Legislators speak out at MIASF press conference

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Marine Industries Association of South Florida had what it described as “a very successful press conference” at the Lauderdale Marine Center on Monday, highlighting the role of its membership and congresspeople in the recent passage of the U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill included a provision that provides a complete exemption for the service and repair sector of the recreational boating industry from the requirement for coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, as long as state workers’ compensation coverage is in place. The provision in the Coast Guard bill also provides specific relief to 165’ or under recreational boat manufacturers, according to MIASF.

About 60 MIASF members attended the press conference, during which MIASF President JJ McConnell, MIASF Past President Kristina Hebert, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Congressman Ron Klein spoke.

Congresswoman Wasserman Shultz and Congressman Klein were both presented with a boxed compass engraved, “For your dedication in navigating a successful voyage for the future of our industry.”

“[These] two allies of our industry have taken the bull by its horns,” said McConnell. “The work that they have done is tireless.”

“… we are halfway there, we have passed it out of the House of Representatives – first time ever – we still have it pass it out of the United States Senate, and we are working with Senator Nelson to do that,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Shultz. “It was time to update this law … this industry has been the number one economic driver in this community.”

“We are working actively in a bi-partisan way with our members over in the Senate…we put it on a bill that is a must pass bill for national security,” said Congressman Klein.

“I want to say persistence pays … I think as an industry we have all come together,” concluded Hebert, who was presented with a flag flown over the United States Capitol on April 17 in recognition of her efforts on the issue.

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