• Government Affairs Committee Update

    On the Horizon for Virginia

  • January 1, 2017

    ACEC/VA has been working hard for you and we want to provide a short summary of what is on the horizon for the Virginia Engineering Industry. 

    The Virginia General Assembly opens on Wednesday, January 13, 2017 and is a short session, meaning it will only last 45 days. An expected 2,500-3,000 bills will be dropped by mid-January and we always expect to see bills on QBS, professional taxes, BPOL, or AOSE. We will review all bills to identify issues that could harm the industry.

    We have been working with the Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing (VAGP) for the past year and in October, we were part of a panel discussion regarding uninsurable and unenforceable clauses. From this panel VAGP, ACEC/VA, and AIA have agreed to work together to pursue model liability and indemnification contract provisions. This item should not become a legislative issue for us this year.

    Bills introduced in the long session can be carried over to the short session and we expect to see HB2347 again this year. This was a public procurement bill introduced by Scott Taylor (who is now a Congressman) to enhance procurement opportunities for small businesses and micro-businesses. It was introduced in 2015 but was left in committee. We believe some version of this will be introduced again this year and we will oppose this bill since it would limit competition.

    The soil scientists will be introducing a bill to allow them to plan elements, specifications or calculations and seal and sign plans. Currently, they are not permitted to seal this work. We will maintain a neutral position on this issue. 

    The other major initiative we are working on involves FAR Overhead rates with VDOT. Over the past several months ACEC/VA has joined forces with the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) to work on inconsistencies and differences in interpretation of the FAR Overhead. ACEC/VA recently sent a letter to VDOT expressing our concerns over the possible “hybrid procurement” being considered for CEI contracts. We have been assured that the industry will be part of the conversation. ACEC/VA is currently soliciting input from ACEC/VA member firms on issues they are experiencing so we can address them with VDOT. In addition, we have solicited assistance from ACEC national, who has helped other states with similar issues. ACEC national has Dan Purvine of A/E Clarity, on retainer to assist with these type of issues. ACEC/VA plans to bring Dan into our meetings with VDOT since he is a national expert on the topic. We hope to help facilitate answers and solutions over the next several months.

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  • Written by

    Nancy Israel
    ACEC/VA Executive Director