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General Assembly Brief

The Joint Legislative Committee had to vet approximately 3,000 total bills to extract the relevant ones to our profession.  Tuesday, February 13 marked the date of “Bill crossover” in the General Assembly.  This is the day when bills must pass one house or the other or die for the session.  As such, the “ACTIVE” list has been significantly reduced and many of those bills are “DEAD” for the session.

KEY VICTORIES

  • SB 188 – Provides that for competitive negotiation of professional services, a public body may conduct negotiations simultaneously with the top two ranked offerors.

 We successfully got architectural and engineering services removed from the bill.

ACTIVE

  • HB 97 – Virginia Public Procurement Act; methods of procurement, single or term contracts

This bill allows for single or term contracts for professional services without requiring competitive negotiation, provided the aggregate or the sum of all phases is not expected to exceed $80,000.  This change increased the limit in current law by $20,000.

MONITOR

  • SB 318 – Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Department of; implementation of certification programs

This bill would change the definition of small business, beginning July 1, 2019, to meet the small business size established by the regulations of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

There were a number of bills that were proposed that attempted to codify Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Executive Order 20 (EO-20).  EO-20 sets a 42% goal for participation by Small, Women and Minority Businesses (SWaM) in public contracts.  With the potential change coming regarding the definition of “small” in Virginia, public entities may face increasing challenges in attempting to meet this goal for the procurement of architecture and engineering services.  In meeting these goals, it is of paramount importance that the most qualified firms are selected.  These two goals are not mutually exclusive.  As such, we have requested a meeting with the Governor to discuss how we can work collaboratively to further those opportunities.

For a more detailed analysis of bills we are actively engaged with, bills we are monitoring, or to see bills that we were interested in but have died in session, click here.

Posted in Advocacy News

2018 Joint Legislative Session – Bill Tracking

Below you will find the bills that AIA Virginia is tracking during this legislative session. Please contact Corey Clayborne at cclayborne@aiava.org if you have any questions.

Active:

HB 97 – Bell, John J. – Virginia Public Procurement Act; methods of procurement, single or term contracts.

HB 134 – Bell, John J. – Value engineering; raises minimum project cost.

HB 192 – Yancey – Rainwater and gray water; regulations.

SB 125 – Black – Value engineering; raises minimum project cost.

 

Monitoring

HB 345 – Stolle – Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation, Secretary of; created.

HB 523 – Lindsey – Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, etc., Board for; Landscape Architects.

HB 555Freitas – Professions and occupations; hair braiding.

HB 796 – Hope – Zoning; requirements necessary to accommodate persons with disabilities when preparing ordinance.

SB 20 – Chase – Red Tape Reduction Commission; created, review of regulatory requirements, report.

SB 55 – DeSteph – Professional and Occupational Regulation, Department of; disciplinary actions by regulatory boards.

SB 386 – DeSteph – Va. Public Procurement Act; SWaM program, participation of service disabled veteran-owned business.

SB 651 – McPike – Virginia Public Procurement Act; state agency’s goals for participation by small businesses.

SB 688 – Ruff – Va. Public Procurement Act; cooperative procurement, stream restoration & stormwater management.

 

Dead

HB 23 – Webert – Red Tape Reduction Commission; created, review of regulatory requirements, report.

HB 58 – Bell, John J. – State agencies; use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on outdoor lighting fixtures.

HB 59 – Bell, John J. – Transportation, Department of; use of practical design methods.

HB 72Thomas – Statewide prioritization process project selection; cost of project to be considered.

HB 89 Bell, John J. – Conditional rezoning proffers; affordable dwelling units.

HB 98 – Bell, John J. – Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive negotiation for professional services.

HB 130 – Yancey – Chief Resiliency Officer; Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to designate.

HB 160Cole – Building code; mutual assistance.

HB 193 – Bell, Richard P. – Virginia Public Procurement Act; bid match preference for Virginia businesses.

HB 257 – Hope – Virginia Public Procurement Act; clarifies definitions of responsible bidder or offeror.

HB 473 – Reid – Virginia Public Procurement Act; use of best value contracting.

HB 513 – Wilt – Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Department of; implementation of certification programs.

HB 608 – Carr – Virginia Public Procurement Act; high-risk contracts, report.

HB 647 – Bell, John J. – Virginia Public Procurement Act; architectural and professional engineering term contracts.

HB 656LaRock – Telecommunications; Dept. of Historic Resources to convene work group to examine Sect. 106 review.

HB 657 – Davis – Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive sealed bidding.

HB 714Bell, Richard P. – Building Code; provisions for buildings & structures in rural areas.

HB 723Plum – Stormwater management facilities; private residential lots, disclosure.

HB 725Plum – Small businesses; change in definition.

HB 726Plum – Virginia Public Procurement Act; small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program.

HB 774 – Landes – Public procurement; contracting for construction on a construction management basis.

HB 851 – Ingram – Virginia Public Procurement Act; request for proposals, publication.

HB 880Webert – Professional and occupational regulatory analyst; establishes position within DLS.

HB 946Lopez – Energy and Environment, Virginia Commission on; established, report.

HB 966 Davis – Income tax, sales tax, etc.; refundable credit for certain local taxes.

HB 1084 – Yancey – Virginia Public Procurement Act; statute of limitations on actions on construction contracts.

HB 1135 – Peace – Professions and occupations; prior criminal history.

HB 1195 – Cline – Professional & Occupational Licensing Requirements, Joint Commission to Evaluate; created, report.

HB 1271 – Sickles – Public procurement; construction management and transportation construction services.

HB 1300Lopez – Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Department of; implementation of certification programs.

HB 1363 Miyares – Historic rehabilitation tax credit; expand availability of credit for project rehabilitating school.

HB 1407Ward – Virginia Public Procurement Act; small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program.

HB 1465 – Peace – Purchases and Supply, Division of; requirements to purchase, exceptions.

HB 1566Hodges – Stormwater; local plan review, acceptance of plan by professional engineer in lieu of review.

SB 54 DeSteph – Professional and Occupational Regulation, Department of; subpoena duces tecum, costs.

SB 117Favola – Value engineering; raises minimum project cost.

SB 188 – Favola – Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive negotiation for professional services.

SB 312 – Edwards – Cooperative procurement of professional services; construction, solar power purchase agreements.

SB 317 – Ruff – Public procurement; contracting for construction on a construction management basis.

SB 318 – Ruff – Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Department of; implementation of certification programs.

SB 390Marsden – Taxation; makes numerous changes to the Commonwealth’s tax structure.

SB 584 – DeSteph – Va. Public Procurement Act; establishes service disabled veteran businesses.

SB 850 – Lucas – Virginia Public Procurement Act; small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program.

SB 894 – Wagner – Virginia Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund; created.

Posted in Advocacy News

General Assembly Preview

This has been one of the most dramatic election seasons in quite some time.

Control of the Virginia House of Delegates was determined by literally draw by lot.

Delegate David Yancey (R – Newport News) won the draw against Shelly Simonds to determine the winner of the election in House District 94 after the previous recount ended in a tie. This gives the Republicans a 51-49 edge in the House.

The session starts today (January 10) and proposed legislation has been pouring in. Already, there is proposed legislation that suggests that architectural design work should be awarded based solely on the cost of your services. This approach ignores your talents as a design professional with specific expertise and knowledge that benefits the respective client for many years after the project is completed.

The Joint Legislative Committee kicks off its series of bill review meetings on Friday, January 12.  As an AIA Virginia member, we may call upon you to help convey the ramifications of a proposed bill.  Especially, if the bill is targeted at a specific practice area. Let’s come together as a united front and make sure we continue to position ourselves as vital contributors to the built environment!

Want to be involved? Contact Corey Clayborne, AIA at cclayborne@aiava.org

Posted in Advocacy News

AIA Overview of Senate-Approved Tax Bill

The Senate approved the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades in early December by a vote of 51–49. The vote on the nearly 500-page bill was nearly along party lines — with only one Republican, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), voting against it. On the House side, a substantially different bill was approved on Nov. 16 by a vote of 227–205. The significant disparities between the two bills must be hashed out in conference before the final version can be sent to the President’s desk for signing. Check out a summary of the major the differences between the bills here Update – specific provisions H and S. Edit: As this article was being finalized, it looks as if the Senate and House negotiators have just come to a compromise.

Pass-through companies:
Some pass-throughs get a new deduction for reducing their tax burden. For partnership, S corporations, and sole proprietorships, the deduction would be limited to 50% of the taxpayer’s share of “W-2 wages” — those that are subject to withholding, elective deferrals, as well as deferred compensation. If a pass-through didn’t pay W-2 wages, it couldn’t use the deferral. The wage limit wouldn’t apply to taxpayers with income of $250,000 or less for individuals, or $500,000 or less for joint filers (indexed for inflation). The limit would phase in for taxpayers with incomes greater than those thresholds. The deduction would be limited for certain professional services — including those in architecture, health, law, engineering, and accounting. It would be fully available for services businesses with income of $250,00o or less for individuals or $500,000 or less for joint filers (indexed for inflation) and would phase out for incomes greater than those thresholds.

Lower taxes on pass-through business income:
Both the House and Senate bills lower taxes on the business portion of a filer’s pass-through income. The House bill dropped the top income tax rate to 25% (from 39.6%) while prohibiting anyone providing a professional service from taking advantage of the lower rate. It also phases in a lower rate of 9% for businesses that earn less than $75,000. The Senate bill lowers taxes on filers in pass-throughs by letting them deduct 23% of their income (up from 17.4 originally). The 23% deduction would be prohibited for anyone in a service business — except those with taxable incomes under $500,000 if married ($250,000 if single).

What does it all mean?
Most U.S. businesses are set up as pass-throughs (sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and S corps), rather than traditional corporations. Their profits are passed through to the owners, shareholders, and partners, who pay tax on them on their personal returns under ordinary income tax rates — rather than being filed on a separate business return like a corporation. Currently, pass through pay taxes topping out at 39.6% while corporations pay 35%.
Right now, architects are exempted from benefitting from the preferential tax rate. The relevant section of the Internal Revenue Code referenced in both bills is IRC 1202(e)(3)(A). It reads, “… the term ‘qualified trade or business’ means any trade or business other than—
(A) any trade or business involving the performance of services in the fields of health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, athletics, financial services, brokerage services, or any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of 1 or more of its employees …”

Here’s the status of a few other tax items that we’ve been following:

Historic Preservation Tax Credit
The federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) was eliminated in the tax reform bill passed by the House, but the Senate approved a version that eliminates the 10% credit for rehabilitation of any structures built before 1936. The 20% credit for certified historic structures would be retained but spread over five years.

179(D) Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction
Neither of the bills includes a renewal of 179(D) which expired at the end of 2016. It is unlikely that Congress will choose to pass an extender package, meaning firms shouldn’t count on being able to utilize this tax benefit moving forward.

Posted in Advocacy News

Awards for Continued Giving

At the AIA Virginia Board of Directors luncheon on Friday, December 8, 2017, three members were recognized with sustained giving awards for 6 consecutive years of gifts to the AIA Virginia Political Action Committee (PAC).

Congratulations to Tim Colley, AIA, Bill Brown, AIA and Nick Vlattas, AIA.

Join these members by making your contribution today! www.aiavapac.org

Tim Colley, AIA

Nick Vlattas, AIA

Bill Brown, AIA

 

Posted in Advocacy News

Summarizing Virginia’s 2017 Election

If the 2016 Presidential election was a stunning performance, the 2017 Virginia election was a fitting encore. Continuing an eight-year sweep of statewide offices Virginians have elected Democrats Ralph Northam as Governor, Justin Fairfax as Lieutenant Governor and reelected Mark Herring Attorney General to each serve four-year terms. While most polling showed the Democrats with leads in all three statewide races, the margin of victory for Ralph Northam (8%) was more significant than many predicted. Governor-elect Northam is now assembling his transition team and is in the process of making cabinet appointments, which should be completed by the first week in January when he is inaugurated as Virginia’s 73rd Governor.

While the statewide races have received most of the attention in Virginia, it is the House of Delegates elections that have stunned many in the political community. Over the past 18 years, Republicans have steadily built their majority in the House controlling 66 of 100 seats prior to this year’s election. In an effort to capitalize on sheer numbers (Clinton won Virginia in 2016) and an anti-Trump sentiment Democrats fielded candidates against 54 of the 66 House Republicans. While polling data is not as robust for individual House races, most in the polling and political community estimated Republican would lose anywhere from three to maybe eight seats. However, after final election certifications, the Democrats had picked up 15 seats in the House, shifting the balance to a slim Republican majority at 51-49.

While the election results in the House were shocking, the story is not over. There are three House elections undergoing a recount, with one Republican declared the victor by ten votes. While the recounts should be completed before the end of the year, many expect the Democrats or Republicans to challenge the results in court leaving control of the House of Delegates in question. What we do know is that each party is going to utilize every tool possible to declare a majority once session convenes on January 10th.

What does this mean for the design professional community? As we look at the loss of key legislators, the influx of new members, and changes on key committees we will need to take the time to educate new members on the importance of qualifications based-selection and the need for integrity in the Commonwealth’s procurement system. At its core, the advocacy mission of the design professional community is to educate. We work to educate legislators on the importance of quality in the design and engineering of public facilities and the positive impact quality design can have on long-term cost and public health, safety, and welfare.

For the most current election results and analysis, check the State Board of Elections website, which carries the official results: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/resultsreports/election-results/.

Another helpful website that includes all election results with graphics is the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP): https://www.vpap.org/elections/.

Posted in Advocacy News

Good Golly Miss Mod-dy!

submitted by Kenney Payne, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Mods.  Otherwise, known as code modifications. They can be found in the 2012 Virginia Construction Code Section 106.3 (text included below).  They have been utilized successfully in the past and will continue to be used successfully in the future.

Mods. However, as an architect, this can be a “four-letter word” and architects should consider them only as a last resort – and then, it should only be initiated by the owner, at the owner’s direction, and on the owner’s letterhead.

J. Kenneth Payne, Jr., AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Mods.  What’s the problem?  Professional liability insurance companies may not insure (or pay out any damages) a design that includes a code modification as it may be deemed a “contractual liability” that is excluded from their policy.  In other words, if the damage(s) can be traced back to the code modification as the cause of the damages (regardless of whether the architect obtained a building official’s approval for a code modification), the insurance company (or the attorney) may ask, “Why didn’t you just follow the original code language?  By designing around a code modification, you (the architect) chose to ignore the original code language and take it upon yourself to design something differently that led to these damages.” An architect could opine that mods are allowed per the building code (which they are) and thus the design was “per the code.” However, you can hear the attorney and/or insurance company saying, “Well, apparently in, his case, the code modification did not provide that assurance of health, safety, and welfare, and had you followed the original code language, this may never have happened.

Mods. They are an integral part of the building code and should remain so.  Building officials who allow mods should be applauded for allowing the architect (or owner) another option to achieve their results and keep the project moving. Just recognize that mods may not be so easy for an architect to accept or pursue and may not always be the answer to ambiguous code provisions.

♫ ♫ “From the early, early mornin’ till the early, early night; You can evaluate Miss Mod-dy till they get it get it right!” ♫ ♫

Kenney Payne, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Representing AIA Virginia

106.3 Issuance of modifications. Upon written application by an owner or an owner’s agent, the building official may approve a modification of any provision of the USBC provided the spirit and functional intent of the code are observed and public health, welfare and safety are assured. The decision of the building official concerning a modification shall be made in writing and the application for a modification and the decision of the building official concerning such modification shall be retained in the permanent records of the local building department.

Note: The USBC references nationally recognized model codes and standards. Future amendments to such codes and standards are not automatically included in the USBC; however, the building official should give them due consideration in deciding whether to approve a modification.

106.3.1 Substantiation of modification. The building official may require or may consider a statement from an RDP or other person competent in the subject area of the application as to the equivalency of the proposed modification. In addition, the building official may require the application to include construction documents sealed by an RDP.

106.3.2 Use of performance code. Compliance with the provisions of a nationally recognized performance code, when approved as a modification, shall be considered to constitute compliance with this code. All documents submitted as part of such consideration shall be retained in the permanent records of the local building department.

Posted in Advocacy News

Why Give?

by Reggie Jones, Esq.

The practice of architecture is a regulated profession that is dependent on the actions of the General Assembly and the Administration, not only for the activity of the profession but also for much of the business atmosphere in which a Virginia architect operates. Elected officials decide:

  • how your profession is regulated;
  • how government policies are developed for the conduct of your business;
  • how your profession is taxed;
  • how government procures professional services; and
  • the priorities for expenditure of revenue collected from citizens.

In order for your profession to have a voice in the political process, it is important to support those candidates who best represent your viewpoint on the issues. The cost of communicating with constituents and running for office has escalated geometrically over the past 15 to 20 years and it is imperative for candidates to raise enormous sums of money to be successful

In order for AIA Virginia to play a significant role in the election of the right candidates, members of the profession need to encourage qualified candidates to run for office and to support the good legislators so they can continue to serve. By giving adequate funding to AIA Virginia’s PAC, it provides your representatives a better opportunity to be in the room when the candidates are formulating their policies and determining how to vote on issues that impact architects, the businesses you serve and the community where you live.

For comparison, below is the giving data for the reporting period 2015–2016 (which represents the most recent 2-year election cycle):

$349,632  Medical Society of Virginia
$521,665   Virginia Dental Association
$152,450   Va. Society of Certified Public Accountants
$208,045  Va. Optometric Association
$141,000  Va. Society of Anesthesiologists
$60,280   ACEC of Virginia
$10,750    AIA Virginia

I urge your profession to step up your contributions to AIAVA for political contributions. It is one of the best investments you can make for the future of your profession and your community.

You can make a contribution today at www.aiavapac.org/give

Posted in Advocacy News

When Statutes Override Contracts

An Underappreciated Statute Favoring A/Es Who Contract with “Public Bodies” in Virginia

The following article was written by Stephan F. “Hobie” Andrews and J. Brandon Sieg of the law firm Vandeventer Black LLP in Richmond, Virginia. They devote a substantial portion of their practice to the representation of design professionals in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.

We see them all the time: overreaching indemnity provisions that might compromise our professional liability insurance coverage and hold firms accountable for a catalog of frightening claims and damages. When negotiating a contract with a state agency or other public body in Virginia, have you ever encountered language such as:

The A/E, including its consultants, shall defend, indemnify and bear all loss, expense (including reasonable attorney’s fees) and damage from any cause whatsoever arising out of, incidental to, or in connection with the performance of the Contract. A/E shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Agency, its agents, Lenders, officers and employees from all claims, demands, expenses, penalties, costs and judgments made, claimed or recovered against the Agency from any cause whatsoever, arising out of, incidental to, or in connection with the performance of the Contract whether or not due to any act of its employees, servants or agents and whether or not due to any act of omission or commission, including negligence of the Agency.

What does it mean, and why is it a problem?

What Facts Might Trigger this Indemnity Provision?
Imagine the following scenario: the Contractor fell behind schedule early in a project, and the Owner is growing impatient with delays. Assume that a concrete subcontractor claims to have identified some ambiguity in your specifications for the concrete foundations. Unfortunately for you, these ambiguities are raised in a stack of submittals that the Contractor provides late on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend. The following week the Contractor tells the Owner that you are contributing to the delay by responding too slowly to submittals. You tell the Owner that you need more time to fully understand and evaluate the issues raised by the concrete subcontractor.

The Owner, tired of delays and anxious to occupy the project, instructs the Contractor to work out the issues with the subcontractor. After construction is completed, there is a structural failure resulting in personal injury and a lawsuit against your client, the Owner. Further investigation confirms that your specifications were correct and that the entire issue arose from the Contractor’s and subcontractor’s efforts to “work out” the problem and keep the project on schedule.

How might the indemnity provision above affect a claim by the owner against you under these facts?

In General, Assume that the Terms of Your Contract Will Be Enforced
In Virginia, courts will strictly enforce the language of a written agreement. By agreeing to terms similar to this indemnity agreement, you are essentially saying that the Agency can look to you to reimburse the cost of any claim or judgment awarded against the Agency, even if you can prove that the Agency was partially at fault. In the hypothetical above, the contract indicates that the Agency may have a viable indemnity claim against your firm even though your firm did nothing wrong – there is no “negligence” trigger in the indemnity provision as a link to your liability.

Furthermore, because you are agreeing to indemnify the Agency even if you are not negligent, it is likely that your professional liability insurance carrier will deny coverage for this claim.

How to Modify the Indemnity Agreement
For all of the reasons above, it is important to agree to acceptable language when you negotiate your contract with your clients. A significant problem with this particular indemnity agreement is that it applies “whether or not due to” the negligence of the A/E or any act of the Agency or its employees, servants or agents, “including negligence of the Agency.”

A practical solution is to replace this language with something along the lines of the following:

… A/E shall indemnify and hold harmless the Agency, its officers and employees from all damages, costs and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and defense costs), to the extent arising out of the negligent acts, errors or omissions, recklessness or intentionally wrongful conduct of the A/E in performance of this Contract.

Such language will limit your duty to indemnify and hold harmless the Agency to claims that arise from your own negligence or wrongdoing and more nearly assure the maintenance of professional liability insurance coverage. By making these edits, you will preserve your defense in the above hypothetical to argue that you did nothing wrong.

If you have negotiated many contracts for A/E services, then the analysis above should be familiar to you. But things get more complicated if you are negotiating with a public body.

What if the Public Body Rejects Your Edits?
It is easy to feel like you have unequal bargaining power when negotiating a contract with a public body. You may still be in the honeymoon phase of having just been selected for the project, and you are concerned when the public body refuses to accept what you think is a justifiable allocation of risk on your project.

As to indemnity provisions, you have a strong fall-back position. The Code of Virginia appears to prohibit the kind of broad indemnity agreement identified above:

Any provision contained in any contract relating to the planning or design of a building, structure or appurtenance thereto . . . or any provision contained in any contract relating to the planning or design of construction projects other than buildings by which the architect or professional engineer performing such work purports to indemnify or hold harmless another party to the contract against liability for damages arising out of bodily injury to persons or damage to property suffered in the course of the performance of the contract, caused by or resulting solely from the negligence of such other party, his agents or employees, is against public policy and is void and unenforceable.

This section shall apply to such contracts between an architect or professional engineer and any public body as defined in § 2.2-4301. Every provision contained in a contract between an architect or professional engineer and a public body relating to the planning or design of a building, structure or appurtenance thereto . . . or relating to the planning or design of construction projects other than building by which the architect or professional engineer is performing such work purports to hold indemnify and hold harmless the public body against liability is against public policy and is void and unenforceable. This section shall not be construed to alter or affect any provision in such a contract that purports to indemnify or hold harmless the public body against liability for damage arising out of the negligent acts, errors or omissions, recklessness or intentionally wrongful conduct of the architect or professional engineer in the performance of the contract.

Va. Code § 11-4.4 (emphasis added).

This statute may have flown under the radar—there are no reported cases interpreting it. A plain reading indicates, however, that a public body cannot require you to indemnify claims arising from the public body’s own negligence. Such indemnity provisions are “void” and unenforceable. Moreover, the statute establishes limits on the scope of any A/E indemnity obligation.

Bringing this statute to the public body’s attention may help persuade the public body to narrow the scope of an indemnity provision. And even if the public body insists on broader language, you have put the public body on notice that its preferred language is not enforceable.

What Is a “Public Body”?
The term “public body” is defined in Va. Code § 2.2-4301 as:

Any legislative, executive, or judicial body, agency, office, department, authority, post, commission, committee, institution, board or political subdivision created by law to exercise some sovereign power or to perform some governmental duty, and empowered by law to undertake the activities described in this chapter [Virginia Public Procurement Act]. “Public body” shall include (i) any independent agency of the Commonwealth, and (ii) any metropolitan planning organization or planning district commission which operates exclusively within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

If you are negotiating a public contract in Virginia under Virginia’s Public Procurement Act, then chances are you are negotiating with a “public body” and the statutory limitations to indemnity agreements will apply.

Conclusion
It is always best to ensure that the written terms of your contract reflect an agreement you can live with. But if a public body in Virginia refuses to negotiate an appropriate balance of risk in its indemnity provision, Va. Code § 11-4.4 may provide an alternate argument to help prevent you from indemnifying the public body for its own negligence or for an overly broad indemnity obligation not covered by available insurance coverage.

The authors may be contacted at 804 237 8800 or by email at sandrews@vanblacklaw.com, jwalker@vanblacklaw.com, or bsieg@vanblacklaw.com.

Posted in Advocacy News

We Fight for the Profession

Qualifications-based selection.

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Licensure.

Statutes of repose.

Taxation.

Policy.

Every practicing architect and associate is affected by these issues. And we look to the AIA to protect our interests.

AIA Virginia uses the collective power of the profession to participate in the legislative and regulatory policy-making process by educating legislators about issues that are important to us.

Through the AIAVA Political Action Committee, we can support candidates for state office who understand the profession and support our goals — without regard to party affiliation.

Our membership dues will never be used to support a candidate. And that’s why the PAC needs your support. With a contentious election year for the General Assembly on the horizon, we’ve set a goal to raise $10,000 before the general election on Nov. 7.

Join the fight to protect the profession and practice by giving today.

ABOUT THE AIAVA PAC

Where Does the Money Go?
Funds go toward supporting the campaigns of statewide candidates who support the architecture profession. The AIAVA PAC Board of Trustees, which is made up of AIA Virginia members, is responsible for approving every disbursement from the PAC. Approval for a disbursement is based on several criteria, such as the candidate’s understanding of the profession’s concerns, past voting record on key issues, committee assignments, and leadership positions. In addition, the committee seriously considers suggestions for candidate support from AIA components and current contributors.

How Can You Contribute?
You can make a contribution online at www.aiavapac.org. You may also mail a donation to:
AIAVA PAC
c/o AIA Virginia
2501 Monument Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220

There are no contribution limits in Virginia. The AIAVA PAC can accept contributions from any individual, corporation, union, association or partnership. It is required that all contributions received by the committee, and that required information identifying the contributor, be reported on the committee’s campaign finance reports. Federal law prohibits accepting contributions from a foreign national or foreign corporation.

For more information on how to get involved, send an email to rgeorge@aiava.org.

 

Posted in Advocacy News

 

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