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How the International Code Council Stays on Top of 1,500 Issues a Year with FiscalNote

Getting on the same policy page

Before subscribing to FiscalNote, the Government Relations department of the International Code Council (ICC) was searching for a streamlined, flexible, all-in-one resource to search and retain information from 50 state capitals. 

"We were using a lot of spreadsheets and emails,” says Justin Wiley, Vice President of Government Relations for ICC. “Each year, we track approximately 1,200-1,500 pieces of legislation and the spreadsheet system we were using was laborious and difficult to maintain."

"Now, with FiscalNote, we have an issue folder set-up that compiles our top legislative priorities and allows us to add notes and keep our organization’s leadership plugged in. We receive timely alerts on legislation impacting our organization which allow us to quickly react. FiscalNote gives us a snapshot of our key priorities which we didn’t have with past legislative tools, and if we run into problems, the FiscalNote staff responds quickly to create solutions that meet our changing needs.”

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The International Code Council (ICC) is a nonprofit association whose mission is providing the highest quality building codes, standards, products and services to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient buildings worldwide. The ICC was established in 1994 and combined the resources of America’s three leading model code nonprofits into one major organization for construction and fire safety codes. The result is a single, nationwide set of codes that can be adopted, updated and used by all jurisdictions.

The Code Council’s success has led its codes to be used in all 50 states, U.S. territories and in several foreign nations.

The codes ICC develops, the I-Codes, have since impacted a staggering two billion people worldwide. "Our top priority is helping communities become safer and more resilient through consistent adoption of the most recent building codes,” explains Wiley. “A recent study by the National Institute of Building Sciences reported that jurisdictions save taxpayers $11 in post disaster recovery expenses for every $1 spent implementing current building codes."

“So, you can see that it’s critical to stay on top of government issues from coast to coast. Everybody benefits when we do our work effectively, from the building designers and contractors who use them in the field to the taxpayers who financially benefit from having effective codes that protect building integrity and safety.”

"FiscalNote gives us a snapshot of our key priorities that we didn’t have with past legislative tools."

Justin Wiley, Vice President of Government Relations
International Code Council

Keeping Ahead of Multiple Issues

The Code Council tracks policies and proposed legislation relating to building codes, community resiliency and safety, and regulatory processes. 

“We follow issues affecting the built environment at all levels and ensure governments have the tools and resources needed to employ new methodologies for resilient design and construction,” Wiley says. “We work with FEMA and state and local governments to provide tools and resources for effective implementation and enforcement of building codes and standards.” 

With more than 64,000 members and 377 chapters worldwide, the ICC is a member focused association. A core strength of the nonprofit is its membership who are, largely, state and local government employees who work in various aspects of the built environment. The ICC staff depend on keeping their members informed on pertinent issues in state capitals and Washington, D.C., so that the membership’s voices can be useful in shaping public policies.

“We keep our finger on our members’ pulse and set legislative and regulatory priorities based on their needs. We analyze opportunities through the lens of our governmental members and stakeholders,” Wiley says.

“From a managerial perspective, [FiscalNote] has been transformative. It helps us identify key issue movements across a region, proactively address them as an organization, and document our efforts."

Justin Wiley, Vice President of Government Relations
International Code Council

Getting Federal, State, and Local on the Same Policy Page

Wiley works alongside a twenty-four-person Government Relations team spread out across the country. The Government Relations office directs 17 state and local team members who directly interface with members and handle the government affairs side of the organization. 

“Our state and local government relations team covers all U.S. states and territories and coordinates initiatives with our Federal and Congressional advocacy team,” says Wiley. “We vertically integrate issues such as resilience, building safety and sustainability, and regulatory process in the built environment across federal, state, and local teams. Our issues are multi-dimensional and affect all levels of government.” Because the team is dispersed across the country, Wiley finds FiscalNote very handy to keep everyone on the same page and focused. "It has made my role much more effective staying on top of issue management and working with field staff and volunteers on targeted legislation and issues."

“FiscalNote assists us in engaging colleagues and coordinating legislative strategies across the country,” he says. “For example, we’ve seen legislation extending the implementation cycle of building codes. The ability to conduct a legislative search across multiple states and identify similar language helps us anticipate legislative trends across the country.”

Now, with twenty-five users on the platform including their CEO, their team can access everything in a single place. 

“From a managerial perspective, it’s been transformative. It helps us identify key issue movements across a region, proactively address them as an organization, and document our efforts. I can easily and quickly get a 30,000-foot look at what’s going on and pull reports to send to our CEO and senior management team."

One Tool. One Place. One Message. 

FiscalNote has also helped the ICC team become aware of other strategies at work in other states and to act as “institutional memory” to see how strategies and tactics have worked in the past. 

“FiscalNote has brought everything into one space,” Wiley says. “One of our colleagues in the northeast is dealing with critical legislation about building codes. He can use FiscalNote to research successful strategies and similar legislation and issues. Other team members, dealing with similar issues in other states, can access messaging and files when engaging similar legislation in another state.” 

Managing stakeholders is another crucial part of Wiley’s day-to-day workload. Data compiled in FiscalNote can become a reliable resource for sharing information. 

“Quite often stakeholders are seeking information about sustainability and resiliency benefits the latest building codes and standards offer,” Wiley says. “We also strive to educate elected officials and stakeholders about the benefits certified code officials provide and the positive impact properly administered codes have on a community.” 

“The convenience of having everything under in a single platform is a huge plus. Whether it’s issue development or a directory of legislators and officials, or tools for collaboration, it’s all there."

Justin Wiley, Vice President of Government Relations
International Code Council

Wiley describes one of the biggest benefits of FiscalNote as being able to access every feature he needs in one, uniform tool. 

“The convenience of having everything under in a single platform is a huge plus. Whether it’s issue development or a directory of legislators and officials, or tools for collaboration, it’s all there. We like being able to filter by issue subject, priority, and review trends across the country.” 

Simply put, “the cross-country snapshot that FiscalNote provides makes managing a national team of government relations professionals much more efficient.” 

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