A look at the past year's legislation affecting the industry.

Colorado requires appointment of County Surveyors.

Senator Sue Windel (D) of Colorado entered SB 028 in to action in January 2002. The law, crafted by the Colorado Association of County Surveyors and requiring each county to appoint a County Surveyor if none is elected, has passed in the Senate and in the House of Representatives with relatively little opposition and awaits governor’s approval. Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado Inc. is virtually certain that the law will pass. If it does it will become effective in November 2002.
Contact: Warren D. Ward, PLS 970/725-3347

Pending Georgia bill would restructure state board.

HB 1742 was introduced in March 2002 which would change the structure of the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, dividing into two separate boards. SAMSOG was not consulted in creating this bill and does not support it in its current form.

SB 441 was introduced in February to amend Code Section 43-15-3 relating to creation and membership of the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors to change the membership of the board and repeal conflicting laws. This bill is supported by SAMSOG and is currently pending.

Illinois establishes professional development hours.

The state of Illinois proposed an amendment to the Rules for the Professional Land Surveyors Act, which will establish professional development hours for the renewal of a professional land surveyor’s license. Twenty hours over a two-year period is being proposed. This proposal entered a 45-day comment period on March 8, 2002. The IPLSA feels that the bill has a high likelihood of passing, after which it would take effect January 1, 2003. IPLSA has been developing this continuing education program over the last several years. The joint committee on administrative rules will rule on the program at its meeting in June 2002.
Contact: Robert E. Church 217/498-8102

Idaho proposes changes.

The ISPLS has proposed changes to some of its legislation pertaining to surveyors. These changes include changing Title 55 chapter 17 to accommodate GPS technology and allow limitations to be change by duly authorized local agencies, such as the county surveyor or a private surveyor, changing Title 55 chapter 19 to specify that digital records could only be filed by counties with digital capabilities and changing the penalty for selling unplatted lots.

Pennsylvania allows students to sit for exam.

In Pennsylvania, Bill No. HB 1921was introduced September 24, 2001 and is now in the House Professional Licensure Committee. This bill would weaken the time requirements for licensure and allow persons with insufficient experience and /or education to sit for licensing exam. PSLS is not in favor of this bill and they met with the bill’s sponsor who agreed not to pursue it. Because of this the likelihood of the bill passing is not very good. If this bill were passed it would take effect 60 days after passage.

Also introduced in Pennsylvania was Bill No. HB 2207. This bill will allow students who have completed 2 or more years of an approved curriculum to sit for the Surveyor -in -Training exam but not receive the certificate until that student shows proof of graduation. This bill was first entered into action December 4, 2001 and is now in the House Professional Licensure Committee. PSLS supports this bill and it is likely that it will pass, after which it will take effect sixty days after passage. Pennsylvania’s current law allows engineering students to sit for the EIT before graduation. The registration law requires an applicant to have graduated from an approved 2 or 4 year program or complete 6 years of experience. The Registration Board will not allow a student to apply to sit for an exam until after graduation, even if the exam is scheduled for after graduation.
Land surveying/engineering state society contact: Andrew J. Hilt, Director of Government Relations 717-540-6811

Rhode Island requires continuing education.

The Rhode Island Board of Registration enacted a continuing education requirement in the form of Bill No. RIGL 5-8.1-4(b)(1). This bill states "The board of land surveyors may establish any rules and regulations for the conduct of its own proceedings, for examination of applicants, for registration of professional land surveyors and surveyors-in-training, for continuing education requirements, and for governing the practice of land surveying, that it deems appropriate." This bill became effective February 13, 2001. Consistent with this bill, the Board developed, in concert with the Rhode Island Society of Professional Land Surveyors (RISPLS), a proposal for continuing education, held public hearings as required, and subsequently enacted a continuing education program. The content of that program can be reviewed and downloaded from the RISPLS website at www.rispls.org

Texas reviews TBPLS

In Texas, the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying (TBPLS) is under Sunset Review at the time of publication. The Legislature could renew the TBPLS as it currently exists under the Land Surveyors Practice Act or make any number of changes. The Sunset Review Commission requested a meeting with the TSPS so they could provide input relative to their assessment of the TBPLS. In late June the Sunset Review Commission will hold a hearing for all agencies undergoing review and the final Commission decision will be made on September 23, 2002.

Also in Texas, Bill No. SB 1707 was passed stating that "the insurance commissioner may adopt rules allowing a title insurance company to accept an existing real property survey and not require a new survey when providing area and boundary coverage if the title insurance company is willing to accept evidence of an existing real property survey, and an affidavit verifying the existing survey... "This bill was entered into action during the 2001 Legislative session. Since, TSPS has met with the Insurance Board several times and the Board has held public hearing in which TSPS has participated. To date the Insurance Commissioner has not made a ruling to this effect.
Contact: Mickey D. Nowell RPLS 817/335-3000 ext. 211

West Virginia pending leg. raises requirements for licensure and increases fines.

West Virginia has two bills currently pending that would effect land surveyors. Bill No. HB 4427 and Bill No. SB 660

These bills are general house cleaning bills, they raise the educational requirements for licensure, increases fees and fines to be levied by the Board and strengthen the plat recordation law. HB 4427 was entered into action February 6, 2002; SB 660 was entered into action February 18, 2002. HB 4427 is in the House Government Organization Committee and SB 660 is in the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee. At this time, WVALS believes it best to lay over until next Legislative year to provide a period of conditioning and education. If the bills pass they would take effect on July 1 of the year of passage.
Contact: West Virginia Association of Land Surveyors Inc. (Legislative Chair is David Sypolt – tymlofp@mountain.net ) Dave Sypolt 304/329-2325; WVALS 304/364-5621

To have your state’s passed or pending legislation posted here E-mail vasse@bnp.com