The RV Industry Association's State Government Affairs team spent last week at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 2023 Legislative Summit in Indianapolis, IN. As the preeminent state legislative event in the United States, the summit hosted over 5,000 attendees— including legislators, legislative staff, lobbyists, exhibitors, and government affairs professionals from across the country.
During the event, the Association’s team members— who staffed a booth alongside the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds— networked with legislators and legislative staff from over 15 states. Along with learning about the RV industry’s priorities, policymakers had an opportunity to view the eStream, a fully-electric concept travel trailer aimed at the future of electrified travel.
“This Conference is about educating and engaging state legislators on the RV industry and the wider outdoor recreation industry,” says Jason Rano, Vice President of the RV Industry Association’s Government Affairs team. “We talk about pressing issues that legislators and legislatures more broadly need to be aware of, such as state franchise laws and the importance of pull-through EV chargers.”
The RV Industry Association’s State Government Affairs team used the Conference as an opportunity to begin planning for 2024 legislative sessions. “Preparing for legislative sessions really kicks off when we attend the Conference. We’re deciding which states to focus on throughout 2024 and then we make the effort to meet with those legislators while we’re here,” says Jason. “That way we’ve raised the profile of the RV industry’s priorities so that we’re ready in January when legislative sessions begin. With legislators having a base level of knowledge, we can hit the ground running.”
In addition, the Conference serves to build supportive legislative connections that benefit the RV industry going forward. “This is a good opportunity to identify and engage potential new champions across the country at the state level who want to work with us to help the industry continue to grow and thrive,” Jason adds. “We can identify partners to work with in specific states and then continue to build those relationships one-on-one when we travel. State legislatures are extremely busy and they have many priorities, so it’s important to attend events like this where we can engage with their policymakers. You never know who might become a new advocate for the RV industry!”