ACEC/MA Government Affairs Update: November 2017

Type:  General 

ACEC/MA Government Affairs Update:  November 2, 2017

 

Next ACEC/MA Government Affairs Committee Meeting:  November 17, 2017

10 AM at TEC.

For information, contact acecma@engineers.org

 

ACEC/MA Bill Tracking Report - November 15, 2017

 

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 planned to take upa $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. November 15 is 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.

 
Week of October 31:
Senate to Debate Climate Change Bill on Thursday, November 2:This bill was S. 472 and is nowS.2196 
On November 2, the Senate plans to take up climate change legislation that passed last session but was not approved by the House. The bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Pacheco would authorize a voluntary land buyback program for buildings that have repeatedly been damaged by severe weather and directs the administration to adopt a comprehensive adaptation management plan to respond to climate change. While they have not become law, some aspects of the bill are already state policy. In September 2016, Governor Charlie Baker ordered officials to put together a climate change adaptation plan and work on reducing carbon emissions. 
 
 
Week of October 23, 2017:
This week, the House and Senate continued to negotiate over a budget bill due by the end of the month. There was no action taken on a closeout budget to address fiscal 2017 spending obligations. The House and Senate remain in disagreement about what process should be followed to pass the spending bill and what should be included in it. 
 
Board of Registration Continues Continuing Education Discussion

Massachusetts Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors

 

Continuing Education Policy in 250 CMR:
September 27, 2017 PE and PLS (EN) Board of Registration Meeting
At the September 27 Meeting of the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, the board continued their discussion of draft Continuing Professional Competency regulations line by line.  In 250 CMR, the relevant sections are 2.09, 5.02 and 7.02.  

After discussion, at this point in the drafting process;

  •  the board decided to stay with its recommendation for 18 PDHs for each biennial registration period
  •  CPC would allow peer-reviewed journals, books or papers to count for a portion of the PDHs.
  •  Active participation in an engineering or land surveying regulatory agency or recognized professional organization associated with the Registrant’s area of practice would be eligible for some PDHs, but this will be clarified.

·         The Board continued to agree that there will not be an audit requirement or procedure, but it remains to be seen how the Division of Professional Licensure will handle this as the regulations are reviewed before moving forward.

When the board concluded their discussion on the draft regulations on September 28, they will again review the language at their October 26 meeting.  Then 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.

 Policy Regarding Early Examination Takers – passed to be posted on their website.

Policy on Early Taking of the PE Examination

The Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors (“the Board”) voted at its meeting on 9/28/2017 to issue the following policy on Early Taking of the PE Exam. A Board policy does not have the full force and effect of law, as would a Massachusetts General Law or a Board rule or regulation. However, the Board uses policies as an internal management tool in formulating decisions that relate to issues in the practice of engineering and land surveying.  Board policies may be rescinded, revised or superseded by the Board at any time.

 

Policy No. 17-01

The Board will not admit an applicant to sit for the PE examination prior to the applicant completing the required amount of qualifying work experience.

 

The Board will accept early PE scores only for comity applicants. Comity applicants are applicants who are licensed in another state. The Board will review the comity applicant’s education, work experience, and examination results to determine if the applicant currently meets the requirements for licensure in Massachusetts.

 

The Board will not accept an early examination passing score of an applicant who was admitted by another state to sit for the PE examination early, but who never obtained a PE license in that state.

·

         Policy Regarding the Use of the Title Engineer – planned for discussion in October.

 

 

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 October 26, 2017 at 9:00 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

 

 

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.

 

 -posted by Abbie Goodman, agoodman@engineers.org
 

 
 
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