Legislative Update - July 2018
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New York State

Defense / Indemnification ReformCALL TO ACTION. Thanks to the efforts of our volunteer leadership and our Government Affairs and lobbying team, we saw two-house passage of our priority legislation (A.8293A[Morelle]/S.6622A[Ranzenhofer]). Immediately following passage our government affairs staff started gathering supporting documents to build an airtight bill file to support the signing of the bill. Our next step is pushing for favorable consideration by the executive branch, and the Governor’s counsel’s office.

We have been advised to start sending letters in support to memorialize the industry’s and your individual firm’s support of this bill. Download the letter template, and customize the areas highlighted in red text to reflect the details of your firm. Put the letter on your firm’s letterhead to send it to the Governor’s Counsel office at the address listed, copying the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for Transportation, as well as sharing a copy with us. When you send your letter, please email a copy to campbell@acecny.org.

DPC ESOP Expansion. ACEC New York’s lobbying efforts resulted in Senate passage of legislation aimed at allowing for optional increased ESOP ownership of Design Professional Corporations. (A.3460a [Lupardo] and S.3771a[Valesky]) Despite unanimous passage on June 7, the bill did not see committee consideration in the Assembly. The unanimous support for this bill shows widespread support for the concept. The measure would align New York’s ownership rules with a majority of other states as well as supporting local ownership of design firms, as well as rewarding the employees that make such firms successful. We stand ready to revisit this endeavor next year and advocate for its passage.

Additional Legislation of Note. ACEC New York was disappointed to see two-house passage of A.2022/S.383, the so-called Cost-Benefit bill. This deeply flawed bill’s study requirements would slow down many crucial infrastructure projects. Immediately following the end of Session, ACEC New York started working with a coalition of similarly-aligned stakeholders to craft a veto strategy. Our industry is positioned to join with many others to voice opposition to this bill. Additional legislation of note includes the passage of A.7945/S.6686, the “Damages for Delay” bill. This bill’s provisions, if left uncorrected, have the potential to increase liability for ACEC New York member firms. Our association has engaged with allied design industry partners to continue to convey this message to the executive branch in hopes of seeking a compromise agreement that protects the interests of the State’s engineering and design community.
On June 20, by unanimous vote, the bill for indemnification reform passed the NYS Assembly, having already passed in the NYS Senate. To support the final signage of this bill into law, download and update the letter of support template and send to the Governor’s Counsel office.

Federal

2018 Federal PAC. ACEC New York has already raised over $40K of our $85,000 goal. Thank you to our donors. Look for information on upcoming PAC fundraising events and visit the ACEC PAC webpage for more ways to give, including the upcoming Summer and Fall Sweepstakes. For more information on donations, or to make a donation to the PAC, contact Campbell Wallace at campbell@acecny.org.

New York City

NYC releases “Geothermal Screening Tool.” In May, the City released the “New York City Geothermal Pre-feasibility Tool” pursuant to Local Law 6 of 2016. The tool is now available on DDC’s website.

ACEC New York leaders meet with MOCS and City IT consultant. On June 14, Association leaders met with the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and Gartner Consulting - an IT firm assisting with the City’s development of the PASSPort procurement webportal. MOCS is planning to expand PASSPort in the future. In early 2019, they plan to launch “Requisition to Pay” capabilities on PASSPort including electronic invoicing and payment tracking. In early 2020, MOCS plans to launch “Source to Pay” capabilities including online processes for RFPs, bidding, proposals and Change Orders. Their goals are to standardize agency procurement processes and increase transparency. MOCS also facilitated discussion between Gartner Consulting and ACEC New York leaders to identify specific Change Order issues.

ACEC New York Testifies on Procurement Policy Board rule proposal. On July 19, Bill Murray, our NYC Director of Government Relations, testified at a public hearing regarding a NYC Procurement Policy Board proposed rule change. The proposed rule would create an “M/WBE Noncompetitive Small Purchase” program allowing City agencies to make purchases of goods and services from M/WBEs in amounts up to $150,000 without competition. We will provide an update on the status of the rule once it becomes available.

DCAS revises RFP in light of ACEC New York concern. In May, a member firm reported to us that a recent DCAS RFP for CM Services included a very onerous requirement; requiring proposers to submit lists of all employees at offices within 50-miles of the City and all projects each employee worked on within 12-months. ACEC New York sent a letter to DCAS explaining the burden this creates. In response, DCAS narrowed the RFP requirement to key personnel. If you should see the more-onerous version of this requirement in any other RFPs going forward please notify us.

Lorraine Grillo Appointed Commissioner of DDC. On July 16, Mayor de Blasio appointed Lorraine Grillo as Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction. Ms. Grillo will also continue on in her post as the President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority. Ana Barrio will become Deputy Commissioner of DEP’s Bureau of Engineering Design & Construction.
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