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The Angle

November 18, 2010
Congressional Leaders Seek to Eliminate 1099 Requirements; AIA Launches Citizen Architect Survey; IGCC Version 2.0 Comment Period Now Open; and more…
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Contact | Federal Relations | State Relations | Communities by Design | Local Relations | Advocacy365

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In this issue:

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Washington Report

Key Committee Chair Seeks to Eliminate 1099 Filing Requirement
   

Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that he would introduce legislation repealing the burdensome Form 1099 filing requirement for business purchases of $600 or more. The provision, which would go into effect in 2012, is estimated to raise $17 billion over ten years and was included in the 2010 health care reform bill as an offset to some of the bill’s costs.

Eliminating the requirement has bipartisan support, although efforts to repeal the measure in the past have failed because of disagreements over how to pay for it. Baucus has not indicated how he intends to offset the repeal. There is a possibility that the repeal will be taken up by Congress during the current lame duck session.

The AIA continues to support a repeal of the measure and will work with members of Congress to ensure small business concerns are heard.

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    For more information, contact Andrew Goldberg, senior director, Federal Relations.

AIA Calls on Congress to Pass Energy Tax Incentives
   

The AIA has joined with more than 40 organizations and companies to call on Congress to pass legislation to extend and expand several green building tax incentives during its lame duck session.

The letter urges passage of S. 3935, the Advanced Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2010, which was introduced by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) earlier this fall. The bill would extend the life of and increase the value of several energy efficiency tax incentives, including the energy efficient commercial buildings tax deduction. The bill would increase this deduction from its current $1.80 per square foot to $3.00 per square foot, a top AIA advocacy priority in 2010. The letter highlights the job-creating potential of these tax incentives, noting that “new businesses and jobs created in the energy efficiency sector will give the country the opportunity to capitalize on even greater energy efficiency benefits as investment drives innovation and lowers costs.” 

Although it is not likely that Congress will take up large-scale energy legislation in the lame duck session this month, there is a possibility that tax legislation will come up. The AIA is working with its allies to urge Congress to include S. 3935 in any tax bills that are advanced.

For more information, and to ask your elected representatives to back green building tax incentives, click here.

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    To view the letter, click here.

    For questions on the tax incentives, contact Andrew Goldberg, senior director, Federal Relations.

A/E Associations, Government Officials Come Together to Talk Federal Procurement
   

Recently, the AIA hosted a meeting for design professionals with government officials to discuss how the federal government obtains design services, and how architects and engineers can compete in the marketplace. The meeting, held on November 9, brought together members of the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES) at AIA headquarters.

Bruce Ware, IV, P.E., of the US Army Corps of Engineers, led an overview of Federal qualifications-based selection (QBS) procurement procedures.  This presentation gave a broad overview of how the Federal government obtains services and how architects can compete in this marketplace.  His presentation is available on the AIA website.

Meeting attendees also heard about proposals for procurement reform. With a changing political climate in Washington following the elections, there may be new opportunities to see procurement reform.  As always, read The Angle for updates as the AIA reports on any changes or proposals regarding this issue.

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    For additional information, please contact Jessica Salmoiraghi, director of Federal Regulatory Relations.

Public Comment Period Open for Washington Monument Visitor Screening Facility Project
   

The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting public input on an effort to replace the visitor screening facility at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The NPS held an open house in Washington in early November to educate the public about the project. Information from this event may be found here.

Written comments will be accepted until January 7, 2011. All comments can be submitted here.

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    For additional information, contact Billie Kaumaya, manager, Federal Regulatory Relations.

AIA Conducts Citizen Architect Survey of State and Local AIA Chapters
   

Citizen architects are individuals that contribute meaningfully to the improvement of their communities by serving as advocates, in elected capacities, and as volunteers. In late 2008, the AIA endeavored to identify and honor these architects, finding nearly 1,000 citizen architects across the country.

The architects identified in 2008 represent just over one percent of the AIA’s membership. Although this is an impressive number, the true number of architects civically engaged in their community is likely much larger. To that end, AIA National is working to identify the total number of citizen architects across the country by conducting a survey of AIA chapters. For this survey, we are focusing on architects engaged in elected, appointed, and volunteer positions within their communities. Examples include architects serving as city council members, mayors, design review board members, planning commissioners, zoning advisory committee members, code commissioners, and many other public positions. The AIA National Citizen Architect program is seeking to provide resources and opportunities for these members and to recognize them for their leadership services, while promoting the civic engagement of architects in communities nationwide.

In 2008, the AIA heard from over half of all chapters; this year, the AIA hopes all chapters participate in the survey. The AIA’s local government relations staff is also trying to find out which AIA chapters have a Regional and Urban Design Committees and to identify the key advocacy issues in chapters for 2011. This information will help AIA National in assisting local chapters in developing their advocacy efforts and promoting the involvement of architects in the design and planning of livable, sustainable communities.

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    Please contact Leigh Sprowls with information for the Citizen Architect survey.

    For more information on the AIA Citizen Architect program visit the AIA website.

AIA Staff, Chapters Continue to Build Relationships with State Legislators
   

Looking forward to 2011, the AIA is currently working on laying the groundwork for successful advocacy efforts in the upcoming state legislative sessions. In addition to working with national state government organizations, AIA National staff and AIA state chapters continue to share ideas, strategies, and information via the State Government Network (SGN) in advance of its February annual meeting.

In December, the AIA will participate in both the Council of State Governments (CSG) national conference and the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) fall forum. At the CSG meeting in Providence, which will bring together state legislators, governors, and other officials from across the country to discuss the tough questions faced by our states, the AIA will be monitoring several committees’ discussions and will be advancing issues important to the architectural profession. As legislators come together at NCSL in Phoenix, the AIA will participate in key sessions related to AIA issues, such as those on procurement, energy and the environment, and tax issues. In particular, AIA staff, represented by Director of State Relations Angie Taylor, will closely monitor the Environment Committee, which will review the AIA’s recommended policy resolution, “Greening the Built Environment.” The resolution, which was tabled at their summer meeting and is expected to come back up for consideration in Phoenix, asks NCSL to support the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) and other activities that will reduce spending and help states meet federal guidelines on energy consumption reductions.

At both meetings, the AIA will learn more about how the outcome of the 2010 elections will impact state-federal relationships, and what those changes mean for AIA members across the country.

In addition to further building relationships with state officials, SGN continues to hold monthly topical calls as a forum for information sharing. The next call, on December 1, is titled “Meeting the Newly Elected.” Robert Keaton, manager of Government Affairs for AIA Pennsylvania; AIA Vice President and Board Advocacy Chair Mickey Jacob, FAIA; and Adam Melis, director of AIA Advocacy Outreach, will present on building coalitions, dealing with opposition and partisanship, and the tools available to assist AIA chapters. These monthly discussions lead up to the annual SGN meeting immediately before the AIA Grassroots Leadership & Legislative Conference in February. At February’s meeting, the 20th anniversary of SGN, chapters will discuss common issues and strategies.

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    For more information on state relations or SGN, please contact Angie Taylor, director, State Relations.

Advocacy Team Adds Resources to Augment Codes Support
   

A Note from Vice President of Government and Community Relations Paul Mendelsohn:

As you are already aware, the AIA is heavily engaged in the development of the nation’s first green building code. This endeavor has allowed the AIA and our members to significantly enhance the architect's voice in shaping the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) and it is likely that our role in the development of the IGCC will provide us with expanded opportunities to influence other code and regulatory activities. To help ensure that we have adequate resources available to address the challenges that come with this expanded leadership role, I have created a new position of manager, Codes Advocacy. I am excited to let you know that Mark Wills – previously AIA’s manager, State Relations – is transitioning to this new position.

In his new role, Mark is working with Jessyca Henderson, AIA, director of Sustainability Advocacy, other AIA National staff, components, volunteers, and key industry stakeholders to develop and implement strategies associated with advancing the architect’s role in codes and standards development and implementation. To that end, he will collaborate with components, members, and others to support the AIA’s strategic activities related to building codes and standards, and provide enhanced assistance to components on code adoption efforts.

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    For questions on this transition or the codes program, email Mark Wills, manager of Codes Advocacy.

An Opportunity for Architects’ Comment: Second Public Version of IGCC Released
   

The second iteration of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC Public Version 2.0) is now available for review and comment. To read the code, click here, and to comment on it, check out this link (AIA member login required). Comments made via this form are due by December 15. As in the comment period for Public Version 1.0, providing comments via this form does not guarantee inclusion of same in the AIA's formal comments to the ICC. Members of the AIA Codes and Standards Committee, other interested parties, and AIA staff will review submitted comments and will coordinate the official AIA response to the ICC's code development process.

For additional information on the AIA’s codes advocacy efforts, here are some ways to get connected online:

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    To provide comments to the AIA on IGCC Public Version 2.0, click here.

    For questions or more information on the IGCC, contact Jessyca Henderson, director of Sustainability Advocacy, or Mark Wills, manager of Codes Advocacy.

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The Angle is published by the AIA Government and Community Relations Department, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To contact The Angle, send an email to govaffs@aia.org.

 

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