by Abbie Goodman, MALSCE Chief of External Affairs
MALSCE co-sponsors Engineers and Land Surveyors Day; the one day each year when we as a profession gather in force at the State House and present our industry's viewpoints in person to our local legislators. It is a chance to meet with your State Representative and State Senator to discuss issues pertinent to our industry, to you as an individual professional. Participants receive assistance arranging appointments which may include others from your district, as well as briefing sheets on key issues for members to utilize.
Advance Briefing Sessions on Zoom for Constituent Appointments:
Issue Briefing Sheets as of 5/18/2021:
This Issue popped up on 5/7/2021: There is an existing law: M.G.L. c. 149, section 44A(2)(G) that indicates every contract under Chapter 149 for designers shall include participation goals for minority and women workers.
Chapter 149 projects include DCAMM, MSBA (Municipal), Massport, MCCA, and probably other public projects.
This became state law in 2012 but was never fully implemented for design professionals. The Attorney General’s office received an inquiry about it a few months ago and MSBA issued a Project Advisory on this in January. I’ve talked with Deb Anderson in the Attorney General’s office about this issue and she is preparing some FAQs on this.
Early unofficial indication is that AG’s office is not looking to go after firms for this and would only get involved if there is a bid protest. Also, thought they haven’t said this, it shouldn’t impact existing design contracts that have no specified goals in the contracts.
Here is the statute and the MSBA Advisory:
(G) Every contract by a state agency or state assisted contract for design, construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance or repair shall set forth the participation goals of minority and women workers to be employed on each such contract and the processes and procedures to ensure compliance with those workforce participation goals, including reporting and enforcement provisions.
Mass School Building Authority
Project Advisory 66, January 2021
Workforce Participation Goals for Minorities and Women
All contracts by a state agency or state-assisted contracts 1 for design, construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance, or repair must contain workforce participation goals for minorities and women. M.G.L. c. 149, section 44A(2)(G) and the Administration & Finance Administrative Bulletin: Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination on State and State Assisted Construction Contracts (A&F 14) set forth the requirements for the workforce participation goals on said contracts.
The awarding authority is responsible for the participation goals of minority and women workers to be employed on each such contract, and the processes and procedures to ensure compliance with those workforce participation goals, including reporting and enforcement provisions. The MSBA is a funding authority that invites districts into its grant program to help fund capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth’s public schools. The districts in the MSBA’s grant program are the awarding authorities for each of their respective projects. Therefore, the districts in the MSBA’s grant program are solely responsible for ensuring that their projects are in compliance with all laws and regulations related to the workforce participation goals for minorities and women.
Districts should consult with local legal counsel to develop local processes and procedures to ensure compliance with the workforce participation goals for minorities and women, including reporting and enforcement procedures.
The MSBA has updated the following MSBA forms to align with the requirements for workforce participation goals for minorities and women:
The MSBA continues its review of documents used by districts and their consultants and may propose additional changes upon completion of this review. Please see the following resources for more information:
1 A construction project undertaken by a political subdivision of the commonwealth or 2 or more subdivisions thereof for the planning, acquisition, design, construction, demolition, installation, repair or maintenance whose costs are paid for, reimbursed, grant funded, or otherwise supported, in whole or in part, by the commonwealth. M.G.L. c. 7C, § 6(b).
ACEC supports a simple fix to clarify that the FAR credits clause will not apply to PPP loans: Principal amounts of qualifying loans forgiven pursuant to the provisions of Section 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Pub. L. 116-136) shall not be considered income, a rebate, allowance, or other credit received by or accruing to a contractor under 48 CFR 31.201-5.
Update on the Issue as of 5/17/21 From ACEC: A working group from AASHTO, including 4 state DOT Audit Directors and ACEC is working on an FAQ/Guidance document for State DOTs. That FAQ document is expected to be released in the next few weeks. More to be posted on: https://www.acecma.org/about/news/acec-updates-on-ppp-loans-far-credits-clause-issue-3363
The next Board of Registration meeting will be on May 27, 2021 on Teams. To connect to the meeting, go to this page and scroll down to the meeting listing to download the agenda with connection instructions.
April 22, 2021 these are not minutes, but a summary: This Board of Registration meeting was held on Teams.
Review / Approved Minutes from March 25, 2021 Public Session
Next Meeting Date – May 27, 2021
Board continued discuss the issues related to converting the PLS/Jurisprudence section (state specific) part of the exam to computer-based testing (CBT)
Board Counsel legal report
ENG Board Executive Director Report:
Review of Applications:
Several moral character issues raised with individuals; they have not responded yet. They had issues out of state but have not provided documentation about resolutions.
Otherwise, Board will make a determination
- Public meeting ended at 10 AM -
Senate Ways & Means Plans FY2022 Budget released on May 11; Debate begins May 25
The Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Senator Michael Rodrigues, released its proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget. The timing of this release follows the typical pre-pandemic timetable which was used to develop the Commonwealth’s budget. Governor Baker previously filed his version of the FY22 budget, which totaled $45.6B in gross spending, back in January and the House completed debate on their version at the end of April, bringing the total proposed spending up to $47.416B.
Formal Senate sessions to consider the budget and amendments will start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25, and senators have been told to prepare for possible formal sessions Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of that week as well.
No change: Design professionals attending meetings with clients on development projects with city of Boston will probably have to register as lobbyists if expressing an opinion that could be construed as advocating for or against a project.
People can email their own questions about their own individual work to email@example.com
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.