The South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers works to present issues, items and legislation of interest to and related to the field of engineering. As an advocate for your profession, we strive to promote the ethical, competent and licensed practice of engineering.
Click here to get the contact information for your Legislator.
Click here to read the July Legislative Report from Lobbyist, Joe Jones.
Legislation Engineers Favor
Update on Engineers’ and Surveyors’ Practice Act. Title 40 Chapter 22, the Engineering and Surveying Practice Act. This legislation, right now, is the most important legislation to engineers and surveyors.
House and Senate bills updating the practice act were introduced last session and are expected to make their way through the legislative process this year. The House bill, 3832 was introduced by Rep. Nelson Hardwick, PE, and the Senate version, 497, was introduced by Sen. Paul Campbell. Chapter 22 of the State Law prescribes how engineering and surveying are practiced in South Carolina. Many of the changes in this bill update the current law and bring South Carolina’s Practice Act into more conformity with the model law proposed by NCEES, the National Council of Examiners of Engineering and Surveying. Also, this bill further defines registration board members, clarifies language qualifying graduate engineering for registration, included new areas in the practice of engineering, specifies engineering college curricula required for registration and prohibits licensees from entering into contracts on public work by means other than direct negotiations. This bill may be amended to include an industry exemption.
Transportation – After significant gains in transportation funding last session, there is interest in additional funding for highways and bridges. Legislators know the public is interested in funding transportation projects. Legislation is pending including an increase in the gasoline tax, along with other means to channel funds to transportation. Although Governor Haley has said she will veto any gasoline tax, letting your legislators know you are interested in the health, safety and welfare of the commuting public, and without funds to improve the state’s roads and bridges, our citizens are at risk.
Tort Reform and Workers’ Compensation – The SC Civil Justice Coalition is working two comprehensive tort reform bills in the Senate, 773 and 778. They are scheduled for subcommittee hearing in late January. Included in these bills are refining the certificate of merit law, seatbelt admissibility, non-economic damages limited to $350,000, stopping punitive damages, trespassor responsibilities and other issues important to all business people. Engineers and Architects have supported this coalition’s efforts in tort reform and strengthening the Worker’s Compensation policies, procedures and findings.
Bond Bill for Vertical Construction Projects – The design and construction industry accounts for one in nine dollars of our gross domestic product and has disproportionally suffered during the economic decline with 35% to 50% loss of jobs since 2008. In this recovering economy, there is no better investment than building. AIASC supports legislation to issue and sell direct general obligation interest-bearing bonds to be used for the purposes of capital outlay and maintenance.
Legislation Engineers Oppose
False Claims Act – There are two bills in the General Assembly to enact a false claims law which is potentially harmful to businesses; it creates an incentive for lawsuits to target companies that do business with the government. Engineers and architects do not support this legislation.
Standard Public School Plans– The engineering community joins its architectural brethren opposing any requirements for standard architectural plans for public schools to which all construction must comply. These standard plans would be the property of the State Department of Education. Legislation calling for these standard school plans has been introduced in past sessions, and may be introduced this year.
Licensure of Interior Designers – As in previous legislative years, legislation requiring the licensure of interior designers was introduced last year and may come up for legislative action. Other states have determined the work interior designers perform does not impact the public’s health, safety and welfare; therefore, architects and engineers oppose licensing these individuals. The engineering community joins the architects opposing this legislation.
The Executive branch: Office of the President
Legal and Legislative Links
Library of Congress (Legislative information about Bills)