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MALSCE News - December 2011

Type:  Featured News  

MALSCE News and Upcoming Events

(from the Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers)

December 2011


To register online for MALSCE seminars and programs at the MALSCE member rate, you must login using your MALSCE assigned username and password.  If you do not know your MALSCE member login information, contact Diana Gadsby at 617/227-5551 or   dgadsby@engineers.org


MALSCE Board Meeting:  Open to all MALSCE Members:  Saturday, December 17, 9:00 - 11:30 AM at The Engineering Center, Boston, MA
Details:  http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?pk=custom&ac=viewEventDetails&eventId=MA_BOARD-12.17.11

Victory: Legislation to Repeal 3% Withholding Tax On Federal Contracts Signed Into Law by President

Repeal of 3% Withholding Tax: VICTORY in late October and early November 2011
The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 674, legislation to repeal the 3% Withholding Tax, which was set to go into effect in 2013.  On Nov. 10, 2011, the US Senate unanimously repealed the law as part of a vote on the veterans’ jobs bill.  President Obama signed it into law on November 21, 2011.
This is a major victory for NSPS, ACSM, ACEC, and many other coalition partners.
Link for the Roll Call vote:  http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll815.xml.

For more on the issue, see the October MALSCE News:  http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?cdid=10811&pid=10386


Action Update on Unified Organization for Geospatial Groups

The Member Organizations (MOs) of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) have been working to develop a unified organization.  ACSM just released a November update on their progress.  More:  http://www.malsce.org/malsce/file/Nov2011Unified%20Update%20(2).pdf


Governor Releases 2012-2016 Capital Plan

On November 17, 2011, Governor Patrick released his FY 2012 – 2016 capital plan. 

  • The plan totals $10.1 billion, with $1.9 billion allocated for spending in fiscal 2012, which began on July 1, 2011.   According to the plan, administration officials applied a 3% revenue growth projection to fiscal 2013.
  • The plan specifies projects marked to receive funds and create jobs before July 2012, lays out many of Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s spending priorities in greater detail, and provides information about local level initiatives around Massachusetts that will likely receive attention throughout 2012 and beyond.
  • When all sources of funding are taken into account, the plan’s five-year total spending rises to $17.35 billion. Under the plan, spending on transportation projects continues to consume the largest share of capital funding, with $571 million allocated for this fiscal year and $3.5 billion over the five-year plan.

Massachusetts Legislature and Gov. Patrick Approve Redistricting Plan
Congressional Redistricting Bill Signed by Governor

During the week of November 14, the House and Senate enacted legislation that redraws the state’s Congressional districts to reflect the loss of one seat. The bill was sent to the Governor’s desk Wednesday afternoon.  Under the proposed map, the districts of Congressmen William Keating and Stephen Lynch would change dramatically, putting the two into the same district unless Congressman Keating moves to his summer house on Cape Cod, something that he announced that he would do. Cape Cod would be part of a new, incumbent free district that would stretch from the Cape and Islands across Plymouth and Bristol County to Fall River. Western Massachusetts communities currently represented by retiring Congressman John Olver will be split among the two districts currently represented by Congressman James McGovern and Congressman Richard Neal.
Congressmen Olver and Frank both retiring at end of 2012.

On Tuesday, November 1, both the House and Senate voted in favor of the revised legislative maps drawn by the Joint Redistricting Committee, and on November 17, Governor Patrick signed the redistricting bills into law. Link to the new district maps:  http://www.malegislature.gov/District/ProposedDistrictMaps

Expanded Gambling Bill Sent to Governor’s Desk, Signed into Law: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H03807
The House and Senate completed enactment votes to the legislation authorizing licenses for three regional, resort-style casinos and one competitively bid slot parlor. A last-minute amendment to the bill reduced funds targeted under the legislation for the racehorse industry and boosted local aid funds. On 11/22/11, Gov. Patrick signed the bill into law.


Worcester County and Western Central MA Volunteers Especially Needed for 6th Grade Students through DIGITS

MALSCE and TEC support the DIGITS program. We especially need volunteers from Worcester County  and Western Mass., for visits to 6th grade classrooms this fall.  Sign up at:  www.digits.us.com

It is time again to start the process for recruiting volunteers for DIGITS! Volunteers interested in these two geographic regions should sign up on our website this month. Most of our DIGITS volunteers last year visited 4 classrooms and interacted with approximately 87 students. We are asking volunteers this year to continue that level of outreach. The DIGITS schedule for the FY2012 academic year is that we will do Worcester County and Western Massachusetts this fall and into January 2012.  We are also doing a small pilot program in the Berkshires this fall, with the help of the Berkshire Compact and the Berkshire STEM Network. In mid-late December we'll start promoting the need for volunteers in eastern Mass (northeast, southeast, and Greater Boston) in early January. Although this recruitment effort is primarily for Worcester County and Western Massachusetts, volunteers may, of course, sign up for eastern Massachusetts now, with the understanding that DIGITS will not be contact them until January 2012. If you are a returning volunteer: you will be asked to participate in a shortened training session to refresh your memory and to learn about the new elements of the program.

MassDOT Municipal Project Guide Available:  http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?cdid=10809&pid=10386


Support SB 1985, Dam safety, repair and removal bill, in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. 

Do you live in one of the communities listed here:  http://bit.ly/qvIRlp?
SB 1985 was passed by the Massachusetts Senate in August.  Formerly SB 367, SB 1985 was one of our priorities on Design Professionals Day at the State House earlier this year. SB 1985 is now in the House Ways and Means Committee.  If you live in one of the towns listed on http://bit.ly/qvIRlp,  please contact your State Representative and ask for his/her support of this bill, by contacting the House Ways & Means Committee Chair, Rep. Brian Dempsey, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo about the importance of this bill.   https://bitly.com/q6YNWH

NSPS News and Views is now a weekly E-news bulletin.  Subscribe online, even if you are not a current NSPS member.  The November 30 issue includes information about NSPS's discussions with the GIS Certification Institute about their views on the practice of surveying.  You can view back issues. Link to sign up:   http://multibriefs.com/optin.php?nsps


Update on the latest news from Coalition to Save Our GPS

This is still a very active issue. See MALSCE Updates from the Coalition:   http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?cdid=10722&pid=10386 

About the Coalition to Save Our GPS Coalition:  http://www.saveourgps.org/


ACSM Radio Hour each Monday at 11 AM features national speakers with Host Curt Sumner for a discussion of key issues affecting surveyors nationwide.  Listen live, 11 AM Eastern:  www.americaswebradio.com    Click the listen icon on the home page
Past Shows:  


Key Dates  (see  http://www.malsce.org  for details)


12/6/2011 MALSCE Central Mass Chapter Dinner Meeting:  Transitioning to a Domesday Cadastre for the Colonial States, Webster House, Worcester, MA, 5:30 PM:  http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?pk=custom&ac=viewEventDetails&eventId=MAL_CMALS_12-2011 


12/15/2011, MALSCE Cape Cod Chapter Dinner, Barbyann's Restaurant
120 Airport Road, Hyannis, MA, 6:00 PM: 


12/17/2011, 9 AM, MALSCE Board of Directors Meeting, The Engineering Center, Boston, MA, http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?pk=custom&ac=viewEventDetails&eventId=MA_BOARD-12.17.11


1/9-11/2012, New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors (NYSAPLS) Annual Convention
at Saratoga Hilton,  Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, More information:
January 11 program includes 9:30 AM -11:00 AM meeting of the Northeast Surveying Societies (NESS)  
1/24/2012, 3 PM, MALSCE Board Teleconference, http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?pk=custom&ac=viewEventDetails&eventId=MA_BOARD-01.24.12


1/27/2012, SAVE THE DATE: MALSCE Seminar: Legal Perspectives On Land Surveying Issues III, The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, 860 Winter Street, Waltham, MA. More information available soon 


2/25/2012, 9 AM, MALSCE Board of Directors Meeting, Schofield Brothers, Framingham, MA


3/22/2012, 3 PM, MALSCE Board Teleconference


4/21/2012, 9 AM, MALSCE Board of Directors Meeting, The Engineering Center, Boston, MA


5/8/2012, Design Professionals Day at the State House


5/22/2012, 3 PM, MALSCE Board Teleconference


6/23/2012, 9 AM, MALSCE Board of Directors Meeting, Schofield Brothers, Framingham, MA


9/13-14/2012, Vermont Society of Land Surveyors (VSLS) 2012 Convention, http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm?pk=custom&ac=viewEventDetails&eventId=MA-VTLS2012CONV


See  www.malsce.org  for more on these events and news you can use. 




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