Recognizing the importance and success of full time lobbying efforts the NHPA Board of Directors voted to hire the services of a full time lobbyist and business agent. Retiring Sgt., Gary Wolff was contracted to represent the NHPA on all legislative and some internal NHPA matters.
Entering the 1997 legislative session the NHPA came armed with a full time lobbyist, full time legal representation and the affiliation with SEIU another historical event took place. After ten years of trying the NHPA through joint sponsorships of Assemblymen Nolan and Anderson introduced and passed the Officer/ Firefighter injury bill also known as 4800 time based on California’s officer injury bill. It is uncertain how many individuals have benefited from this law, but most recently NHPA’S VP Bobby Kintzel received a full years pay without using any personal leave as the result of his injuries sustained while on duty. The other notable Lawmakers who were instrumental in passing this long over due legislation were Senators Ann O’Connell and Bill Raggio. The bill had to make it through the senate government affairs committee which O’Connell chairs and through the senate finance committee which Raggio chairs.
The NHPA was also very involved in passing the funds needed to build a new NHP radio system. It should be noted the NHPA’S involvement was strictly officer and public safety and not related to the type of system that needed to be built. The problem was, the powers within NDOT, NHP and the Vendors couldn’t agree as to which system to build, so the NHPA intervened. Based on the technical information received from engineering studies and the cost factors of the different systems the legislature approved to build the high-band system. Granted something went very wrong with the high-band system and only a thorough unbiased investigation will determine what went wrong and who should be held accountable, but one thing is certain NHPA presence and lobbying efforts moved a stalled process forward. The NHPA was also instrumental in passing other public employee related bills.