The next Board meeting will be on August 27, 2020 on GoToMeeting. To connect to the meeting, go to this page on August 25 to download the agenda with connection instructions.
July 23, 2020 Meeting: Link to Board Meeting Agenda
This Board of Registration meeting was held by GoToMeeting. Some Board members and DPL staff were able to be seen during this virtual meeting.
The Massachusetts PE and PLS license renewal deadline was extended to October 1, 2020 under Governor Baker's issued COVID-19 Executive Order No. 41, rescinding the prior orders as of July 10, 2020. Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors are still encouraged to renew their licenses online as soon as possible.
The major issue discussed concerned finding locations for the October 2020 pencil and paper sections of the PE and PLS (Principles and Practices) exams. The April exams were canceled due to COVID, but there are an estimate 300+ candidates who are waiting to take one of these exams. I requested details on testing site requirements in the hope that we could share these with the Sponsors and see if some office might be able to host some candidates on a limited basis for testing. Past testing sites at UMass Boston and UMass Worcester are not available to the PCS Exam firm that administers the exams for the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors due to COVID. As I write this report on 8/5/2020, I am waiting for an update to share with our members.
·Transportation Bond Bill now with conference committee. No Senate action on House finance proposal on Gas Tax and TNC fees. See this page for more info.
· FY2021 State Budget: Interim budget passed last week and signed into law by Governor Baker this week for next few months. It expires October 31, 2020, so the legislature is taking an unusual step and coming back into formal session in September to work on more of the budget and finalizing other legislation now in conference committee, like the Transportation Bond Bill.
·The House passed a major climate/energy bill at night on 7/31, which is very different from a climate bill the Senate passed in January S2500. They will need to form a conference committee to work out the differences. with final agreements on the climate bill and other key bills still far off, the House and Senate this week suspended their rule requiring formal sessions to end July 31 and agreed to continue with major legislating throughout 2020.
This list summarizes major bills of interest to us, other than the budget, now in conference committees. To find bill text, go to: https://malegislature.gov/ and enter the House (H) or Senate (S) bill number.
BILLS: H 4547 and S 2836
HOUSE VOTE: March 5, 150-1
SENATE VOTE: July 16, 36-4
HOUSE CONFEREES: William Straus, Mark Cusack, Norman Orrall
SENATE CONFEREES: Joseph Boncore, Michael Rodrigues, Dean Tran
DATE SENT TO CONFERENCE: July 23
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BOND
BILLS: H 4733 and S 2819
HOUSE VOTE: May 20, 149-7
SENATE VOTE: July 2, 38-0
HOUSE CONFEREES: Aaron Michlewitz, Danielle Gregoire, David Vieira
SENATE CONFEREES: Michael Rodrigues, Sal DiDomenico, Ryan Fattman
DATE SENT TO CONFERENCE: July 16
BILLS: S 2842 and H 4887
HOUSE VOTE: July 28, 156-3
SENATE VOTE: June 29, 40-0
HOUSE CONFEREES: Aaron Michlewitz, Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Donald Wong
SENATE CONFEREES: Eric Lesser, Michael Rodrigues and Patrick O'Connor
DATE SENT TO CONFERENCE: July 30, 2020
As of August 4, 2020: The lawmakers named to hammer out a compromise climate policy bill for the House and Senate will likely have their hands full. Both chambers passed legislation to put Massachusetts on a path towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but negotiators will have a wide array of other issues to reconcile as advocates and business groups lobby for their priorities.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a package of climate bills in January that called for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and set deadlines for the state to impose carbon-pricing mechanisms for transportation, commercial buildings and homes. The House,
which had earlier passed a $1.3B climate adaptation bill, on July 31 passed its response to the main Senate proposal, addressing the 2050 emissions reduction roadmap, solar energy net metering, grid modernization, workforce development, energy efficiency, and municipal electric and light plant clean energy targets.
Now, it will be up to six lawmakers-to-be-named on Thursday, August 5, to work through the differences between the House and Senate bills and to come up with a compromise version that can pass both chambers. Meanwhile, a slew of environmental advocacy organizations, business groups and activists -- many of whom put pressure on lawmakers to get climate policy bills done -- have given some indication of what they like and don't like about the House and Senate bills.
The House and Senate are likely to name climate bill negotiators during sessions on Thursday. Rep. Tom Golden and Sen. Michael Barrett -- co-chairs of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy -- will probably be tapped to lead the conference committee talks for their chambers.
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