|General Assembly 2012 Update|
General Assembly 2012 Update
The General Assembly has been in session for three weeks now and de-licensure for Landscape Architects is still NOT in any bill currently being considered by either house. On our behalf, McGuire Woods Consulting, particularly L. Preston Bryant, Jr., has been watching the progress of all bills that could affect licensure of Landscape Architects and reports the following:
Last week, Governor McDonnell sent down House and Senate bills that embody all of the Government Reform Commission recommendations that he is asking the General Assembly to approve. First, there is House Bill 1291, sponsored by Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), who serves on the General Laws Committee. Second, there is Senate Bill 678, sponsored by Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover).
Points of interest in these bills include:
While the Governor sent down both bills, he obviously had to give on certain items with the sponsors of each bill. Hence, the few differences. The House bill has been referred to the General Laws Committee and the Senate bill has been referred to the General Laws & Technology Committee. Either of the bills could be amended to include Landscape Architects -- though such is highly doubtful at this point.
The Governor submitted earlier in the General Assembly session House Joint Resolution 49 and Senate Joint Resolution 66 laying out to the General Assembly his broad intentions on restructuring or eliminating certain agencies, boards, or commissions. Subsequent to those resolutions, the Governor has submitted House Bill 1291 and Senate Bill 678 to actually implement his restructuring or elimination of certain agencies, boards, or commissions. As noted, the House and Senate versions of the bills have a few differences. Those differences will have to be ironed out between the House and Senate. The House General Laws Committee is taking a very careful look at the Governor's proposal -- to the point of setting up a special subcommittee specifically for the purpose of delving into the Governor's restructuring proposals. There is still a long way to go on both of these bills. The General Assembly will ultimately decide the fate of these bills. If one or both passes both chambers in identical form, and the Governor signs, it, the Governor's reforms will be enacted. Look for future updates as the General Assembly session progresses.
Regarding Chapter efforts to raise funds to pay for the outstanding services we are receiving from McGuire Woods Consulting, the Virginia Chapter and the Potomac Chapter are in the final stages of negotiating a cost sharing agreement where the Potomac Chapter will reimburse us for a portion of our fees paid. The formula for the Potomac Chapter share of the fee is based on the proportion of Potomac Chapter members with Virginia addresses relative to Virginia Chapter members. Once that agreement is finalized, we will also initiate outreach by direct mail to all other Landscape Architects licensed in Virginia. There are over 600 licensees who are not Virginia Chapter members or Potomac Chapter members with Virginia addresses. We have to initially contact these others by mail as DPOR is our source of licensees and they do not collect email addresses. Our mail campaign will seek to learn more about the licensees and to draw them to our website where they will be able to donate using credit cards. We also expect to be able to recruit more members through this process as non-member licensees see what an effort has been made by the chapters and ASLA on their behalf.