Representative Michael Burris is a former WCASHRM and SHRM member. He previously served the local community college as a workforce readiness and workforce development trainer. He has served the General Assembly for the previous three terms, and has assisted ARSHRM in passing or opposing various legislation while occupying a position on the Public Health and Welfare Committee. Mike is term limited and unable to seek re-election in his current position.
This last session in 2009, Burris sponsored an ARSHRM bill regarding the Private Career Education board’s regulation of employer and association’s training program. The legislation would have removed Employers from being subject to submitting training program and from Associations from complying with submitting its conferences, training, education and certification programs. The PCE Director initially said she was not looking to license Associations but then later when pressured further, she changed her opinion. It was at the ARSHRM State Council’s persistence that the HB2015 bill not be withdrawn until we received written intent by the Department. When the PCE Director was unwilling to do this, Burris negotiated conversations with our lobbyists, Governmental Affairs Director and the PCE Director to work out a compromise of the department’s current regulation with our needs as an Association. The PCE board promised Burris and ARSHRM that they were not looking at licensing association conferences; however, they were concerned about our HRCI certification study group because it would allow someone to enhance their career as is noted in the PCE department’s purpose. Because of this, under the current regulation, the HRCI class would need to file for exemption. ARSHRM and Burris worked with the PCE department to revise the regulation to exempt all existing incorporated associations from the PCE’s oversight.
During the session, Burris was faced with a seemingly hostile PCE Director who was upset over our filing this bill. Once the Director’s intent changed and the bill compromise was reached, Burris had to backtrack to get the Bill before committee and the House floor on the last days of the session. Burris and our lobbyists negotiated with the Committee Chair and Leader of the House to get HB2015 on the committee agenda, and then negotiated with the Senate for the same consideration. Unfortunately, due to it being considered on the last day of the General Assembly session and opposition by a competing entity that didn’t possess the proposed requirements, the bill failed in the Senate committee.
Representative Burris risked his reputation and demonstrated a strong dedication to the HR profession by sponsoring our bill and negotiating on our behalf. ARSHRM is proud to call Representative Mike Burris a friend of the profession.