9 state legislatures are currently in session and ASCE is monitoring 1249 bills and 239 pending regulatory proposals. ASCE’s state legislative and regulatory tracking service is available to all members with their normal ASCE login information at: www.asce.org/multistate
Council of State Governments: As part of ASCE’s ongoing outreach to state legislators, ASCE participated this week in the Council of State Governments (CSG) Southern Legislative Conference in Savannah, GA. Legislators and other state government officials toured the Port of Savannah, talked about net metering energy policies, how to put together P3s in their state, and even helped pack food for Second Harvest. The SLC is the largest of four regional legislative groups that operate under the Council of State Governments. It’s 15 member states stretch from West Virginia to Texas and includes Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma.
In July, ASCE sponsored a Transportation Policy Academy for state legislative leaders from around the country in Denver, CO during the CSG West meeting. Lawmakers heard from various speakers, including ASCE staff about the need for infrastructure investment at the state level.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): ASCE participated in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual Legislative Summit held in Seattle from Aug 3-6. Approximately 5,000 state legislators, legislative staffers, federal officials and others attended this week’s meeting to gain invaluable knowledge from experts and fellow legislators to take back to their respective states. Attendees participated in an array of policy-producing committee meetings, issue forums and deep-dive sessions. ASCE exhibited at the meeting, and several members of the Seattle Section also attended and interacted with lawmakers from 41 states, 1 U.S. territory and 8 countries.
Also of note, the conference featured a “deep-dive” session entitled “Filling Up the Tank: Funding Transportation,” which provided legislators a forum to discuss developing sound transportation plans in their states that creates sustainable revenue, prepares for the future and meets immediate transportation needs. ASCE also sponsored the annual Bipartisan Bike Ride again this year.
See more on ASCE’s policy on Transportation Funding here: http://www.asce.org/issues-and-advocacy/public-policy/policy-statement-382---transportation-funding/
National Lt. Governors Association: In July, ASCE government relations staff attended the National Lieutenant Governors Association Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lieutenant Governors from 23 states came together at the conference to discuss important policy challenges facing their states. Among the highlights of the meeting, former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton and former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar took part in a panel to discuss their experience working with members of the opposing party and the need to react civilly to each other in elected positions. Infrastructure was also emphasized in a session entitled “Roads, Rivers, and Rail” with panelists from the Soy Transportation Coalition and the Waterways Council making the case for increased investment. Of particular note was an emphasis on the need for infrastructure investment in rural areas and the economic impact on agriculture industry.
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES): During the annual meeting of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in Williamsburg, VA, delegates voted to adopt a position statement that reiterates the NCEES stance on increased educational requirements for engineering licensure.
The position statement identifies several future pathways by which a candidate for licensure as a professional engineer might obtain the body of knowledge needed to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Among those pathways to be eligible for professional licensure in the future are earning an accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering followed by an engineering master’s degree, or earning an accredited bachelor’s degree and then at least 30 semester hours of appropriate upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level coursework in engineering inside or outside the university environment.
The concept of increased-education requirements for future licensure is in line with a key goal of the ASCE-backed Raise the Bar initiative, intended to better prepare civil engineers of the 21st century for a changing world.
See ASCE’s policy in increased educational requirements for engineering licensure: http://www.asce.org/issues-and-advocacy/public-policy/policy-statement-465---academic-prerequisites-for-licensure-and-professional-practice/