Professional Engineers Of North Carolina

SUM 2014

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5 Summer 2014 the Professional Engineer ing profession. While our contributions do not buy us votes, they do give us our legislators' "ears," enabling us to deliver quality information to educate them on issues and decisions that afect our industry. But joining E-PAC is not all about how much money we can collect so that our PAC can be listed in the top 25 — although admittedly that is a goal. It is more important that engineers become involved so that they understand the political process, build relationships with elected ofcials and become trusted experts and advisers. Tat will make sure that your voice is heard loud and clear. E-PAC is one of the most important political advocacy tools you have that supports your profession. So join the PAC of engineers that is "involved, informed and infuential." For information on E-PAC and to become a member, please visit www.penc.org and click on E-PAC. 1. Support HB 1081/SB 765 – Reform Agency Review of Engineering Work. Sponsors: Rep. Chris Millis, PE; Senator Stan Bingham This bill would streamline the regulatory review process thereby improving permit review time and allow for innovative designs to be considered that could save time and money for the client. This legislation was the result of a study and an extensive stakeholder process that was approved by the Environmental Review Commission. 2. Support for Interim Study on Infrastructure This study should assess the current critical capital needs and projection of need for the next 10-20 years of state agencies, including K-12 and higher education and nontransportation infrastructure needs of local municipalities and counties for water and sewer. An emphasis should frst be placed on system-wide inventory assessments for all components and in upgrading and repairing current facilities before investing in new infrastructure. 3. Oppose HB 201 – Reinstate 2009 Energy Conservation Codes. Sponsor: Rep. John Torbett This bill was approved by the House in 2013 and currently resides in Senate Rules. The bill would roll back the commercial building energy code making North Carolina one of the worst states in the country regarding minimum energy effciency levels. There already are numerous exemptions in the 2012 N.C. Energy Conservation Code that can be utilized for repurposing of existing commercial buildings. 4. Support HB 1043/SB 814 – Prequalifcations Update. Sponsors: Rep. Dean Arp, PE; Senator Neal Hunt The bill adds more defnition to the procedures that governmental entities must undertake in prequalifying contractors for public work to ensure fair and transparent competition. Most importantly for professional engineers, the bill strengthens current law that ensures qualifcations based selection for designers. 5. Support Transportation Revenue Reform and Continued Outsourcing. While the new Strategic Mobility formula enacted in HB 817 last year was a step in the right direction, allowing scarce transportation revenue to be used more effciently through a data-driven process of prioritizing projects, there remains a signifcant transportation-funding crisis. The uncertainty of federal funding and continued erosion of revenue from the state gas tax will signifcantly impede N.C. Department of Transportation's ability to maintain the current system, resulting in project delays and lost economic development opportunities. 6. Support Increased Investment in Water/Sewer Infrastructure. Situations like the one in Burlington, where 3.5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Haw River, will continue to happen if we do not take care of our aging water and sewer infrastructure. Current funding for technical assistance is tightly restricted to poor systems and systems with known compliance issues, but no funding is available for long-term planning, asset management, capital plan development, etc., for public utilities in general. Additional funding could help avoid another Burlington or public sector "coal ash" type disaster. 2014 legislative priorities for engineers Contact Betsy Bailey, PENC, bbailey@penc.org, 919-417- 1058 for more information.

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