A Note from the President
MTA’s 10% Rate Reduction Initiative
In February, the MTA distributed a letter to consultants directing “all vendors who provide professional, technical and advisory services to implement a 10% reduction in the current per hour unit rate.” ACEC New York partnered with the New York Building Congress and AIA New York in order to engage the MTA and provide clarity to the industry. On March 4, the three associations held a call with MTA CEO Pat Foye and other senior staff to gather information and to offer assistance in identifying cost savings measures. The MTA attributed the necessity of this plan to their immediate financial challenges. They acknowledged the concerns that we raised and were hopeful that they could cut contract costs without causing undue hardship to their vendors. They expressed willingness to engage in future discussions to identify more efficient ways to reduce costs in procurement and contracting design and related professional services.
ACEC New York and partner groups conferred with respective counsel to ensure that none of our activities would violate federal anti-trust laws. ACEC New York, along with our partners, has sent two related letters to the MTA while also providing our members with an FAQ that was reviewed by counsel. Both of these letters were also distributed to the ACEC New York membership. For copies of this material, contact Bill Murray, NYC Director of Government Relations. Based on the information distributed, we encourage all firms to make any decisions based on their unique circumstances and considerations.
New York State
Budget: As April 1 approaches, the State Budget process continues apace. The Senate and Assembly one-house budget bills were released earlier this month. ACEC New York staff reviewed the proposals and weighed in on issues of concern to member firms, including transmitting letters of opposition regarding the inclusion of cost-benefit legislation language in the one-house proposals. Continued areas of interest include making the Infrastructure Investment Act permanent, and the expansion of alternate project delivery to construction manager at-risk, construction manager build as well as design-build, and the expansion of the program to SUCF, DASNY and OGS. ACEC New York continues to stay engaged in the budget making process and represent the industry’s interests.
State Policy Initiatives:
ESOP Expansion: ACEC New York’s lobbying efforts scored an early win with the Senate passage of S.2709 on Wednesday of this week. This association-backed bill seeks to allow a qualifying (design professional controlled) Employee Stock Ownership Plan to own a greater portion of a Design Professional Corporation while still ensuring that licensed professionals control the firm. The association continues to work to seek Assembly committee advancement and passage of this common-sense legislation.
Indemnification: Following ACEC New York’s successful meeting with representatives of the Attorney General’s office, our work continues to identify appropriate, insurable and commercially reasonable contract language that can be agreed upon by State agencies and their consulting engineering partners.
2019 Federal PAC. ACEC New York has raised $15,210 of our $90,000 goal. Thank you to our donors to date. Look for information on upcoming PAC fundraising events and visit the ACEC PAC webpage for more ways to give. For more information on donations, or to make a donation to the PAC, contact Campbell Wallace at email@example.com.
New York City
Members attend Gateway Program announcement by Senator Schumer. On March 4, ACEC New York members attended an event hosted by the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) where Senator Charles Schumer announced plans to introduce legislation that would guarantee funding for the Gateway Program. Save the date! On 5/21 our Metro Region Membership Meeting will feature an update by Francis Sacr, Interim Executive Director of the Gateway Development Corporation.
ACEC New York members B. Dean Angelakos (CHA), Peter Bakarich (AKRF), Stuart Lerner (Stantec), and Chris Sklavounakis (HDR) attend the ABNY program.
ACEC New York testifies at public hearing on “Mechanical Voids” in City Buildings. On March 13, ACEC New York testified at a Department of City Planning (DCP) hearing on a proposed Zoning Text Amendment that would regulate Mechanical Voids. DCP proposed the text amendment in response to concern that residential and mixed use buildings are being designed with excessively large voids to elevate upper floors and views. Our testimony was developed through our Mechanical Code Committee with input from the Energy and Structural Code Committees. Our thanks to all who contributed and especially to Ed Bosco, Chair of our Mechanical Code Committee for presenting the testimony and representing our association at the public hearing. The full hearing can be viewed on the NYC Department of City Planning YouTube Channel.
Ed Bosco (M-E Engineers) presents testimony.
Photo courtesy of NYC Department of City Planning.
NYC PAC Update. The NYC PAC is moving forward at a good pace in 2019. Since launching in January, 68 members from 29 firms have contributed a total $11,050 to the PAC. Thank you to all contributors! We encourage all members to support the NYCPAC. To contribute contact Bill Murray, NYC Director of Government Relations.