ACEC-SC, SCSPE and SCSPLS recently kicked off the “engineering and surveying off session lobbying effort.”
As you may remember, ACEC-SC, SCSPE, and SCSPLS Lobbyists Joe and Adam Jones began inviting engineers to join them in the State House lobby on Wednesdays this past legislative year. Joe Jones quickly realized that having a constituent engineer when talking to legislators went a long way. This effort was successful; so, Joe and Adam started having a surveyor join them on Tuesdays.
In order to take advantage of this momentum and trying to get the engineers’ and surveyors’ legislative agenda on the minds of legislators before the 2016 legislative session, the “engineering and surveying off session lobbying effort” began. Off session pertains to the time between June and December when the legislature is not meeting in Columbia.
On Wednesdays, beginning in August and continuing through December, Joe and Adam are scheduling meetings with legislators in their home districts and inviting engineers and surveyors from the area to join them for these meetings.
Meeting with legislators in their districts reinforces the fact that they have voting engineers and surveyors in their districts. The groups specifically targeted for these meetings are the members of the Senate and House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committees as that is where the Engineers Practice Acts has been assigned.
These legislators are hearing about the following: Engineers and Surveyors are for the passage of S. 685/H. 3928 (Practice Act) except for the amendment by Carolinas AGC that makes the term Engineer generic, and these groups are for long-term transportation funding.
In the meetings, attendees let legislators know engineers and surveyors are there to answer any questions/concerns they may have on the Practice Act (S.685/H3928), and explain where the engineers and surveyors are coming from and why we want the Practice Act passed.
So far, all of the meetings have been positive. Legislators’ questions have been answered with the hope they will support the bills next session. So far ACEC-SC, SCSPE and SCSPLS have met with:
- Representative Terry Alexander (Florence)
- Representative Todd Atwater (Lexington) *Bill Sponsor*
- Senator Sean Bennett (Dorchester)
- Representative Kenny Bingham, PE (Lexington)
- Representative Grady Brown (Lee)
- Senator Paul G. Campbell (Berkeley) *Bill Sponsor*
- Senator Tom Corbin (Greenville)
- Senator Larry Grooms (Berkeley) – by default he happened to be at the restaurant where we hosted a meeting with a legislator
- Representative Kevin Hardee (Horry) *Bill Sponsor*
- Senator Glenn Reese (Spartanburg)
- Representative Mike Ryhal, (Horry) *Bill Sponsor*
- Representative Eddie Southard (Berkeley)
- Representative Mac Toole (Lexington)
- Senator Ross Turner (Greenville)
Engineers and surveyors from legislators’ districts have attended each of these meetings. This will help the bill when we return to the State House in January. We will continue asking engineers to come to the State House on Wednesdays and surveyors on Tuesdays to reinforce this message with legislators’ constituents.
Again, these meetings are putting the faces of voting engineers and surveyors in legislators’ memory. We will call on the same engineers and surveyors (as well as other members) to come to the State House on days that our bill is on the agenda for a Sub-Committee Meeting.