The 2018 General Assembly session ended on March 10. During the session, the Joint Legislative Committee vetted approximately 3,000 total bills to extract the relevant ones to our profession. As always, we were proactive in our conversations with legislators, which proved to be very helpful in our efforts. Overall, our industry escaped without major changes. However, there are a number of big conversation topics such as SWaM, the definition of small business, regulatory reduction and qualifications based selection that are certain to reappear in the 2019 session.
So what does that mean?
First, contact your local AIA chapter and set up opportunities to meet your local legislators. Make inviting them to your local AIA events normal practice. When they know their constituents are going to be there, they do show up! Use this as a time to get to know one another opposed to asking for a favor. Believe it or not, you may be the only architect that he or she knows personally.
Secondly, please make a donation to the AIA Virginia PAC. The goal for this year is to raise $15,000. Last year we raised approximately $6,000. Our goal has been set this high because that is what we need to improve our effectiveness. From $5 to $500 to $5,000, every contribution helps. Qualifications Based Selection will be under attack and members are experiencing it today firsthand. For example, there is a section in Virginia Code which authorizes local school boards to adopt their own procurement system. Their system asks for the submission of pricing with qualifications. Currently, we are strategizing how to address this in 2019.
Below is the current status of bills. Some have been signed by the Governor and others are in route to his desk.
[TRACKING TO] PASS FROM ACTIVE LIST
• HB 97 – Virginia Public Procurement Act; methods of procurement, single or term contracts.
• HB 134 – Value engineering; raises minimum project cost
• HB 192 – Rainwater and gray water; regulations
• SB 125 – Value engineering; raises minimum project cost
[TRACKING TO] PASS FROM MONITOR LIST
• HB 345 – Coastal Adaption and Protection, Special Assistant to the Governor; position created
• HB 523 – Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, etc., Board for, Landscape Architects
• HB 555 – Professions and occupations; hair braiding
• HB 796 – Zoning; modification, etc.; to property for persons with disabilities, board of zoning appeals
• SB 20 – Regulatory reduction pilot program; Department of Planning and Budget to implement, report
• SB 386 – Va. Public Procurement Act; SWaM program, participation of service disabled veteran-owned business.
• SB 651 – Va. Public Procurement Act; executive branch agency’s goals for participation by small businesses
• SB 688 – Va. Public Procurement Act; cooperative procurement, stream restoration and stormwater management
The following depicts the number of bills of interest to the JLC that were introduced, by topic, but did not succeed in 2018:
• Procurement & SWaM: 24
• Building Code/Energy/Resiliency: 5
• Regulatory Reduction: 4
• Design Methodologies: 3
• Tax Reform: 2
• Historic Buildings: 2
• Zoning: 1