1. Bachelor’s Degree Bill
At the request of NYSSPE the Chair of the New York State Assembly Higher Education Committee, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, has agreed to introduce, and advocate for, legislation to require that an applicant seeking licensure as a professional engineer in New York State have a bachelor’s degree in engineering (or its equivalent in accordance with regulations to be promulgated by the New York State Education Department). The legislation has passed both houses of the Legislature in the past, but unfortunately, it has never passed both houses in the same year. In addition to the Assembly, this year we anticipate strong sponsorship in the Senate and very hopeful that the legislation will become law in 2020.
Currently, of the learned professions of medicine, law and engineering, only engineering has a path to licensure without a formal education. In reality very few PEs lack a formal education and there are many, and very affordable, means of securing an engineering degree. For example, families with modest means can qualify for the Excelsior Program which provides a complete tuition waiver in many circumstances. Two-year programs at a community college, combined with an additional two years at a state college or university, also offers an affordable avenue to secure a bachelor’s degree in engineering. (Individuals currently seeking to secure licensure via the twelve-year ladder will be exempt from the new requirement.)
2. Gas Transmission Lines (Public Safety Enhancement)
S2935a / A6557 (Senator Kaminsky / Assemblyman Cusick)
This bill will require that plans and services relating to gas transmission lines which are determined to pose a material risk to public safety must be provided and overseen by a licensed professional engineer. The New York State Public Service Commission is required by the legislation to promulgate rules and regulations addressing the foregoing requirement.
3. Land Surveying – Modernization of Definition of Practice
NYSSPE and the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors have agreed to legislation which will modernize the definition of practice for land surveying, (including, e.g., express reference to GPS technology and photogrammetry) while ensuring that professional engineers will continue to be authorized to undertake all aspects of the practice of land surveying except for the determination of land boundaries.
(Updates, including bill numbers, will be provided throughout the session.)
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