ACEC/MA Government Affairs Update: 12/21/17

Type:  General 

ACEC/MA Government Affairs Update:  December 21, 2017


Next ACEC/MA Government Affairs Committee Meeting:  January 26, 2018

10 AM at TEC. 

For information, contact


ACEC/MA Bill Tracking Report - December 18, 2017


Update on Tax Bill as of December 18, 2017:

From ACEC's Dave Raymond: ACEC members had a very good day on Friday when the House-Senate Conference Committee put their signatures on the final bill which should be voted on as early as tomorrow.   Very good because the final bill (unlike either the House or Senate bill) included our passthrough firms in the favored category for the 20% deduction (unlike other service industries such as the accountants, doctors, lawyers, financiers, etc.).  This last minute win for engineers and architects – noted in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (See below) – was hard fought involving leadership from our crack advocacy team in Washington and thousands of our members who bombarded their Congressional representatives with emails, telephone calls and meetings in a closely-coordinated campaign to bring to the attention of lawmakers the merits of our position. So, all in all, the new law will lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent; provide our passthroughs with a new 20 percent deduction; preserve critical incentives for retirement and employee ownership programs, such as ESOPs; preserve the cash method of accounting; and protect private activity bonds (PABs) and tax incentives for renewable energy. 


A Win For Engineers and Architects – WSJ December 15, 2017
Engineers and architects got a late win in the tax bill when they were exempted from the definition of service businesses.
Why does that matter?
It matters because service businesses can't get the full 20% deduction for other pass-through businesses if their owners have more than $157,500 of individual income or $315,000 for married couples.
The change, spelled out in the conference report's explanation, means architects and engineers will be treated more like manufacturers than like lawyers and consultants. 

              Richard Rubin  



Older Information: Update on US Senate and US House Actions on Tax Bills


Letter from ACEC National to US Senators on Tax Bill


Letter from ACEC National to US House on Tax Bill


The next meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors is on December 21, 2017. We'll report on that meeting in first issue of ACEC/MAtters in January 2018.
Massachusetts Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors

November 16, 2017 MEETING at 9:00 AM at the Offices of the Board—1000 Washington Street, Boston MA 02118 Room 1-D


Discussion Items

·         October 26, 2017 Public Session Minutes (Draft)

·         August 17 & October 26, 2017 Executive Session Minutes (Draft)

·         Continuing Professional Competency Draft Regulations – tabled until December meeting

·         Board Counsel Legal Report: Update on Policy Regarding the Use of the Title Engineer – no new news

·         Executive Director Report: None

·         Review of Applications: Request to sit for PE exam from Applicant J.H. – applicant and many others not notified by PCS about payment requirements, so Board is giving permission for applicant to sit again for the exam

·         Correspondence:

·    Email from R.A., dated October 11, 2017, regarding minimum standards of practice that a professional engineer must follow to properly examine a solar panel installation

- This is being referred to Board of Building Regulations and Standards

·    Email from David Jackson, Executive Director, Maine Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers, in response to an email from an anonymous individual, dated November 6, 2017, regarding “outsourced work” and stamped plans.

- Board is not taking a position about an anonymous email concerning outsourced work done for a PE in another state


Joyce Hastings, PLS has been appointed a PLS member of the Board of Registration and is expected attended her first board meeting on 12/21/17, replacing Scott Cameron, PLS, a former MALSCE President.  We thank Scott for his years of service on the Board of Registration on behalf of the profession and the public.


Joanne Linowes has been appointed the Public member of the Board of Registration and attended her first board meeting as a board member on 10/26/17, replacing Ed Englander.  We thank Ed for his service on the Board of Regisration on behalf of the public.  

Next Board of Registration Meeting 

The next meeting of the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors is expected to be on December 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM, unless this is rescheduled. As noted above, this meeting is expected to include a detailed discussion very draft proposed regulations for mandatory continuing education in Massachusetts. TECET Webpage with more information.


Calendar of Board of Registration Meetings


Link to Minutes of past Board of Registration meetings

Climate Adaptation Management Plan Bill Passed in Senate

On November 8, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously approved the CAMP legislation, now SB2196.  ACEC/MA is part of the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Coalition @mass_adapt, a coalition of engineers, architects, planners and environmental organizations committed to preparing Massachusetts for the impacts of a changing climate.  The bill now moves on to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where we will continue to advocate for this bill.


DCAMM Bond Bill

On November 15, the House took up a $3.5 billion long-term capital spending bill (HB4018) for projects overseen by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance.  The bill is largely non-controversial, but is the target of 128 amendments aimed at jumpstarting public works projects all over the state. The Senate will take up the bil in January.  November 15 was the final day in 2017 for the legislature to meet in formal session until January 2018.  The legislature will continue to meet in informal session for the remainder of calendar 2017, but no controversial bills will be acted on until 2018.

 -posted by Abbie Goodman,