News & Press: Member Update

Legislative Report: Governor Signs ACEC Texas Priorities

Friday, June 14, 2019  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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Member Update

June 14, 2019

 

Legislative Report: Governor Signs ACEC Texas Priorities

Governor Abbott signed bills important to ACEC Texas this week. SB 1928 by Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Denton) & Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), ACEC’s certificate of merit bill, was signed by the Governor on Tuesday. The bill extends the requriement to get a certificate of merit to third-party plaintiffs and requires the certificate to be signed by individual who “practices in the same area of practice” as the design professional who the suit is being brought against (currently the signer only has to be “knowledgeable” in the area of practice).

Additionally, HB 1542 by Rep. Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco) & Senator Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) was also given final approval by the Governor this week. This bill prohibits design-build firms from changing companies identified in a proposal once selected for a project with TxDOT or a RMA, unless for a specified reason listed.

Two other major infrastrucure bills were signed on Thursday. Senate Bill 8 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), and Senate Bill 7 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) and Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont). SB 8 will allow for the development and implementation of a statewide flood plan, which will help identify future needed flood infrastructure projects. SB 8 will also require a 10-year dam repair, maintenance and rehabilitation plan.

SB 7, a major priority for ACEC Texas, is the first part of the legislative package for flood infrastructure funding. The bill will provide $859 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the “Rainy Day Fund,” for a newly created Texas Infrastructure Resilency Fund for flood planning projects, Hurricane Harvey related projects, assistance with implementing the state flood plan (SB 8), and flood projects that are eligible for federal matching funds. The second part of the funding package for flood infrastructure projects is HJR 4 by Rep. Phelan, which will be on the November 5, 2019 ballot as a constitutional amendment for voter approval.HJR 4 establishes the Flood Infrastructure Fund, allocating an additional $793 Million from the Rainy Day Fund for flood mitigation and control projects. All told, flood infrastructure funding from these bills totals roughly $1.7 billion.


Coming to a Chapter Near You!

Do you want to hear more about the 2019 Legislative Session? No problem! ACEC Texas will be visiting each of the local chapters in the next few months to give a full legislative session report. Please check with your local chapter to find out which upcoming chapter meeting will include a legislative update.

 

Transportation Commission Adopts Rules Regarding Engineering Procurement

The Texas Transportation Commission adopted rule changes on May 30th, relating to annual rate negotiation, written bonus plans, and the extension of administrative qualifications. ACEC Texas submitted comments which were addressed in the final, adopted version of the rules, which can be found here.

Going forward over the next six to nine months, the agency’s Professional Engineering Procurement Services Division will develop a process for gathering information and administering annual rate negotiations. ACEC Texas has been asked and will be part of the development of this process going forward.

 

TxDOT “Attachment G”

Many of our firms have inquired about a recent attachment from TxDOT regarding computer and IT requirements. Most of the comments relate to the inability to meet the requirements of the attachment in a reasonable amount of time and to the cost of doing so. ACEC Texas has raised concerns with TxDOT regarding these requirements, and TxDOT (PEPS, Contract Services, and IMD) is working on a solution. We expect to see a draft of that by early next week.

 

2019 ACEC TEXAS Salary and Benefits Survey

 

The 2019 ACEC TEXAS Salary and Benefits Survey will be available on-line beginning Wednesday, July 31st. In order to participate, you will need your firms User ID and Password to access the survey. To retrieve your User ID and Password, simply email Michael Hancock at mike@acectx.org with your intention to participate and he will forward the information to your attention.

The survey is intended to measure the compensation of all employees as of August 1, 2019. The deadline for completing the survey is Friday, September 13, 2019.

 

Members who provide information for their firm will be charged $275 and will receive the results no later than mid-October. In order to participate, firms must complete the salary and benefit sections and provide information for all offices in Texas. Members who do not participate will NOT be able to purchase the results until March 2020 for $1,250.

 

 

2019 Calendar of Events

  • June 27, 2019: ACEC Texas Board of Directors -ACEC Texas Offices
  • July 11 – 14, 2019: ACEC Texas Summer PPC Public Affairs Conference -Fairmont Tremblant - Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
  • October 14, 2019: ACEC Texas Fajita Fiesta -Brazos Expo Center – Bryan/College Station, Texas
  • October 17, 2019: ACEC Texas Board of Directors -ACEC Texas Offices
  • December 5 – 8, 2019: ACEC Texas Winter Public Affairs Conference -The Boulders Resort – Scottsdale, Arizona
  • January 16, 2019: ACEC Texas Board of Directors -ACEC Texas Offices
  • March 29 & 30, 2020: ACEC Texas Annual Meeting -Four Seasons Hotel – Houston, Texas
  • March 30, 2020: ACEC Texas Board of Directors -Four Seasons – Houston, Texas
  • March 30, 2020: ACEC Texas Engineering Excellence Awards -Four Seasons – Houston, Texas

In The News

Go to www.acectx.org for current articles on construction, engineering, public works, transportation, politics and more including:

  • D-FW's May apartment leasing was the strongest in more than a decade
  • Abbott extends state plumbing board until 2021 after Legislature abolished it
  • Street impact fees making their way back to Council
  • Arkansas mulls spending $3.6B on road improvement projects
  • New funding could boost local Harvey projects
  • Water Authority plans for well project
  • City will test drive amazing asphalt
  • Rebuild Texas Fund grants to help expand park facilities
  • Street impact fees making their way back to Council
  • Arkansas mulls spending $3.6B on road improvement projects
  • Waco MPO discusses improvements for transportation
  • Abbott extends state plumbing board until 2021 after Legislature abolished it
  • Analysis: The Texas legislative session’s over. Now, all lawmakers have to do is sell it to voters.
  • New funding could boost local Harvey project

 

ACEC Texas Chapter


1001 Congress Ave., Suite 200 - Austin, Texas 78701

512-474-1474 - fax 512-474-1490

www.acectx.org


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1/16/2020
ACEC Tarrant TPW Director William Johnson Reception