ACEC/MA Government Affairs Update: August 2017

Type:  General 

ACEC/MA Government Affairs Update:  August 2017

 

Next ACEC/MA Government Affairs Committee Meeting:  August 25, 2017

10 AM at Aldrich Center at The Engineering Center.

For call-in information, contact acecma@engineers.org

 

ACEC/MA Bill Tracking Report - August 24, 2017

 

 

Board of Registration Votes on Continuing Education

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors

 

Continuing Education Policy in 250 CMR:
August 17, 2017 PE and PLS (EN) Board of Registration Meeting
At the August 17 Meeting of the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, this motion passed by a 5 - 3 vote, with one board member recused (ineligible to vote & out of room) and another board member arriving at the meeting after the vote:
  • This is the motion that was approved: “that the Board adopt the recommendations of the CPC subcommittee subject to revision or comments on the committee’s proposed draft regulations by the full Board.”
  • This is a major step forward on the path to mandatory continuing education in Massachusetts, but there are many steps to follow.
  • The next step is for Board of Registration members to submit comments by September 7 to the Board's Executive Director, Clinton Dick

When the board concludes their discussion on the draft regulations, either on September 28 or at a future meeting, the regulations would then go through additional steps, as the continuing professional competency regulations would be amending 250 CMR.  Based on the past reviews of changes to 250 CMR and other licensing regulations, these steps will probably include:

  • Legal review by the Board’s Legal Counsel, Sheila York – including a discussion of small business impacts 
  • Review by Division of Professional Licensure Director Chuck Borstel
  • Review by the office of John Chapman, Undersecretary of Consumer Protection & Business Regulation
  • Review by the office of Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 
  • Review by the office of Michael Heffernan, Secretary of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance – with a particular review on small business impacts
  • Review by the office of Secretary of State Bill Galvin for technical and formatting issues – including DPL filed review on small business impacts
  • Return to Board of Registration, which would then hold a public hearing and accept public written comments on the regulations after 30 days notice.  
  • The Board of Registration considers comments received and votes to modify or adopt.
  • Then, if there are no issues, the regulations would be officially promulgated by the Secretary of State’s office usually within 3 months.
Also at the August 17 Board of Registration meeting, the Board reviewed proposed dates for their 2018 meetings.  Assume that most meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday of the month, except for November, December and August.
Due to the date of the August 17 meeting, there were no updates on:
  • Policy Regarding Early Examination Takers
  • Policy Regarding the Use of the Title Engineer
  • In addition, during the public session, the board interviewed a candidate for the PE exam who has work experience doing engineering as an employee of a general contractor.  After several questions and discussion, the board voted to accept the engineering experience submitted and allow this candidate to sit for the PE exam.

 

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 September 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM. 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

 

New MBTA GM/CEO Announced

Luis Manual Ramírez, who handled a $3.5 billion line of business for General Electric and runs his own turnaround consulting firm based in Texas, will start on September 12 as the new general manager and CEO of the MBTA, charged with bringing "transformative and lasting change" to the transit agency.

More....

 

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announces she is not running for re-election

On August 9. 2017, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced that she would complete the remainder of her current term, but would not be seeking re-election.  

 

 

Governor Files $59.5 Million Spending Bill

Nearly $60 million in additional spending, mostly to cover already incurred snow and ice management costs, would be authorized for FY2017 (ended 6/30/17), under a bill Governor Charlie Baker filed on August 2. In addition to $50.4 million for snow and ice removal, the supplemental budget bill includes $3 million for a youth violence prevention program in cities, $4.7 million for National Guard tuition and fee waivers, and $427,000 for district attorneys. The Governor also called for the use of $1 million from the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund to build a fishing pier at Deer Island and urged for the adoption of spending requests he made in February, such as $20.4 million for sheriffs, $2.2 million in Saltonstall Building lease costs, an additional $4 million in National Guard tuition and fee waivers, and $250,000 for contractually mandated human resources training. Governor Baker indicated that sufficient revenues are estimated to be available to fund the new spending. The bill also includes three sections making substantive changes to the new FY2018 budget that Baker describes as "authorizing a $5 million reserve for the implementation of an employer contribution to health care, advancing MassHealth savings by requiring commercial insurers to make more detailed certifications on the coverage of community-based behavioral and mental health services for children, and authorizing the [Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination] to spend $600,000 more from federal funds. 

 

NEARLY 50 BIDS SUBMITTED FOR 1,200 MEGAWATT CLEAN ENERGY PROCUREMENT
The state received nearly 50 bids last week for its request for proposals (RFP) for clean energy projects to fulfill the requirements of a 2016 energy law that mandates Massachusetts utilities procure 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind and 1,200 megawatts of new hydropower, solar and land-based wind by 2027. Bids were due July 27 for clean energy generation projects and the RFP focused mainly on energy not derived from offshore wind. As of midday Wednesday, state officials had posted details of 46 RFP responses on a website hosting information about clean energy projects, but details of some bids were spread earlier by the submitters. The RFP issued in March by the Department of Energy Resources called for distribution companies and bidders to enter "cost-effective long-term contracts" by 2022 and encouraged projects that can "commit to begin deliveries prior to the end of 2020 to maximize the Commonwealth's ability to meet its Global Warming Solution Act" requirements.The GWSA set legal requirements that the state must meet in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The law requires emissions by 2020 that are 25 percent lower than 1990 levels, and 2050 emissions that are 80 percent below 1990 levels. In 2014, emissions were 21 percent below 1990 levels, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The RFP sets a timetable for next steps towards procurement: projects that distribution companies choose to negotiate with are to be selected by Jan. 25, 2018 and the long-term contracts are to be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for approval by April 25, 2018. In a separate RFP based on the 2016 energy law, Massachusetts electric utilities are seeking to procure 1,600 megawatts of new offshore wind to complement the land-based projects.

 

July 27, 2017 PE and PLS (EN) Board of Registration Meeting

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors

 

Continuing Education Policy in 250 CMR:
July 27, 2017 PE and PLS (EN) Board of Registration Meeting
At the July 27 Board meeting, the Board discussed these issues:
  • Recommendation of the Continuing Professional Competency Committee regarding the implementation of regulations to require mandatory continuing education. The CPC Committee's recommendation including 18 PDHs for continuing education in each 2 year license period, but no audit requirement. MALSCE President Paul Foley, PLS, submitted a support letter and spoke at the meeting along with ACEC/MA and BSCES representatives. 
  •  -   After some discussion, the Board decided to delay taking a formal vote on the recommendations for a maximum of 90 days, with the Board planning to discuss this again on August 17, 2017. 
  • Board Counsel Sheila York presented her Legal Report which included a draft policy regarding Early Examination Takers and how to handle Comity requests by out of state early exam takers.  This draft policy will be refined for review at the August 17 Board meeting.
  • Discussion of this policy was tabled until a future meeting: Update on Policy regarding the use of the title Engineer
  • Executive Director Clinton Dick presented his Report, including reports of Licenee Discipline in Other Jursidictions
  • 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 August 17, 2017 at 9:30 AM.  This meeting is expected to include a discussion of the recommendations of the Continuing Professional Competency Committee regarding the potential implementation of regulations on mandatory continuing education in Massachusetts. TECET Webpage with more information.

Link to ACEC/MA Budget Page

 
 
This question is expected to be on November 2018 Ballot.
 
 
 

 -posted by Abbie Goodman, agoodman@engineers.org

 

 
 
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