Legislative Update - November 2017
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New York State

2018 Session. Following local elections held earlier this month, the political landscape of the New York State legislature remains much the same, albeit with the possibility of new faces in a small number of seats. ACEC New York’s legislative agenda remains focused on delivering an improved business and regulatory climate for our members.

QBS Reform. ACEC New York continues to advocate for the expansion of Qualifications Based Selection. Last session, ACEC New York saw the two-house passage of a bill (S.5600/A.5750) that would bring QBS procurement to public authorities and public benefit corporations. In October, ACEC New York sent member firms a draft letter for customization and sending to the Governor’s office. Thanks to the many firms who responded to this call and sent a copy of the letter in. If you have not sent the letter, please check your inbox, or email campbell@acecny.org for a copy.

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 has been coordinating with allied groups representing other design professions to present a cohesive message of support across the entire design community.

DPC ESOP Expansion. ACEC New York’s advocacy work continues with our efforts to position DPC ESOP expansion for quick passage (A.3460a [Lupardo] and S.3771a[Valesky]). We have met with key Senate leadership and Assembly committee staff to explain the merits of this legislation and see it on early committee agendas.

JCOPE Regulations. Earlier this month, ACEC New York attended a hearing to discuss proposed regulations governing lobbying in New York State. The proposed regulations were characterized as being more akin to “guidance” and an organized compilation of the Joint Commission’s past statements and clarifications of their interpretation of the law. As these proposed regulations make their way through the State Administrative Procedure Act, ACEC New York will continue to monitor, analyze and respond as appropriate.

Federal

2017 Federal PAC - Goal Met! Our 2017 fundraising efforts have been successful, and we have exceeded our goal! So far this year we have collected $70,955 toward our $69,000 goal, and we are still receiving donations. Many thanks to all our donors and supporters to date. As 2017 comes to a close, we invite you to consider joining a leadership club or participate in regional PAC events. You can also purchase a ticket for the ACEC PAC Last Chance Sweepstakes before December 29. We are also 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 1637-A, “New York City Energy Policy Advisory Subcommittee” Legislation. Good News! ACEC New York, through its Energy Codes Committee, recommended that the NYC energy-policymaking group established by this bill include licensed professional engineers in it. As a result, the City Council amended the bill so that it now includes a representative of our industry on this energy Subcommittee, which will be responsible for producing a long-term energy plan for the City. City Council passed the bill November 16, and the Mayor is expected to sign it into law shortly.

Intro 1629-A, Energy Code Legislation. This bill would require the City to periodically adopt a more stringent energy code. City Council pulled-back from plans to pass the bill in early-November in order to receive comments from ACEC New York. Our Energy Codes Committee has done extraordinary work preparing a Statement and Matrix on the bill, which have been submitted to the City Council and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. We also shared our position with other stakeholders. The City is currently reviewing these materials.

Procurement Policy Paper Updated. ACEC New York has completed a comprehensive update of its NYC Procurement Policy Paper which makes recommendations on how City Agencies can improve their procurement process and interactions with our member firms. Our NYC DOT, DEP, DDC and Public Policy Committees, along with other members, provided substantial input to update the Paper. In the months ahead we will distribute the Paper to the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, City Agencies, the Office of the City Comptroller and others.

ACEC New York’s Municipal Affairs Counsel Expands its Team. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, our association’s lobbyist in New York City, announced that a five-person team, including three top government relations professionals — Katie Schwab, Rose Christ, and Reggie Thomas — has joined their office. This will dramatically expand Cozen O’Connor’s existing government relations practice, which offers our association strategic guidance and government relations advocacy before a range of City agencies, the Office of the Mayor and the City Council.

NYCDOB Proposes Rule Change for Special Inspections. NYCDOB proposed a rule change relating to the duties, registration, renewal and discipline of special inspectors and special inspection agencies. The Agency will hold a public hearing on the rule December 18, 2017, and comments may be submitted via email to dobrules@buildings.nyc.gov.

Message from NYCDOB. NYCDOB NOW allows owners and licensed professionals to complete business processes online. DOB customers can easily submit filings, upload supporting documents, make payments, check the status of a filing and directly communicate with DOB staff. Members are encouraged to subscribe to Buildings News to receive timely updates about DOB NOW and all of the new happenings at the NYC Department of Buildings.
 
 
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