by Abbie Goodman, MALSCE Chief of External Affairs
MALSCE Needs Your Help to Advocate at the State House on Dig Safe, Infrastructure Funding and More. Engineers, Land Surveyors, Public Works Professionals and other design professionals will meet with Massachusetts state legislators at the State House on May 14, 2020. Join us for this fun event at the State House. Register on Survey Monkey by May 1 for this important day. More information and the Registration Link
As of February 28, 2020, S. 1392, An Act Relative to Public Safety in Excavation was reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. This bill, along with many others, in currently in the Senator Clerk's office. We expect this bill to be sent to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means soon. At that time, we'll be asking MALSCE members for help to move this bill
Background: Link to Scott Cameron's Testimony .On December 17, 2019, MALSCE leader Scott Cameron, PLS represented MALSCE and ACEC/MA to testify in support of
Contact your Massachusetts Legislators and ask them to support our Dig Safe Bill
Sample letter for you to modify and email and mail to your State Representative and your State Senator on either the House bill, HB 2815 or the Senate bill, SB 1392
As noted above, S. 1392, An Act relative to public safety in excavation had hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on December 17, 2019 at the Massachusetts State House,
We continue to express support for: S. 1392, An Act relative to public safety in excavation
The House version of this bill: H.2815, An Act relative to improving public safety in excavation, was reported out favorably from the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy in late July. The bill is now in the House Committee on Ways and Means.
To view the fact sheet on the bill from our May 2019 Engineers and Land Surveyors Day at the State House, click here.
If you have questions, contact Abbie Goodman.
On October 11, 2019, the DPU issued a ‘Straw Proposal,’ which “represents the Department’s analysis of the comments received and establishes specific criteria for the use of professional engineers in relation to natural gas engineering plans, work, or services that could pose a material risk to public safety. In particular, the Straw Proposal delineates how natural gas companies are to use professional engineers on complex projects and defines the types of complex projects that warrant the use of professional engineers. The Department may initiate a formal rulemaking proceeding after reviewing the comments submitted pursuant to this Order.“
The original Straw Proposal, the DPU order on this matter and comments received on this matter through November 11, 2019, can be found in the DPU electronic file room. See below for instructions.
To see the comments received through the November 11, 2019 reply comments period, Go to the DPU Filing Room then click on Dockets/Filings, then choose Dockets by Number, Then enter Docket 19-34
People can email their own questions about their own individual work to email@example.com
On April 17, 2019, the City launched a registration portal for lobbyists in Boston. Boston's municipal lobbying ordinance aims to further promote good governance and transparency in the city and requires lobbyists, lobbyist entities and lobbying clients to register with the Boston City Clerk's Office. Additional information and registration fees are available online.
MALSCE's External Affairs Chief and ACEC/MA Executive Director Abbie Goodman is working in coalition with NAIOP and other business associations on issues of concern to design professionals.
In mid-August, the Municipal Lobbying Compliance Commission, created under the ordinance, requested comments from lobbyists, lobbyist entities and clients subject to the ordinance, as the Commission develops regulations to interpret, implement and enforce the ordinance. The Commission planned to finalize regulations prior to the December 15, 2019 registration deadline for the 2020 registration year, but that has been delayed. Here is the link to the letter filed by ACEC/MA,
The Boston Lobbying Ordinance uses a very broad definition for lobbying that may include some work done by engineers, land surveyors and other design professionals working on public and private sector projects in Boston. ACEC/MA, working in coalition with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Greater Boston Real Estate Board, NAIOP and others, is seeking clarifications and guidance on this issue that it will share with MALSCE leadership.
House Committee on Bonding released this bond bill, which is now H.4505 and sent it to the House Committee on Ways & Means
February 26, 2020: The House released their much anticipated transportation funding package which is estimated to generate between $522 and $612 million in new annual revenue for transportation.
The proposed legislation includes an increase in fees on ride-hailing trips through apps such as Uber and Lyft. To encourage more shared rides, the fees on shared rides would stay the same, but single-person rides would be taxed at $1.20 and luxury and livery vehicles would pay $2.20 per ride. The bill includes a 5-cent increase in the state’s gas tax, to 29 cents/gallon, generating an estimated $150 million to $175 million in new revenue. The bill also includes an increase in the corporate minimum excise tax for large corporations, as it currently sits at $456 for all corporations regardless of size, and this increase is projected to generate an additional $100 million to $150 million in new revenue. If passed, in addition to significant standalone investments in transportation improvement across the state, the MBTA would see an increase of $27 million in dedicated funding each year, the 15 regional transit authorities would also gain a $15 million annual transfer, and rural transit assistance would receive $10 million in additional, annual funds.
The Senate approach to transportation revenue could potentially have some differences, and Governor Baker has stated opposition to increase in both the gas tax and the corporate minimum excise tax. The House will debate the legislation next week during a formal session.
The House set a deadline of 5 pm on Friday, February 28, 2020 for state representatives to file amendments to the House's current version of the transportation bond bill released by House Bonding and sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Transportation Finance bill
Amendments can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4508/Amendments/House - they were due by 5 pm today; now we need to review 83 amendments to see if we have any concerns – please let me know ASAP on Monday, if you see any problems!
House will be debating the bill on Wednesday (3/4)
Transportation Bond bill
Amendments can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4506/Amendments/House - they were due by 5 pm today; now we need to review 467 amendments to see if we have any concerns – please let me know ASAP on Monday, if you see any problems!
House will be will debating the bill on Thursday (3/5)
February 5, 2020: Joint Transportation Comm removed ability to use future funding from Transportation Climate Initiative to MBTA, because TCI hasn’t happened yet and also removed ability to use GANs (Grant Anticipation Notes that would borrow against future federal grants to expand state’s bridge repair program.
Background: On July 25, 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration filed a transportation bond bill seeking $18 billion in additional capital authorization to invest in building and modernizing a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and cities and towns statewide. The authorization would be used to fund existing programs as well as several new initiatives designed to lessen impacts from roadway congestion and ensure reliable travel throughout the Commonwealth.
On July 30, 2019, the House, followed by the Senate, assigned this bill to the Joint Committee on Transportation, which may hold a hearing on this bill in September. The transportation bond bill will be first heard by the Joint Committee on Transportation, followed by a hearing before the House Bonding Committee, before going to the House Ways and Means Committee and then to the full House for a vote. Following the House vote, the bill would then be reviewed and acted on in the Senate.
The bill had a hearing before the Joint Committee on Transportation on October 8 at 10 AM at the State House.
This bill was filed as H4002.
Summary- Section by Section
On February 12, 2020, Undersecretary Edward A. Palleschi announced leadership appointments and transitions at the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) and the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL). James A. Duggan has been named Deputy Undersecretary of OCABR. DPL Commissioner Diane Symonds will resign effective March 6, 2020, and Layla D’Emilia, Esq. will succeed her as the new Commissioner. Katie Fitzpatrick has been appointed as First Deputy Commissioner of Process and Performance Management for DPL.
The next meeting of the Board of Registration is on March 26, 2020 at 9 AM.
Here is a summary of the February 27, 2020 Meeting:
- The Continuing Professional Competency language is still under review internally at DPL.
- The draft clarification language regarding the Use of the Title Engineer has been provided to DPL staff for review.
- DPL staff held an internal meeting regarding the update of "Professional Practice, A Guide to the Practice of Architecture, Engineering and Land Surveying in Massachusetts." Board members Paul Tyrell and Paul Tsang are providing comments on the updated draft before it is released as draft to the public for comment.
- Draft clarification language intended to provide guidance on 250 CMR 5.01 (2), especially 250 CMR 5.01 (2) (a) is being reviewed by DPL Senior Management. The issue is related to performing survey work incidental to engineering work and limitations, as well as draft frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding a Civil PE certifying site plan which references a property line determination that was previously completed by a PLS. The board will continue this discussion at the January meeting.
- NCEES Enforcement Exchange Report: This report list actions taken by other boards of registration that resulted in penalties (fines or other actions) against licensees in other states. The DPL
For the March 26, 2020 meeting, issues will probably include:
As a reminder, these are additional steps on continuing professional competency regulations:
Additional resource links:
250 CMR –version as finalized through the Secretary of State’s office as of 2-10-2017
Scroll down to separate sections of 259 CMR
Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, Registered Architects and other Design Professionals living in and licensed in Massachusetts are sought after to serve on certain public boards and commissions created under state law or by regulations. This is an opportunity to participate directly in government, by providing your professional expertise to help shape public policy for the benefit of residents. For more on serving and how to apply, see this link: https://www.engineers.org/get-involved/public-boards-commissions
Gubernatorial appointment requests:
Important: To be recognized as a MALSCE member you must login using your MALSCE assigned username and password.
Registration is processed through the MALSCE associated website, www.engineers.org. MALSCE is supported by the staff of The Engineering Center Education Trust.
Please note: Altering your name or contact information during registration may overwrite your record in our membership database and prevent you from receiving your member benefits.
If you have additional questions regarding registration, please contact us at 617/227-5551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.