American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon

Issues & Agenda


ACEC Oregon develops a legislative agenda each year to ensure that the immediate concerns of consulting engineers and the public’s well-being are represented before government leaders.

ACEC Oregon members meet with legislators during our "Day at The Capitol." Issues for discussion include the need for a transportation funding package and implementation of the seismic resilience plan. And we thank legislators for their continued support of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS).


UPDATE! July 6, 2017
News Release - Office of the Senate President
Senate Sends $5.3 Billion Transportation Improvement Plan to Governor

(SALEM) – The Oregon Senate gave final approval today to a $5.3 billion statewide transportation improvement plan.

House Bill 2017, which passed on a bipartisan 22-7 vote, will raise $5.3 billion for infrastructure over the next 10 years. It will modernize and improve Oregon’s transportation infrastructure by addressing five of the priorities heard most consistently around the state: reducing congestion, increasing alternate transportation options, investing in maintenance and preservation, improving safety of existing infrastructure and ensuring accountability in how taxpayer dollars are spent.

It is the result of more than a year of work by a 14-member joint committee, appointed by Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-North Portland).

“Transportation is essential to the quality of Oregonian’s lives and the vitality of Oregon’s economy,” said Co-Chair Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield), who led the joint committee with House Co-Chair Rep. Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay), and Vice Co-Chairs Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) and Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario). “For too long our system has been falling in to disrepair. The investments in HB 2017 will move freight more efficiently, reduce congestion in our cities, make our roads and bridges safer and expand mass transit options from border to border.”

“Oregon’s rural transportation system is crumbling and outdated while cities are clogged with congestion.  This plan takes a smart, responsible approach to preserving our existing infrastructure and investing in a system for the next two decades,” Boquist said. “It’s not just enough to simply raise funds blindly. The accountability measures in HB 2017 seek to ensure that Oregonians get known infrastructure improvements and congestion relief for their investment.”

Beginning in May 2016, the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization met with community members and transportation stakeholders across the state, and held numerous public hearings throughout Oregon in 2016 and in the Capitol throughout the 2017 session. The committee incorporated that public input into the final transportation package.

Click HERE to view an easy-to-follow graphic explaining the components of the plan.


Click here for the Portland Business Journal's guest opinion,
"Legislature needs to fill the transportation funding pothole." 


 PRIORITIES INCLUDE

  • Work with other interest groups to pass infrastructure investment packages.

  • Work through the Legislative Committee to identify priority legislation and to create legislative relationships that will help us be successful when the legislature is in session. 

  • Help educate legislators and others as to why potential legislation is bad for design professionals and for the public. As we know, very few legislators in Oregon or across the country have an engineering degree or understand and appreciate the nuances of our profession. It is our job to help them understand.

  • When necessary, oppose legislation that would be detrimental to ACEC members. 

  • Work to protect current QBS (Qualfications Based Selection) law and expand QBS to more projects in Oregon.
     


ACEC OREGON MEETS WITH GOVERNOR BROWN
Governor Kate Brown connected with ACEC Oregon members at a breakfast meeting. Future transportation and infrastructure funding and resiliency planning were topics of conversation. The group also discussed the importance of the QBS law.

Governor Brown encouraged members to introduce themselves to their legislators and to offer to be a resource for transportation issues.


Pictured above, from left are: Executive Director Alison Davis; Secretary/ Treasurer Mike Reed, GRI; Past-President and National Director Troy Bowers, Murray, Smith & Associates; Governor Kate Brown; President Jay Lyman, David Evans and Associates; and Past-President Erik Peterson, Peterson Structural Engineers, Inc. (January 28, 2016)



 
ACEC encourages government procurement policies that support the use of the private sector.

Oregon’s engineering companies play an essential role in helping public agencies deliver and upgrade critical infrastructure—to reduce congestion on roads and bridges, provide clean drinking water to consumers, develop energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, and enhance the security and safety of the public.

Local and state agencies that contract with engineering firms are able to acquire unique capabilities, adapt quickly to economic conditions and fluctuating workloads, ramp up their programs when funds are available, and ramp down when funding cycles demand savings.