Legislative Update - December 2017

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New York State

2018 Session. The 2018 New York State legislative session commences on January 3, 2017. The full calendar can be seen here. ACEC New York has spent considerable time following the conclusion of the 2017 session positioning the Association’s legislative agenda for maximum traction early in the session.

QBS Reform update. Despite passing the Senate and Assembly with overwhelming support, and having the unified support of the design industry, Governor Cuomo vetoed (S.5600/A.5750), ACEC New York priority legislation to expand QBS procurement to public authorities and public benefit corporations. We wish to thank the 30+ ACEC New York member firms that submitted letter of support, urging the signing of the bill. Our government affairs and lobbying staff is committed to addressing the concerns raised in the veto memo, and our efforts to see the passage of this bill will pick up again with the commencement of the 2018 session. ACEC New York has already started work with coalition members AIA and NYSSPE to develop a strategy to address this issue.

Legislators of the Year. ACEC New York congratulates Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-82) and Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-61) as our co-legislators of the year. Assemblyman Benedetto was the Assembly sponsor of A.5750, our QBS reform bill, and his efforts were instrumental in seeing the bill pass the Assembly. Senator Ranzenhofer is the Senate sponsor of our priority indemnification reform bill (S.6622) and was responsible for the rapid introduction and committee advancement of the bill in last year’s Session. Both legislators have demonstrated their support for the consulting engineering profession through their legislative efforts.

Indemnification Reform. ACEC New York’s top legislative priority continues to be our indemnification reform bill (A.8293[Morelle]/S.6622[Ranzenhofer]). This common-sense measure will provide design professionals with protection from unfair and uninsurable defense and indemnity demands. ACEC New York stands ready to spring into action as soon as the Session commences to advocate for this key item of legislation.

DPC ESOP Expansion. ACEC New York is poised to take action to advance the Association’s DPC ESOP expansion legislation (A.3460a [Lupardo] and S.3771a[Valesky]).

Assembly DOT Funding Hearing. On December 15, 2017, ACEC New York presented testimony to the Assembly Committee on Transportation. The testimony (linked here…) echoes past calls for a stable and predictable funding of the State’s transportation infrastructure.

Federal

2017 Federal PAC - Goal Exceeded by Almost $10K! Our 2017 fundraising efforts have been successful, and we have exceeded our goal! So far this year we have collected $77,873 toward our $69,000 goal. Many thanks to all our donors and supporters to date. As 2017 comes to a close, you can still purchase a ticket for the ACEC PAC Last Chance Sweepstakes before December 29. We are also still accepting item donations for our Winter Conference PAC auction - register and indicate the item you would like to donate, or contact Campbell Wallace with the item information. For more information on donations, or to make a donation to the PAC, contact Campbell Wallace at campbell@acecny.org.

New York City

Intro 1629-A, Energy Code legislation. ACEC New York had a victory on Intro 1629-A! The bill seeks to establish an increasingly stringent energy code for buildings in New York City. Our Metro Energy Codes Committee raised serious technical concerns with the original version, and we were notified the bill was slated for passage by the City Council on November 16. Through outreach efforts by our staff, our Legal Counsel and the Committee, we convinced the City Council to delay passing the bill. Over a 4-week period, we held meetings and calls with the Mayor’s Office, City Council lawyers and the Chair of City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection to recommend specific changes to the bill. In response, the City Council submitted three progressively revised versions of the bill to us, each one showing improvement. In the end, everything we objected to was removed from the legislation. The significantly improved, final version of the bill was passed by the City Council on December 19. The different versions of the bill and Committee’s comments can be viewed on the Testimony page of our website. Thanks to the Committee and our team for outstanding work!

Mayor’s Office presents to Members on Intro 1745, Building Retrofit legislation. This month, we welcomed staff from the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to our NYC office where they presented to our Energy Codes Committee on Intro 1745. This bill proposes to establish limits for on-site fossil fuel consumption and whole building energy usage for certain buildings in the City. We expect the City to hold a public hearing on this major legislation in Spring 2018. The Committee will use the weeks ahead to analyze the bill, engage contacts in City government and other stakeholder partners, and prepare testimony for the hearing.
Staff from the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability discuss Intro 1745 with the Metro Region Energy Codes Committee.
NYC Procurement Policy Paper distributed to City Agencies. The updated paper was developed in coordination with the Public Policy Committee and the New York City Government Agency Committees, and was approved by the State Board in November. It is now available on our website and has been strategically distributed to the heads of each City Agency (DOT, DEP, DDC) and their top staff, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) and City Comptroller Scott Stringer. A January follow-up meeting has been scheduled between the association’s Metro leadership and MOCS to discuss procurement reform in detail. We will request a follow-up meeting with the Comptroller’s Office.

2018 NYC Palm Card is released. We have just released our 2018 NYC Palm Card which lays out the association’s New York City priorities. The Palm Card is available on our website and summarizes Funding, Legislative, Procurement and Contracting issues important to our members. It is a companion piece to the New York State Palm Card which is being finalized this month and will be available for the Winter Conference.
 
 
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