The 2023 Louisiana Legislative session began on April 10th
and is set to adjourn on June 8th.
This spring, we encountered two pieces of legislation that
posed a threat to engineering practice and the health, safety, and welfare of
the public in Louisiana. House Bill 333, authored by Representative Thomas
Pressly (Shreveport), would have eliminated the ability of Civil Engineers to
design buildings. House Bill 546, also authored by Representative Pressly,
would have allowed the use of the word “engineer” or
“engineering” in a name, job title, personnel classification,
business title, verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or any
other similar use by any person or entity and would have restricted LAPELS’
ability to enforce the use of the word “engineer” and “engineering” as
currently defined in Statute.
We contacted all licensed PEs in Louisiana to express our
opposition to these bills and encouraged them to reach out to their legislators
and members of the House Commerce Committee to express their opposition as
well. We are grateful for the robust participation of our members in these efforts,
as well as the support in opposition that we received from ACEC-L, ASCE, the
Police Jury Association of Louisiana (PJAL), the Louisiana Parish Engineers and
Supervisors Association (LPESA), and the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA).
This grass-roots effort along with the
support of our Lobbyists, the Haynies, Mary Claire, and others clearly had
tremendous influence on how the Committee viewed these proposed bills as detrimental
to the Public and the Profession. Thank
you to everyone that chipped in on this effort.
We are happy to say that both bills were voluntarily
deferred by Rep. Pressley at the Committee level. This in essence killed the bills for the
session. In the coming weeks, a task
force will be formed to work with AIA Louisiana regarding House Bill 333, and
House Bill 546 has been resolved out of committee.
As a reminder, this is the last session of the current
legislative term. All lawmakers’ districts will be up on the ballot Saturday,
October 14th, 2023. Now is a great time to reach out to your lawmakers and
express your position on these policy proposals and their impact on the
public’s safety and well-being.