Annapolis, MD (March 21, 2016) – March has brought a taste of springtime and a flurry of legislative activity for AIA Maryland. There are over 40 bills that our lobbyist Joe Miedusiewski and our legislative committee are following. Several are of interest to multiple disciplines. We are monitoring the bills and will respond accordingly should the status or direction change.
Joe is in the capital daily talking with legislators and representing the architects of Maryland. Members of the AIA Maryland Legislative Committee have testified on your behalf at several hearings. They have also been very active writing letters of support or opposition for several bills and letters to express concern for pending legislation. The AIA Maryland Advocacy page (http://www.aiamd.org/advocacy/2016-legislative-session/) has a listing of all the bills we are currently following as well as copies of letters sent on behalf of Maryland architects.
Two bills to pay close attention to are HB0871, the “Duty to Defend” legislation, and HB1472, “Fire Safety Construction Act of 2016”. These bills could significantly affect our profession. The former appears to be on a positive track toward approval and will prevent significant professional liability issues in the future. While the latter is still in committee, we are working to ensure it does not pass because it would greatly limit certain types of construction methodologies. Stay tuned.
One letter of support was sent on your behalf supporting HB0544, which would offer two tax free periods each year for the purchase of textbooks for higher education students. This effort will benefit emerging architectural professionals and students throughout out the state.
You can see the letter here: http://www.aiamd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/AIAMD-HB0544-Letter-of-Support_3.7.16.pdf
By Sandi Worthman, Executive Director, AIA Maryland