• Presidents Corner - May 2016

  • Do PACs Really Make a Difference?

    Each contribution firms and individuals make to the ACEC/PAC and the ECVPAC are a significant part of our success in lobbying at the national and state level and shows legislators that we are serious. Because of your contributions, ACEC/VA is able to fight for issues such as QBS, terms & conditions, and unenforceable insurance clauses.  

    Tim Groover, Chair of the Government Affairs Committee along with several other ACEC/VA members recently participated in Congressional visits during the National ACEC Convention in Washington, DC. Groover's report, “A Visit to the Sausage Factory”, provides a detailed account regarding what ACEC/VA member firms do to protect our industry. He reports that our voice is so strong on the national level that it earned face-to-face meetings with several Congressmen, not just their legislative aide.

    Every year we ask for contributions at both the state and national level to open doors with legislators on engineering issues. Our PACs work to protect and promote the interests of Virginia Professional Engineers and engineering companies. They help our registered lobbyists by providing opportunities to speak with candidates and incumbents to educate them on our issues. A strong, active PAC gives the engineering industry a stronger voice with elected State and Congressional representatives.

    To continue our efforts to protect the industry we need your support financially. Please give, and give generously, to our efforts to provide a voice for the engineering community. Our Annual Conference and Golf Classic have several opportunities to participate and support both the ACEC/PAC and the ECVPAC.

    “If you are not seated at the table you are probably on the plate as part of the meal.”
    Tim Groover, President & COO, Wiley|Wilson

  • Past Successes

    Virginia General Assembly

    • Limitation of Liability – Clarified the law to clarify how two parties can limit one another’s liability.
    • Job Order Contracting - A/E pricing was kept out of Job Order Contracting.
    • Term contracts - Mandated that QBS is used throughout the term contract process, not just the initial selection. 
    • Terms & Conditions – A bill that prohibits public bodies from requesting or requiring offerors to list any exceptions to proposed contractual terms and conditions, unless such terms and conditions are required by statute, regulation, ordinance, or standards developed pursuant to § 2.2-1132 until after the qualified offerors are ranked for negotiations. This law goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

     

    ‚ÄčCongress

    • Secured long-term transportation bill - Provides five years of stability for state and local transportation agency clients; increases investment levels for highway, transit and rail projects; preserves QBS and promotes contracting out for engineering and design services.
    • Protected cash accounting - Ensures that firms currently using the cash method of accounting are not forced to make the expensive switch to accrual accounting.
    • Defeated proposed tax increase on S corps - Protected S Corp firm owners from the 2.9% Medicare tax on distributions.
    • Secured in law FAR-based procurement rules - State DOTs prohibited to institute arbitrary overhead caps, require recognition of single audit, expand reach of QBS. Protects firms from state DOT efforts to cap overhead, prevents bidding of engineering services on federal aid projects.
    • WRRDA - Passage of new Corps water legislation (WRRDA) that expands QBS.
    • Killed expanded 1099 filing mandate - Eliminates 1099 filings for each purchase of services or goods valued at more than $600.
    • Repealed 3% withholding
    • Secured 9% tax deduction for A/E firms
  • What's Next?

    State Issues

    • Unenforceable Insurance Clauses in RFPs/Contracts
    • Continuing Education

     

    National Issues

    • Sustainable post-FAST Act Transportation Investment
    • Aviation and Airport Investment
    • An Energy Plan For America's Future
    • Oppose FLSA Regulatory Overreach
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  • Written By:

    Benjamin A. Lilly, PE
    ACEC/VA President

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