by Abbie Goodman, MALSCE Chief of External Affairs
Draft letter to US House members on Retain Act: see end of this report
Still ongoing: Workforce Participation Goal Requirements: I requested some legal guidance from Donovan Hatem to consider these questions related to Workforce Participation Goal Requirements under M.G.L. c. 149, § 44A(2)(G), which states that all contracts by a state agency or state-assisted contracts for design, construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance, or repair must contain workforce participation goals for minorities and women.
PPP /FAR Credits issue and Federal Infrastructure Bills:
Federal Vaccination Mandate: Updated 11/11/2021: The Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce has moved the date of implementation of EO 14042 to January 18, 2022. OSHA factsheets can be found here and here. FAQs can be found here.
Division of Occupational Licensure: Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors
The next Board of Registration meeting will be November 18, 2021, on Teams. The Board of Registration plans to continue virtual meetings for now, as the Governor and Legislature have extended the law allowing virtual public meetings like this to continue through April 1, 2022. To connect to the meeting, go to this page and scroll down to the meeting listing to download the agenda with connection instructions.
October 28, 2021: these are not minutes, but a summary of what some board members reported to me after the meeting. Due to the storm during the week of October 25, some board members had no electricity or internet access, so they participated by phone only. In addition, Board Executive Director Matthew Keigan was unable to attend.
- Meeting ended at 9 AM -
Background on Town of Swansea Issue:
The Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors is the state entity charged with establishing and enforcing licensing qualifications for the practice of engineering and surveying in the Commonwealth. The Board has been informed by a professional engineer that the town of Swansea is proposing bylaws that appear to require an engineer to obtain a local license prior to practicing within the town of Swansea.
The state’s licensing laws, G.L. c. 112, s. 81D through 81E, preempts municipalities from requiring individuals who hold licenses issued by the Board to obtain an additional license to practice in the municipality.
In 1941, the Legislature established the Board through promulgation of M.G.L. c. 13, s. 45. That law, as currently written, confers upon the Board the following exclusive powers and duties:
The board may: (i) establish the requirements for registration of professional engineers and professional land surveyors; (ii) establish standards of professional and ethical conduct for professional engineers and professional land surveyors; (iii) authorize and conduct appropriate examinations to determine the qualifications of applicants; (iv) grant certificates of registrations to qualified applicants; (v) establish standards for continuing education; and (vi) set and administer penalties as provided in sections 61 to 65E, inclusive, and section 81P of chapter 112 for fraudulent, deceptive or professionally-incompetent and unsafe practices and for violations of rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
M.G.L. c. 13, s. 45
The statewide licensing requirements to be enforced by the Board are set forth in further detail in M.G.L. c. 112, s. 81D to 81T.
Given the unambiguous language of M.G.L. c. 13, s. 45 and G.L. c. 112 81D to 81T, it is clear that the state Legislature intended to create a uniform system of licensure and regulation of professional engineers and land surveyors throughout the Commonwealth. Consequently, by the clear terms of these laws, the state has expressly preempted the field of licensure and regulation of engineers and land surveyors. Cities and towns are not authorized through their local boards of health or otherwise, to issue licenses to practice engineering or surveying and/ or regulate those professions.
Legislature and related
H.3297, An Act supporting safe excavation practices https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H3297 had a virtual hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy on 11/02/2021 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM. Ken Conte testified on behalf of MALSCE and ACEC/MA. Here is the written testimony submitted by MALSCE President Dan Bremser in support of this bill.
On 11/15/21, the House and Senate named their negotiating team as lawmakers in both branches work to see this week if they can reach a quick compromise on a $3.8B COVID-19 recovery bill. The House named Reps. Aaron Michlewitz, Dan Hunt and Todd Smola as its conference committee members. The Senate appointed Sens. Michael Rodrigues, Cindy Friedman and Patrick O'Connor is its negotiators.
The spending bills are H 4234, which passed the House on Nov. 2, and S 2580, which passed the Senate on November 10. After naming its conferees, the Senate and the House plan to meet in formal sessions on Wednesday, November 17 and may have the conference report on the ARPA spending package they plan to send to Governor Baker.
Rep. Moulton, Seth [D-MA-6] Signed on as a House Co-sponsor on November 1, 2021...if you are a constituent, please send him a note of thanks.
We need your help to contact 8 other US House Members who represent Massachusetts:
RETAIN Act email letter to US House; MALSCE Member Action Requested:
Draft Letter to modify:
Subject: H.R. 4634: RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021
Dear Representative _____,
My name is ________________. I am a professional surveyor in [name your city/town and state). I am also a member of the Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers (MALSCE) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).
I am very concerned about the threat to and expected interference to global positioning systems (GPS) technology brought about since the April 2020 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve an application by a company known as Ligado.
In a 2020 testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, a witness from the US Department of Transportation testified that “high precision surveying” and “surveying equipment” are real world examples of expected GPS interference by Ligado. Allowing Ligado to continue poses a threat to the viability of civil and military GPS receivers across the country.
In my own company, the Ligado interference would directly impact our ability to conduct Land Surveys of multi-family affordable housing by introducing uncertainty in our measurements.
To mitigate this threat to GPS, on July 22, 2021, H.R. 4634: RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021 was introduced by Congressman Jim Cooper[D-TN5], Congressman Donald Beyer [D-VA8], Congressman Ken Calvert [R-CA42], Congressman Frank Lucas [R-OK3], Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, [D-VA7], Congressman Glenn Thompson, [R-PA15], Congressman Michael Turner [R-OH10], and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, [D-NY7]. Congressman Seth Moulton [D-MA6] signed on as a cosponsor on 11/1/2021!
This bipartisan legislation requires Ligado to cover the cost for correcting any interference their operations create for GPS users in the public or private sector. Over 100 organizations, including NSPS, have endorsed H.R. 4634: RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021. I respectfully urge you to cosponsor H.R. 4634.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Address in MA
We still need letters to US Senators too, especially Senator Ed Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren on this bill:
More on the Senate version of the bill and a sample letter: https://www.malsce.org/news-publications/news/nsps-advocacy-alert-co-sponsors-in-the-us-senate-and-house-for-retain-gps-and-satcom-act-3826
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 email@example.com.