Florida/Caribbean Architect - Summer 2015 - (Page 10)

Legislative Update Vicki L. Long, cAE, Hon. AiA FL, ExEcUtiVE VicE PrEsidEnt As this edition of Florida Caribbean Architect reaches readers, it is hoped that the legislature will have reconvened and reached consensus on a budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. As readers will recall, the 2015 legislative session fizzled to an inglorious end due to a proposed expansion of the Florida Medicaid program that would cover an additional 800,000 uninsured, low income Floridians under the Federal "Affordable Care Act." After the House simply walking away from the table in the final week of session, the Senate was left with a handful of bills that could either be accepted "as is" or be left to die. With no one left in the House to negotiate these "works in progress," no changes could be made to any bills sent over by the House at that time. But, enough of the negativity. The legislative season actually began with an upbeat atmosphere and hugely successful day(s) on the hill for FA/AIA leadership, emerging professionals (EPs) and students around the state. On February 1, the annual legislative event was kicked off with the first ever Jacob Leadership Institute (JLI). Institute workshops focused on the "how to" of leadership, an overview of civic opportunities and the basics of how an idea becomes law. Firms and schools of architecture were invited to send EPs, associates, interns and students to take advantage of the professional development opportunities while getting an important lesson in civic responsibility. Guest speakers included 2013 AIA National President Mickey Jacob, FAIA, for whom the Institute was named, Clerk of the House Bob Ward, and Senators Kathleen Peters (R-St. Pete Beach) and Bill Montford (R-Tallahassee). Additionally, Peter Jones, AIA; John Tice, FAIA; AIA Florida immediate past President Nathan Butler, AIA; 2015 AIA Florida President Andy Hayes; Citizen (Intern) Architect, Donald Gray, Assoc. 10 AIA and then-candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville, Bill Bishop, AIA. According to USF architecture student, Ryan Dyer, "It was inspiring to hear from leaders at this level and learn how simple it is to get involved (in the legislative process). You think you can only get involved if you know the right people, but this taught all of us that it really only requires a desire to make a difference." After the JLI, students from FAMU, USF, UF and UCF stayed in town to walk the halls of the Capitol with the legislative team in support of the association's 2015 legislative priorities. Linaea Floden, Assoc. AIA, a final-year USF architecture student, felt that "having mentors who take you under their wings like we had today made this one of my most valuable experiences with the AIA and as an architecture student." Armed with a remarkable blueprint envisioned and drafted by citizen (intern) architect, Donald Gray, Assoc. AIA, cross-generational teams met with legislators in a one-day lobbying session to garner support for several major initiatives including: HB 87 by Rep K. Passidomo, (R-Collier) / SB 418 Sen. Richter (R-Collier) is legislation aimed at resolving construction defect claims through a negotiated settlement. It includes the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy in the definition of completion of a building or improvement and puts the onus on claimants to provide maintenance records, other documents related to the alleged defects, and provides sanctions for claims that were solely the fault of the claimant or its agents. This bill has been signed by the governor and will take effect October 1, 2015.CS/CS/HB 217 by Rep. Van Zant (R-Bradford) / SB 338 Sen. Altman (R-Brevard) was legislation to license structural engineers. Beginning March 1, 2017, the legislation would have prohibited anyone, other than a duly licensed structural engineer, from practicing structural engineering and from using the title "licensed structural engineer." As originally filed, the bills allowed the Board of Engineering to fully define the scope of practice of structural engineering. Working with the bill sponsors, the FA/ AIA team was able to incorporate language that tightened definitions in the bills. It defined structural engineering as "a service or creative work that includes the structural analysis and design of threshold buildings." Beyond the existing engineering qualifications for licensure, structural engineers would be required to have four years of structural engineering experience and pass a 16-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Structural Engineering examination. However, the legislation has a "grandfathering" provision. In June the governor vetoed this bill. Other priority bills that were casualties of the legislative implosion: HB63 by Rep Steube (R-Sarasota) / SB 824 Evers (R-Escambia) were drafted to clarify public/ private partnership (3P) statutes. They also revised provisions related to unsolicited proposals. FA/ AIA won the inclusion of language to ensure that unsolicited proposals include a design criteria package with performance-based criteria prepared by a Florida-licensed architect or engineer. Both HB 63, and a related 3P bill (HB 65) referencing public records exemption, died in the final days of session. House bill 915 by Rep. Eagle and SB 1232 by Sen. Simpson were the Florida Building Code bills for the year. Working closely with the bill sponsors, the Florida Building Officials Association and the Florida Home Builders Association, language was included that added an architect and engineer to the panel that hears requests to review decisions made by local building officials. An early casualty, HB501 by Rep. Fant, (R)-Duval was a bill to reduce the statute of repose from 10 years to seven and encourage timely resolution of disputes and disposing of old claims. Readers will recall in 2006, FA/ AIA successfully fought to amend the Statute of Repose from 15 years to 10. This bill died early in session but was expected to be a multi-year effort. ■ www.aiafla.org http://www.aiafla.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida/Caribbean Architect - Summer 2015

President’s Perspective
Legislative Update
My Perspective: The AIA Florida Citizen Architect-in-Residence Program
Mark Hampton, FAIA
South American Restaurants’ Headquarters
Blue Dog Holler
Center for Architecture Sarasota
Walmart to Go
Spotlight: Emerging Professionals/ Patrick Thorpe, Assoc. AIA
Advertisers Index

Florida/Caribbean Architect - Summer 2015