The Importance of Advocacy
Years ago PENC successfully lobbied to have a Professional Engineer named to
the Joining Our Businesses and Schools Commission – a legislative initiative
chaired by then Lt. Governor Walter Dalton to promote STEM education in our
schools in an effort to better prepare our students to take on the jobs of the
future. Since that time, the PE named to that Commission, Pam Townsend of
AECOM has gone on to chair many other notable education initiatives that
promote the “E” in Engineering and a new curriculum is currently being
developed that will use engineering concepts as the foundation for
our K-12 education. This remarkable change will ensure more students have
the aptitude and desire to pursue technical fields such as STEM making
our state and our nation more economically competitive.
This is but one of the many successful advocacy efforts enabled by your support. Since
that time, PENC has been successful with a number of other legislative
initiatives either alone or as part of a larger stakeholders group. A few
of these efforts have included:
funding to replace, maintain or renovate deteriorating bridges throughout
the state. This additional funding came at a crucial time as the
economy was suffering and allowed many engineering firms to keep their
proposed legislation that would have allowed several communities around
the state to ignore the recommendations of Professional Engineers to
install medians in heavily congested highways corridors that were unsafe
thus compromising the safety of the traveling public and creating a
liability for the State.
language in various bills that would require that only licensed
Professional Engineers could do engineering work i.e., design of terminal
- Carved out an
exemption for Engineers and Architects in a new mechanics lien law that
would have imposed an undue burden on designers to file a written notice
before beginning work on a construction project – even before a permit was
- Protected the
electronic seal of a PE with legislation that treats the seal of a
licensed design professional as “confidential information,” protecting the
seal from being copied and/or disclosed to the public.
- Ensured that an
Engineer serves on the newly created NC Mining and Energy Commission that
will develop rules and regulations governing shale gas extraction in NC.
- Avoided a cap on
the gas tax that would have significantly reduced funding for
transportation. (a cap was enacted at a lower threshold that NCDOT
can successfully manage).
addition, we monitored numerous other bills and legislative initiatives – some
that never saw the light of day because of our opposition- and others on which
we offered support or remained neutral.
the advocacy efforts of PENC, funded by our member’s dues, there would be no
organization at the legislature that would be protecting and promoting the
Profession of Engineering. Can you and your business afford NOT to have
the 2013 Legislative Session begins anew. There will be many new faces
(three of these will be Professional Engineers!) that will need to be educated
about the Profession of Engineering. As a member, your technical advice
and expertise will be needed as we work through legislation that could affect
the Profession of Engineering.
year, PENC’s legislative goals thus far include:
the engineering industry on any tax reform proposals that impose a tax on
- Seeking more
streamlined environmental permitting processes and less oversight and
regulation on the engineering industry;
legislation to create a “PE” License Plate;
- Restoring funds
for water/wastewater infrastructure projects and providing more funding
for ALL state infrastructure;
- Ensuring the
design professional’s lien rights are protected.
always, we welcome your comments and questions about legislative issues.
If you would like to become more involved with PENC’s advocacy efforts, please
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our
Legislative Chair, Don Safrit, PE at email@example.com.