Legislative Update - September 2019
ACEC Legislative Update

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New York State

Grandfather Firm Geologist Legislation. ACEC New York Government Affairs staff, member firm representatives, and outside counsel met with key State Education Department staff this week to discuss implementation of ACEC New York supported legislation allowing grandfathered engineering firms to provide Professional Geology services. Legislation introduced last year, which passed the Senate, (S.6084 Stavisky / A. 7865 Engelbright) seeks to remedy an oversight flowing from the passage of Chapter 475 of 2014, which established the new profession of Geology. The practice of Professional Geology encompasses work previously done by Professional Engineers; current interpretation of the law prevents Grandfathered firms from providing the work they historically had been able to, depriving procuring entities, including State Agencies, from working with qualified partners.

DPC ESOP Expansion.
The Association continues its efforts to advocate for legislation allowing a qualified, design professional-controlled ESOP to own a greater share of a Design Professional Corporation. This bill has passed the Senate in recent years, and we have focused our efforts on educating Assembly Higher Education Committee staff and leadership on the operation, benefits and protections associated with this business model. Already this summer, ACEC New York Staff has held meetings with Assembly members on this issue and to prepare for the upcoming Session.

Qualifications-Based Selection. Protecting and expanding the use of Qualifications-Based Selection is a core tenet of ACEC New York's government affairs efforts. Procuring engineering services on a cost-centered basis diminishes competition, decreases opportunity for smaller and emerging firms, and ultimately fails to deliver the best total value to the procuring entity. We believe the State and its various municipal subdivisions deserve engineering services procured in a competitive and open manner that prioritizes high-quality design, up-front clarity of scope, and the best overall value to taxpayers. Accordingly, the Association is working to craft legislation that will expand the use of QBS across the State. Stay tuned as this effort develops.

ACEC New York continues to monitor the movement of this flawed legislation, which passed both houses last Session. As in prior years, ACEC New York is working with a coalition of allied interest groups to deliver a strong message to the Governor's office about the deleterious effects of this legislation.


2019 Federal PAC. ACEC New York has raised $49,240 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 NYS Director of Government Relations Campbell Wallace at campbell@acecny.org.

New York City

City Council passes MWBE legislation.  Last week the City Council passed two MWBE-related bills. Intro. 1293-B updates goals for all minority groups on City contracts and provides that Asian-owned firms will be eligible for MWBE goal credit on A&E contracts. Intro. 1452-A modifies agencies’ MWBE programs and enables the City to exempt portions of contracts from goals in instances where it is determined there are no eligible MWBE firms available to perform required work.  ACEC New York testified on both bills in June of this year. The Association’s position continues to be that MWBE goals must be based on accurate and transparent data.

ACEC New York testifies in support of Plumbing Code update.  The Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings held a hearing on September 10, on Intro. 1481, in relation to updating the City’s Plumbing Code to bring it in line with the 2015 International Plumbing Code with differences that reflect the unique character of the City.  Thanks to Ed Bosco of M-E Engineers, our Overall DOB Liaison, for testifying on behalf of ACEC New York at the hearing and to Phil Parisi of MG Engineering, chair of the Code Revision Plumbing Technical Committee, who testified on behalf of the committee.  The Plumbing Code update is expected to be the first code revision to pass and will be followed by updates to the other construction codes.

September 10: ACEC New York members Ed Bosco and Phil Parisi testify at the City Council’s hearing on the Plumbing Code.

Mayor’s Office seeks engineering industry’s input on plans to move City procurement online. In early 2020, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) plans to launch paperless procurement processes for City agencies through an initiative called PASSPort Release 3.  ACEC New York and member firms have been participating in a series of meetings with MOCS to provide feedback as the City is designing the new online procurement webportal.  Jennifer Geiling, Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships at MOCS, will be the feature speaker at our December 10 Holiday Membership Meeting (PASSPort overview) and March 12 Membership Meeting (more detailed presentation about Release 3). Save the dates!

Metro Public Policy Committee meeting minutes available on our website.  On September 4, the Public Policy Committee held its first meeting of the new committee year. Meeting minutes are available on our website. They provide an update on Metro Region advocacy efforts regarding procurement reform, legislation, rulemaking and other important issues.

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