News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update - June 19, 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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MEMBER UPDATE

June 19, 2020














ACEC National Issues Guide for Returning to Work

ACEC National released this week the first edition of the “ACEC Guide to Returning to the Office and the Job Site” report. The publication provides recommendations and guidance for planning the return, including health policy and procedures, returning to the office, returning to the job site, and links to additional COVID-19 resources.

To view the report, please click on the following link:
ACEC Guide for Returning to Work.

 

SBA Releases New Versions of PPP Forgiveness Application

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released this week two new versions of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application following the passage of the PPP Flexibility Act:

The EZ Loan Forgiveness Application is available to borrowers that:

  1. Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  2. Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  3. Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

For more information, please click on the following link: PPP Loan Forgiveness – SBA

 

House Committee Passes INVEST in America Act

Following a lengthy discussion and consideration of over 150 amendments, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure this week approved the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act. The bill now moves to the House floor to be discussed. The INVEST in America Act would authorize $494 billion over five years to address surface transportation and infrastructure needs across the country. ACEC Texas continues to work together with ACEC National to provide support and grassroots communication efforts for the bill.

“For far too long, Congress has taken a pass on trying to solve the toughest problems plaguing our surface transportation system, allowing it to limp along and fall farther and farther behind the rest of the world. That all changes with the INVEST in America Act, transformational legislation that moves our country into a new era of smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that fits our changing economy and society,” said Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon). “I’m immensely grateful to my committee colleagues who spent months doing the hard work on behalf of the American people to get us to this point, and I urge the rest of my colleagues in Congress to now join us in fighting for a new vision to rebuild our country. The time is now to fix our crumbling infrastructure, cut carbon pollution from the transportation sector, and create millions of good-paying jobs in urban, suburban and rural communities.”

 

ACEC Research Institute Releases Findings of
COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Series

The ACEC National Research Institute, which serves as the research arm of the association, has been conducting a series of surveys to accurately measure the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the engineering community. ACEC Texas has been sending out those survey results to members and posting them on our COVID-19 webpage. ACEC National has compiled the results into a summary which is now available. With seven waves of polls being performed, the Business Impact Survey delivered a weekly measurement of the engineering industry as it navigated the challenges of hiring, workplace culture, operations, travel and overall economic sentiment.

“The Business Impact Surveys are the first of their kind to accurately measure our industry’s response to a real time crisis,” said ACEC Research Institute Chair John Carrato. “The data collected from week to week enabled firm executives to plan with knowledge of how their peers were reacting to the economic shutdown and Federal assistance programs.”

Now that the final survey has been analyzed, the ACEC Research Institute has created an executive summary, which tells a story of an industry that quickly pivoted to absorb the initial shock of the economic shutdown, utilized federal assistance through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, and looked to turn challenge into opportunity by expanding into new business lines.

The executive summary and a
supporting infographic can be downloaded here.

 

Public Policy Council News

The ACEC Texas Public Policy Council (PPC) Steering Committee met virtually this week to discuss and adopt our legislative priorities for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session, and reviewed the upcoming primary runoff and special election races. The 2021 Legislative Session is expected to be challenging due to the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent global oil price war. The state budget relies heavily on sales tax revenue which has seen a significant decline in the past few months. An item of significance to the engineering community is the transportation funding afforded under Proposition 1 (funded by oil and gas production taxes), and Proposition 7 (funded by sales tax and motor vehicle sales tax). These tax revenue streams have seen declines and protecting this funding will be the top priority for the PPC Steering Committee. Additionally, the Steering Committee will also focus on contractual reforms and civil justice issues, procurement matters, and policies affecting your business operations. For more information on the PPC Steering Committee, our legislative priorities, the upcoming election cycle, or how to become involved in these discussions, please contact Scott Stewart, Vice President for Legislative Affairs, at (512) 497-8847 or Scott@ACECTX.org.

 

Governor Abbott Allows Local Entities to Issue Mask Mandates on Businesses

Local leaders across Texas have been requesting for weeks for the ability to impose stricter mask wearing mandates on residents. This comes following Governor Abbott issuing an Executive Order earlier this month banning local governments from imposing fines or criminal penalties on residents who do not wear masks in public. However, it was first realized by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff that local entities could impose mandates on businesses to require their employees and customers to wear masks when social distancing is not possible. Several counties have now adopted similar mandates for their local businesses. Governor Abbott has stated he has no problem with the new local mandates, stating in an interview, "Local governments can require stores and businesses to require masks. That’s what was authorized in my plan," Abbott added. "Businesses … they’ve always had the opportunity and the ability, just like they can require people to wear shoes and shirts, these businesses can require people to wear face masks if they come into their businesses. Now local officials are just now realizing that that was authorized."

 

In Remembrance of Mr. Bill Klotz, P.E.

Mr. Bill Klotz, father to D. Wayne Klotz, passed away on Wednesday, June 10th. Bill served as President of the Consulting Engineers Council of Texas (the predecessor to ACEC Texas) in 1978-79, as Chairman of the Texas State Board of Professional Engineers, and as President of the ACEC Houston Chapter. While studying at Texas A&M University, Bill was called away to serve in World War II as a 2nd Lieutenant and navigator on a B-24 bomber. Following WWII, Bill completed his degree in Civil Engineering and worked for Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN) in Houston and Victoria. Following his time at LAN, Bill served as Director of Public Works for the City of Houston. In 1985, he and his son, Wayne, started the engineering firm Klotz Associates, where Bill remained until his retirement in 1987.

On behalf of the member engineering firms and staff of ACEC Texas, we send our thoughts to the Klotz Family. If you wish to send your condolences to Wayne and his family, you may do so via the website of Dignity Memorial Oaks Funeral Home: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/houston-tx/bill-klotz-9216663.

You may also reach out to Wayne at:

D. Wayne Klotz, PE, D.WRE
President
Klotz Strategies, LLC
1607 Mission Springs
Katy, TX 77450
713-805-3823 Phone
















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Texas Water Development Board














  • Request for Information on Interregional Water Supply Projects – Due July 1st: The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) issued a request for information (RFI) to seek information and comments regarding water supply projects that would benefit multiple water planning regions. The purpose is to provide a means for stakeholders to share ideas regarding the types of interregional projects that could be considered for funding at a later date. For complete details on the RFI, including a map of the regional water planning areas, are available on the Electronic Business Daily website.






























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7/22/2020
ACEC Tarrant July Meeting - ZOOM with Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams