State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists September 14 Meeting Highlights
- Board Chair Michael Brinkash, PLS, welcomed the Board members and guests, and thanked them for their service.
- Lisa Catania, PE, reported on the recent meeting of NCEES, which she had attended with Theodore Tesler, PG. The cost of the FE exam will be reduced for the next cycle, costing NCEES about $2.5 million. The Board responded to PSPE’s letter opposing Motion 12, which was defeated, with PA voting no.
- BPOA Commissioner Ian Harlow shared the monthly Department of State report. Elections dominate this time of year at the Department. The renewal process is being upgraded and streamlined.
- Board Counsel Juan Ruiz reported on cases and applications that are before the Board, which were to be discussed in Executive session.
- Regulatory Counsel Tom Blackburn was not present, but sent a written report. Ruiz reported that the Governor’s office of General Counsel (OGC) had more than two dozen questions about the Seals reg.
- Next meeting is November 9, in Harrisburg.
The General Assembly acted on the following bills of interest to PSPE in the past month.
Bidding / Contracting
HB 1653 RE: Diverse and Disadvantaged Businesses (by Rep. Donna Oberlander, et al)
Amends Title 62 (Procurement) adding a chapter providing for diverse and disadvantaged businesses. “Diverse and disadvantaged businesses” is defined as a minority-owned business, a woman-owned business, or a veteran-owned business. The department shall establish a process to verify a diverse or disadvantaged business as Pennsylvania home state-certified for the purpose of other state of national disadvantaged business programs. The department shall also verify a business that has been certified as a diverse or disadvantaged business by a third party organization. Requires the department to compile, maintain and make available source lists of businesses verified by the department as a diverse or disadvantaged business for the purpose of encouraging procurement from those businesses.
Removed from the table, read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 9/26/2016
HB 2113 RE: Public-Private Partnership (P3) Pilot Program (by Rep. Eli Evankovich, et al)
Amends Title 62 (Procurement) establishing the Public-Private Partnership (P3) Pilot Program and the State Public-Private Partnership Board, tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of P3s in Pennsylvania. Provides for 16 authorized pilot projects outlined in the bill further provides that approved pilot projects are exempt from the Pennsylvania Separations Act and associated statutes. The addition of 62 Pa.C.S. 4701 and 4702 are effective immediately; the remainder of the bill is effective in 90 days.
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee and laid on the table, 9/19/2016
HB 2354 RE: Prompt Payment (by Rep. Jamie Santora, et al)
Amends the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act further providing for owner’s payment obligations and for contractors’ and subcontractors’ payment obligations. If payment is not received by a contractor or subcontractor as required, the contractor shall have the right to suspend performance of any work, without penalty, until payment is received in full.
Introduced and referred to House Commerce Committee, 9/20/2016
SB 344 RE: Bonds (by Sen. John Eichelberger, et al)
Amends the Public Works Contractors’ Bond Law further providing for duty of prime contractor to provide financial security in certain contracts involving public works and public improvements by requiring a contractor to furnish performance bond, payment bond, irrevocable letters of credit, or escrow account.
Removed from the table, 9/26/2016
Read second time, 9/27/2016
Read third time, and passed Senate, 9/28/2016 (50-0)
SB 1313 RE: Guaranteed Energy Savings Contracts (by Sen. Don White, et al)
Amends Title 62 (Procurement), in contract clauses and preference provisions, further providing for definitions and adding that grants, subsidies or other payments from the Commonwealth to a governmental unit shall not be reduced as a result of energy conservation measure cost savings obtained as a result of a guaranteed energy savings contract during the life of the contract. Requires the contract to expressly state the financial obligations that an energy savings company will require users to pay upon a declaration of savings.
Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, and read second time, 9/28/2016
Environmental Building Standards
HB 1103 RE: High Tunnels (by Rep. David Zimmerman, et al)
Amends the Storm Water Management Act defining “high tunnel” and exempting high tunnels from the act. A municipality that has adopted a watershed storm water plan or enacted a local ordinance or regulation that regulates high tunnels prior to the effective date shall amend the plan, ordinance or regulation in order to comply.
Reported as amended from Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and read first time, 9/27/2016
HB 2302 RE: Drinking Water Contamination Mitigation Act (by Rep. Kathy Watson, et al)
A supplement to the act entitled “An act providing for the establishment, implementation and administration of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority; imposing powers and duties on a board of trustees; transferring the rights, powers, duties and obligations of the Water Facilities Loan Board to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority; providing for the issuance of notes and bonds; providing for financial assistance and for a comprehensive water facilities plan; authorizing a referendum to incur indebtedness; making an appropriation; and making repeals,” providing for additional projects to mitigate contamination of sources of drinking water. The bill adds the Drinking Water Contamination Mitigation Act which is intended to supplement efforts by the Federal Government, the Commonwealth and municipalities to provide equipment necessary to mitigate contamination of sources of drinking water contaminated in connection with the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, now known as the Horsham Air Guard Station, but impacting the ground water and aquifer in the area by authorizing the authority to fund grants for projects that install updated infrastructure to ensure clean drinking water in the township. Nothing in this act or any other law shall be construed to prohibit the authority from being reimbursed by the Federal Government.
Introduced and referred to House Finance Committee, 9/20/2016
SR 385 RE: State Environmental Regs Study (by Sen. Michele Brooks, et al)
A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study to analyze and identify which environmental laws and regulations of this Commonwealth have more stringent standards than Federal law requires.
Reported as amended from Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, 9/27/2016
SR 421 RE: Federal Floodplain Management Regulations By Sen. David Argall, et al)
A Resolution urging the President and the Congress of the United States to review the changes to the Federal floodplain management regulations that negatively impact our blighted communities.
Introduced and referred to Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, 9/23/2016
HB 568 RE: Review of the International Construction Code By the RAC (by Rep. Eli Evankovich, et al)
Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act revising the procedures for review of the International Construction Code by the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council (RAC). Clarifies the RAC process shall be put in place for review of updated sections of the International Construction Code every three years. Adds two members to the RAC, increases the members’ terms from two to three years, and provides for the reimbursement of RAC members for expenses. Further provides for the creation of technical advisory committees and creates an accelerated process for re-review of 2015 terms. Also provides for delay in future code adoption processes following any new additions to the International Construction Code and for an expedited process for unopposed sections. In addition, changes are made to building permit fees. The amendment of section 902 (c) relating to uncertified buildings over which the department does not have jurisdiction is effective in 60 days and the remainder is effective immediately.
Re-reported on concurrence as amended from House Rules Committee, 9/27/2016
Galloway motion to recommit bill to House Labor Committee fails, and House concurred in Senate amendments as amended by the House, 9/28/2016 (107-86)
Received as amended in Senate and rereferred to Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, 9/28/2016
HB 782 RE: Third Party Agencies (by Rep. Doyle Heffley, et al)
Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act adding language allowing permit applicants, in a municipality which has designated one third party agency for exclusive enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code, to use a third party agency of their choosing if the alternative third party agency remits a surcharge to the municipality. Allows the municipality the ability to establish the surcharge amount, via ordinance, as a percentage of up to ten percent of the total fee charged by the alternative third party agency. If no ordinance is enacted the surcharge amount is one percent. Requires the permit applicant to notify the municipality and the exclusive third party if its intent to utilize an alternative third party agency; notification shall provide the name of the third party agency and appropriate contact information for the agency. Before commencing work on the project, the alternative third party agency shall be required to notify the municipality and its exclusive third party agency that it is performing code enforcement services on a project. The alternative third party agency shall be required to provide, on the date of issuance, a copy of the building permit issued for the project and approve plans, to the municipality and its exclusive third party agency. Also requires that a permit applicant utilize the services of the third party agency they select for the duration of a project. Allows the Department of Labor and Industry to issue regulations to establish or clarify procedures necessary to effectuate the intent of the legislation.
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee, and laid on the table, 9/19/2016
Removed from the table, 9/21/2016
Amended on the House floor, read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 9/26/2016
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, 9/27/2016
HB 2308 RE: Utility Line Protection Law (by Rep. Bob Godshall, et al)
Amends Underground Utility Line Protection Law extending the expiration by one year to December 31, 2017.
Reported as committed from House Consumer Affairs Committee, read first time, and laid on the table, 9/20/2016
Removed from the table, 9/21/2016
Read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 9/26/2016
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, 9/27/2016
HB 2388 RE: Prototypical School Facility Design Clearinghouse (by Rep. Tedd Nesbit, et al)
Amends Public School Code, in grounds and buildings, providing for a prototypical school facility design clearinghouse.
Filed, not yet referred, 9/29/2016
SB 1235 RE: One Call System (by Sen. Lisa Baker, et al)
Amends the Underground Utility Line Law further providing for definitions, for duties of facility owners, for duties of the One Call System, for duties of excavators, for duties of designers, for duties of project owners and for penalties; providing for enforcement, for underground utility line protection fund and for compliance; and further providing for One Call System authority and for expiration. Expiration of the act is extended through 2021. Portions of the bill are effective immediately and the remainder is effective in 180 days.
Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 9/26/2016
Read third time and passed Senate, 9/27/2016 (34-14)
HB 1421 RE: Home Inspector Licensing Act (By Rep. Sue Helm, et al)
Regulates home inspectors; provides for funds, for licensure, for disciplinary action, for remedies and for penalties; and repeals provisions relating to home inspections. Portions are effective immediately, portions are effective in two years, and the remainder is effective in 60 days.
Public hearing held in House Professional Licensure Committee, 9/21/2016
HB 1398 RE: Partnerships and LLC’s (by Rep. Adam Harris, et al)
Amends Titles 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations) and 54 (Names) modernizing the law on limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability companies; and making conforming changes with respect to associations, corporations, unincorporated nonprofit associations and business trusts by doing the following: As to general provisions, making conforming changes by revising provisions on application of title, definitions, defense of usury, tax clearance of certain fundamental transactions and fee schedule. As to entities generally, making conforming changes by revising requirements for foreign association names. As to entity transactions, making conforming changes by revising provisions on regulatory conditions and required notices and approvals, nature of transactions, approval by limited partnership, effect of merger, statement of division and effectiveness, effect of division and effect of domestication. As to foreign associations, making conforming changes by revising provisions on governing law. As to corporations, making conforming changes by revising provisions on distributions by business corporations and by adding provisions on the use of special litigation committees by business corporations and nonprofit corporations. As to partnerships generally: extensively revising provisions on: interchangeability of partnership, limited liability company and corporate forms of organization; and ownership of certain professional partnerships; and adding a provision on failure to observe formalities. As to limited liability partnerships: extensively revising provisions on: scope; definitions; limitation on liability of partners; extraterritorial application of subchapter; foreign registered limited liability partnerships; and annual registration; and adding provisions on: distributions; and dissolution. As to general partnerships, repealing existing Chapter 83 and replacing it with a new Chapter 84 relating to: general provisions; nature of partnership; relations of partners to persons dealing with partnership; relations of partners to each other and to partnership; transferable interests and rights of transferees and creditors; dissociation; dissociation as partner if business not wound up; and dissolution and winding up. As to limited partnerships, repealing existing Chapter 85 and replacing it with a new Chapter 86 relating to: general provisions; formation and filings; limited partners; general partners; contributions and distributions; dissociation; transferable interests and rights of transferees and creditors; dissolution and winding up; and actions by partners. As to limited liability companies, repealing existing Chapter 89 and replacing it with a new Chapter 88 relating to: general provisions; formation and filings; relations of members and managers to persons dealing with limited liability company; relations of members to each other and to limited liability company; transferable interests and rights of transferees and creditors; dissociation; dissolution and winding up; and actions by members. As to unincorporated nonprofit associations, making conforming amendments by revising provisions on ownership and transfer of property. As to business trusts, making conforming changes by revising provisions on application and effect of chapter and liability of trustees and beneficiaries. As to names, revising provisions on register established.
Reported as amended from Senate Judiciary Committee and read first time, 9/26/2016
Copies of all bills of interest can be accessed here.