Summary of Legislation | July 2019

New Law Seeks to Lower Hurdles for Licensees to Move into the State

Legislation recently enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly grants additional powers to licensing boards wishing to make reciprocity easier. The new law effects all of licensing boards under the state Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, including those for engineers, land surveyors and landscape architects.  For the design professional licensing boards the new law doesn’t make much of a change. The current requirement of similar license conditions from the other state remain. However boards now have the ability to grant a provisional certificate to practice while an out of state licensee works to meet any missing requirements. This provisional certificate will only be good for a limited amount of time set by the board.

This legislation authorizes all of the boards and commissions within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational to grant provisional licenses to practice by applicants who are licensed to practice a profession in another state if all the following conditions are met: the applicant holds a license, certificate, registration or permit from another state,

territory or country whose requirements are equivalent to PA requirements; demonstrates competency in the profession through methods determined by the licensing board or commission, including having completed continuing education or having at least two years of experience; has not committed any act that constitutes grounds for license refusal, suspension or revocation in PA, unless the licensing board determines it should not impede the granting of a license; and is in good standing and has not been disciplined by the jurisdiction that issued the license, unless the licensing board determines it should not impede the granting of a license.

State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists July 10 Meeting Highlights

The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists met on July 10 in Harrisburg. Following are the highlights.

  • Board President Francis Stanton, PE, welcomed Board members and guests. Mike Brinkash mentioned receiving an email from John Fuehrer regarding the PLS exam.
  • BPOA Deputy Chief Counsel Carolyn DeLaurentis gave an overview of cases handled by the Board, and overall at BPOA. She noted among other things that most complaints received are about surveyors, and boundary disputes. She discussed parallel discipline with other states, the fact that the Bureau’s charging bureau is becoming more specialized. She noted that the incidence of CE violations is less for the Registration board because the regulations are more “user friendly” than other boards.
  • Board Prosecutor Robert Armour, Esq., introduced new board prosecutor Glen Masser, and reviewed two Consent Agreements for deliberation in Executive Session. He also gave a presentation on meditation. Gov. Wolf has pushed for increased use of mediation, as the costs of hearings and prosecution have climbed. He noted it may need a regulatory change to implement for the Registration Board.
  • Board member Ted Tesler, PG, reported on the recent ASBOG meeting, and Mike Brinkash, PLS, reported on his attendance at the recent NCEES Northeast Zone meeting. Brinkash said there was discussion about dues that the states pay. He also noted NCEES is developing a mapping exam. These and other issues will be addressed at the national meeting.
  • Acting BPOA Commissioner Kalonji Johnson had nothing to report.
  • Board Counsel Bill Fritz discussed the passage of HB 1172, now Act 41, with regard to license reciprocity with other states. He also reported that the Seals regulation is still with Regulatory Counsel, being worked on. He also noted he has submitted a home inspection reg analysis for review, but has not heard back.
  • Board President Stanton opened the meeting to public comment, and Ted Mowatt, on behalf of PSPE and PSLS gave an update on the reintroduction of HB 1106 from last session. He said it remains a work in progress, as both organizations are working with other interested groups to address issues raised last session, to try to expedite the process when it is introduced in the near future.

Next meeting is September 11, 2019, in Harrisburg. Future 2019 meeting dates: November 13. The 2020 Board meeting dates have not yet been announced.

This Month in the PA Bulletin:

IRRC: Notice of Filing Of Final Rulemaking

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission received the following regulation:

Reg. No. 16A-60: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Expungement; Fees.

The regulation is scheduled to be considered on the August 15, 2019. The commission’s public meetings are held at 333 Market Street, Harrisburg at 10 a.m. To obtain a copy of the regulation, interested parties should first contact the promulgating agency. If a copy cannot be obtained from the promulgating agency, the commission will provide a copy or it can be viewed on the commission’s website: http://www.irrc.state.pa.us/.

Legislative Activity

The following bills and co-sponsorship memos for bills to be introduced of interest to PSLS were acted on by the General Assembly this past month.

Bidding / Contracting

HB 1737 RE: Anti-Indemnity in Construction Contracts (by Rep. Mike Driscoll, et al)

Amends “An act relating to indemnification agreements between architects, engineers or surveyors & owners, contractors, subcontractors or suppliers,” providing for the title of the act; & for indemnification agreements. This legislation would allow for a limited form of indemnification, exclusively for losses caused by the negligence of the indemnifying party (Indemnifier). Any negligence of the indemnified party (Indemnitee) will bar a claim for indemnification. This legislation is similar to anti-indemnity statues in neighboring states like Delaware, New York, and Ohio. 45 states have enacted some form of anti-indemnity statutes limiting the enforceability of various forms of indemnity clauses in construction contracts.

Filed, 7/22/2019

 

Local/State Government/Regulations

HB 370 RE: Farmland Preservation (by Rep. Kate Klunk, et al)

Amends the Agricultural Area Security Law further providing for purchase of agricultural conservation easements. The intent of the bill is to allow for the voluntary relinquishment of the right to construct a residence. Portions are retroactive to December 14, 1988.

Approved by the Governor, 7/1/2019 (Act No. 33 of 2019)

 

Permitting

HB 1105 RE: Energize PA Legislative Package (by Rep. Eric Nelson, et al)

Amends the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, in miscellaneous provisions, further providing for permits and other requirements. The bill states a person conducting remediation activities under this act may obtain a consolidated standards permit. A person who is issued a consolidated standards permit in connection with the remediation activities is not required to obtain a permit, license, plan approval or other approval in connection with the activity under the Clean Streams Law, the Air Pollution Control Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, the Infectious and Chemotherapeutic Waste Law, or the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act. A person who obtains a consolidated standards permit is deemed to be in compliance with the requirement to obtain a permit, license, plan approval or other approval in connection with the activity under the applicable provisions of those acts and regulations. The department shall grant or deny a consolidated standards permit within 120 calendar days from its receipt of an application.

Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, 7/8/2019

 

Workforce Development

HB 796  RE: Schools-to-Work Act (by Rep. Jared Solomon, et al)

Establishes the Schools-to-Work Program in the Department of Education to distribute grants on a competitive basis to schools to support the establishment or enhancement of partnerships with local businesses in order to fill current and anticipated needs for employees with necessary job qualifications and certifications. Expires June 30, 2024, and effective in 60 days.

Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Labor and Industry Committee, 7/8/2019

 

Copies of all bills of interest can be accessed via the Internet at: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/session.cfm

 

Upcoming meetings of Interest

Some House Committee meetings and session can be viewed online at: http://www.pahousegop.com/

Senate Committee meetings and session can be streamed at: http://www.pasenategop.com/

The House and Senate are in recess until September.

 

2019 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE

September      23, 24, 25

October          21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

November      18, 19, 20

December       16, 17, 18

 

2019 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

September       17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25

October           21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

November       12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20

December        9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18

 

2020 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

January         7 (non-voting), 13, 14, 15, 21, 22

February        3, 4, 5

March             16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

April               6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, ELECTION BREAK

May                4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

June                1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

 

State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists Meeting Schedule 

Remaining 2019 Meeting Dates (Subject to change): September 11, November 13

PUBLIC WELCOME 

All Board meetings are held at Penn Center, 2601 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA, at 9:30 a.m.

Other meeting dates may be scheduled as needed.

 

Take Action

Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Act Update

The Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Act (Pennsylvania) governs how these design professions practice.

House Bill 21 proposes adding licensure of Home Inspectors to the Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers.

Click here to access a letter which you can e-mail your legislator opposing HB 21. You can send the letter as it is written, or you can customize it.

PSPE PAC

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