DESIGN PROFESSIONALS DAY AT THE CAPITAL
A successful Design Professionals Day at the Capital was held on February 13th. There were twenty-three participants from PLSO, ASCE, ACEC and PEO that represented a breadth of disciplines and were from various areas of the State. Two lobbyist attended: Darrell Fuller representing PEO/PLSO and Marshall Coba representing ACEC. Nine legislators met with us along with an ODOT public information staff member and Tobias Read, State Treasurer. There was a good exchange with the legislators about areas of concern and interest to the professionals attending.
PEO and PLSO attendees were focused on Comity challenges. Also there was a good exchange regard qualification based selection (QBS) and the status with pending legislation. It was disappointing that in the final transportation funding authorization seismic specific funding took a back seat to maintenance but it was evident that was “locked in” with the legislators.
STEM was discussed with Senator Arnie Roblan taking a lead in that discussion. Many professionals voiced interest in getting meaningful legislation in front of the 2019 session. This may be very possible since a bipartisan Joint Committee on Student Success of twelve House and Senate leaders was created by House Speaker Kotek and Senate President Courtney with pledged support from Governor Brown. Modeled after the successful Joint Committee on Transportation, the Committee will embark on a state wide tour to gain citizen input on a plan to improve student success including a budget / program proposal. This is a great opportunity for design professionals to tout STEM programs and help develop systems to foster career choices.
2018 LEGISLATIVE SESSION REPORT
The 2018 legislative short session ended on Saturday before the 03/05 deadline with little, or no action, of impact to design professionals. Importantly, the proposed legislation that challenged the qualification based selection process died in committee BUT will surely resurface with hopes a compromise will be accomplished to forge an agreeable legislative bill in 2019. The issue will not “die”!