Legislative Update - June 2018

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New York State

End of Session Approaching – Priority Bills Moving. The State Legislature is scheduled to conclude its work on June 20, following 6 eventful months. ACEC New York’s government affairs and lobbying staff has been focused intently on advocating aggressively for our priority legislation, and pushing back on bills harmful to our industry.

Indemnification Reform. Our keystone legislative effort has cleared a series of hurdles on its way to final legislative passage. At time of writing on June 14, the bill passed the Senate 59-0, and is on an Assembly Rules agenda. (A.8293A[Morelle]/S.6622A[Ranzenhofer]). Over the past six months, our government affairs team has traveled the state and conducted numerous meetings with Senate and Assembly members and their counsel to make the case for this bill, and for New York to join the 40+ other states that ban broad form indemnification demands. ACEC New York’s government affairs and communications staff will continue to issue updates on this bill as events warrant.

Advocacy Days. ACEC New York’s final Advocacy day was held on June 13, when the Long Island region met with their Assembly and Senate representatives in the Capitol and LOB. Our efforts are critical to not only advocate for specific legislation, and request support and sponsorship of key bills, but to gain recognition, familiarity and a presence in the Capitol. With the conclusion of our last meeting, we conducted 98 separate meetings with legislators and key staff, including the highest levels of legislative leadership. ACEC New York had association volunteers in the Capitol and LOB on five of the final seven weeks of session, and this presence does not go unnoticed. Our government affairs staff understands that volunteering for a trip to Albany takes valuable time away from the office, so we wish to thank the dedicated members who stepped up to continue to make our industry’s power felt in Albany.
ACEC New York Long Island region members conclude their 2018 Advocacy day meetings with Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino (9th district) off the floor of the Assembly. From left to right: Bill McCarthy, Bolton St. Johns; Paul Grosser; Andrew Narus; Assemblywoman Pellegrino; John Waltz; Gary Loesch; and Fotios Papamichael.
DPC ESOP Expansion. ACEC New York’s lobbying efforts scored a win with Senate passage of legislation aimed at allowing for optional increased ESOP ownership of Design Professional Corporations. (A.3460a [Lupardo] and S.3771a[Valesky]) On June 7, the bill passed the Senate unanimously, showing widespread support for this bill that would align New York’s ownership rules with a majority of other states as well as supporting local ownership of design firms, and rewarding the employees that make such firms successful. ACEC New York continues to advocate for Assembly movement through the end of Session.

Additional Legislation of Note. ACEC New York has been actively working to improve and amend legislation that has the potential to negatively impact the consulting engineering industry. Our advocacy efforts include educating legislators on the many flaws of A.2022/S.383, the so-called Cost-Benefit bill, including the ways it would slow down many infrastructure projects, as well as the conflicts inherent to the bill. We have been active in working with Senate and Assembly leadership to identify the negative unintended consequences to our industry from the passage of A.7945/S.6686 the “Damages for Delay” bill.

Federal

2018 Federal PAC. ACEC New York has already raised $32,310 of our $85,000 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, 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.

Long Island Golf Outing. Host Joe Amato and Long Island Region Chair Fotios Papamichael oversaw ACEC New York Long Island region’s continued strong support of our PAC fundraising efforts, with a successful Annual Golf Outing and Dinner. The event, held at Wheatley Hills Golf Club raised over $11,000 for the ACEC/PAC. We wish to thank the sponsors and donors that made the event successful. Please watch for announcements from ACEC New York regional leadership as other regional PAC events are scheduled.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino presents ACEC New York President Jay Simson with citation of commendation for his years of service at the Long Island Annual Dinner, following the Annual Golf Outing. Pictured from left to right: Joseph Amato, Jay Simson, Joseph Saladino.

New York City

City of New York Disparity Study. The City has released its 2018 Disparity Study and a press release from the Mayor’s Office states that “The Administration is reviewing all findings and recommendations of the Study as it relates to the current City-wide M/WBE program.” ACEC New York is also reviewing the Study’s findings. As the Association requested, “Architecture & Engineering” has been broken out from the broader “Professional Services” classification within the Study. ACEC New York has sent questions to the City seeking clarification on certain aspects of the Study and is awaiting the City’s response.

Comptroller Report: “Running Late: An Analysis of NYC Agency Contracts." On May 29, Comptroller Stringer issued a report examining the length of time involved in the City’s procurement process, hardship it causes to business and ways to speed up the process. The report recommends the City 1) assign each agency with an oversight role in the procurement process a timeframe to complete its task and 2) create a transparent contract tracking system that would allow vendors to view the status of their contracts. The report focuses on human service contracts but its findings and recommendations are relevant to the engineering industry. This comes on the heels of a May 4, meeting between Comptroller Stringer and ACEC New York leaders. At the meeting, the Association advocated for procurement reforms and Comptroller Stringer explained his concept that the City should set timeframes for each step in the Change Order process.

Existing Building Code (EBC)/Research Phase. Last week, ACEC New York was invited to a NYCDOB meeting, along with representatives from BOMA and REBNY, to discuss issues associated with alterations to existing buildings so the City could include these examples in their EBC development efforts. We want to thank the Chairs of the ACEC New York Code Committees who participated in the meeting and provided examples of hardships that they have experienced on existing building projects. Chairs will be following up with their committees to solicit additional examples for submission to NYCDOB.
 
 


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