASTA: Contact Local News Over California IC Bill

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The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is continuing its fight against California Assembly Bill (AB) 5.

Their latest efforts include launching a portal to urge travel advisors to send a letter to the editor of your local news publication about the importance of amending the legislation to protect the current travel agency model, as well as other California small businesses.

“It is critical that this legislation be amended to protect the independent advisor model that has existed in our industry for decades and provides opportunities for thousands of small business owners,” ASTA writes on its Advocacy Portal. “As a part of our overall grassroots effort, we are engaging local media to help drive home the importance of securing an amendment to preserve the independent advisor model.”

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Most recently, a State Senate committee passed the bill without an exemption for the travel industry. The California legislature is currently on recess through August 12, and in this time, ASTA says advisors should contact and visit their representatives at their district offices. September 13 is the deadline to vote before the full Senate, and Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 13 to sign or veto the bill. The law would go into effect January 1, 2020.

To prepare for the possibility that the bill is signed into law as-is, ASTA offered five options for California agency owners. These included: Taking no action; terminating California IC contracts now; allowing California IC contracts to expire without renewing; converting California ICs to W-2 status; and creating a separate entity to engage California ICs.

ASTA updated its Advocacy Portal to include a section that automatically connects advisors with local news outlets and provides a template letter.

This story originally appeared on www.luxurytraveladvisor.com.

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