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     ACEC California-Sponsored Legislation Signed into Law,

End of Session Preview


2018 is proving to be another successful year in ACEC California’s legislative undertakings. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 920 (Cannella) last week, which extends the permission for engineering, land surveying, and architectural firms to organize as limited liability partnerships (LLP) in California. Without this legislation, these professions’ ability to form LLPs would have expired on January 1, 2019; instead, the permission is extended for an additional seven years. ACEC California enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)—the organization’s 2017 legislator of the year—and co-sponsors, the American Institute of Architects California Council.


ACEC California members and the design professional community at large have prioritized preserving this form of partnership option because LLPs provide flexible management, operation, and taxation structures. LLPs are a hybrid of a corporation and a general partnership. Like a general partnership, all partners have equal rights in the management of an LLP. Simply, SB 920 ensures one more tool that California businesses can employ that allows them to be nimble in a 21st Century economy. ACEC California is confident that after several more years of design professionals demonstrating successful and responsible use of LLPs, the Legislature will eliminate the sunset altogether.


Although ACEC California achieved early success by having its sponsored legislation signed in July, it is anticipated that the remainder of the session will be fast-paced and demanding. Before the two-year legislative session adjourns at midnight on August 31, legislators will make decisions on the hundreds of remaining bills. ACEC California leadership, Legislative Committee and advocates continue to be actively engaged in monitoring bills, lending support to policies that promote the design professions, and negotiating to remove language from bills that would hinder California’s business climate.


This year, ACEC California has already been effective in staving off an attempt to require the use public employees for certain public works projects in Orange County, neutralizing an unreasonable CEQA expansion, and working in coalition to sideline a bill that would excise design and construction companies from statutes of repose for water contamination lawsuits. In the coming weeks, ACEC California will continue to participate in, among other things, the Legislature’s ongoing discussions related to restructuring California’s tax-scheme. One proposal, Senator Bob Hertzberg’s (D-Van Nuys) SB 993, includes a new tax on services, which would include engineering and land surveying services. While SB 993 is not expected to progress this year, it is imperative that ACEC California and other professional associations educate lawmakers about the chilling economic impact such a tax would effect. Stay tuned for a complete legislative wrap-up in September!



ACEC California Announces Support of Ballot Initiatives

to Strengthen California’s Infrastructure


Ralph Guida, Guida Surveying, Inc. (far left) and Brad Diede, ACEC California Executive Director (far right) stand with Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D – Coachella), lead negotiatior in the Assembly on Senate Bill 5 (now Proposition 68).



The American Council of Engineering Companies, California today announced its support of three ballot initiatives that each will help bolster the state’s housing and water infrastructure systems.


California’s strong economy and growing population need strong, innovative infrastructure systems to build upon the state’s successes,” said Brad Diede, Executive Director of ACEC, California. “ACEC California members are proud to support vital policies that will help provide reliable, stable funding for affordable housing and community parks; and fund critical groundwater projects and water conveyance systems.”


Last month, ACEC California pledged monetary support of the Veterans and Affordable Housing bond, which was authorized by the California State Legislature last year through SB 3. The $4 billion bond will primarily help fund housing programs for very low-income households and veterans; and it provides down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. The bond will appear on the November 2018 ballot.


ACEC California also pledged its support to Proposition 68, a $4.1 billion bond that will appear on theJune 2018 ballot. The bond will largely fund projects to upgrade California state parks, as well as fund important water projects such as levee improvements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Proposition 68 was placed on the June ballot by the legislature last year through the passage of SB 5.


Finally, ACEC California will support the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018, which is anticipated to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. The $8.1 billion bond will diversify and improve California’s water supply by funding projects that improve water storage, watershed management, conservation and drought mitigation.


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