July 12, 2012 Update
As you no doubt recall, our professional license was among many being considered for deregulation. The MiASLA immediately engaged on this issue and continues to advocate for the continuation of our license on behalf of all licensed landscape architects across our state. If you are like me, you are anxious for continuous updates, and I wanted to share with you a current update of the Chapter activities on the deregulation topic.
First, the MiASLA drafted and submitted a lengthy written argument to the governor for why our license should not be considered for deregulation.
Second, the Chapter has been meeting with key policy makers and legislators who may impact the future of our license. Before the deregulation topic emerged, MiASLA was already pursuing an update of our current license to ensure that our license does all that it was intended. Though our State Legislature is in its Summer recess, the Chapter lobbyists and several leaders remain engaged and actively educating those who will shape the future discussions about our license.
At this time, it is important to note that no legislation has been drafted that deregulates our license. There is not only no legislation to deregulate our license, there is also no known timeline for if/when such legislation will be considered. While it may not seem like much of a victory, this is significant news actually. This is noteworthy as Governor Snyder has not been known to sit on issues very long. He has staked his reputation on making decisions, sticking with what he believes is right, and not relying on opinion polls. On the deregulation of our license, however, the governor is being very deliberative and taking in all opinions and information.
With that in mind, it remains important for our profession to remain vigilant. The governor has heard from MiASLA and from many of us. Now, it is time for us to begin meeting with our state legislators and to invest in our state political action committee (PAC).
If/when deregulation goes forward and if our license remains in that discussion, our state legislators will directly impact what ultimately becomes law. Therefore, it is important for us all to meet with our state elected leaders. Many hold office hours locally and welcome you to share ideas and concerns with them. Others will schedule time with you. Still others welcome your letters, phone calls, and emails. Please make and take time to meet with your state representative and state senator. If you need help identifying your state elected leaders, please contact the MiASLA office. Our elected leaders need to hear from you, and you need to let them know how important your professional license is to you, your livelihood, and to the vitality of Michigan communities.
Additionally, it is vital that MiASLA become more politically active. This year is another crucial election year. The MiASLA PAC is a non-partisan political action tool of the Chapter whose purpose is to provide financial support to legislators who support our industry and the services we provide. The MiASLA PAC can accept personal contributions, and contributions can be made in the form of check or credit card. The MiASLA PAC is prohibited by state and federal law from accepting corporate contributions. The amount of any contribution to the MiASLA PAC is your choice, and all contributions are welcome. However, just imagine how influential our profession could be if every one of us invested just $100 in our industry and our PAC! Visit www.michiganasla.org to make a contribution.
I greatly appreciate all your efforts and the privilege of serving as your President.
Michigan ASLA President
April 25, 2012 Update
Your Profession Needs Your Help......
Keep It Up .......Thank You
As of today 158 members have used the Michigan ASLA Action Alert to let Governor Snyder know that deregulation of the profession of Landscape Architecture will compromise the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and will cripple landscape architecture firms across the state and threaten our teaching institutions. If you haven't submitted a letter to Governor Snyder yet, please do so immediately.
As part of Governor Snyder's effort to streamline government and regulations to improve and enhance business; the Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) under the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs established a commission to review the regulation of 87 of Michigan's occupations. Their report was submitted to the Governor several weeks ago but just made public last week. Incredibly Landscape Architecture was among 18 professions recommended for deregulation. The committee's analysis of what landscape architects do to design livable environments and to protect the health safety and welfare of our communities was woefully incomplete and in some cases inaccurate. Governor Snyder will be developing legislation to implement these regulations soon. We need to make our voices clearly heard that landscape architecture must not be deregulated.
The chapter has sent a formal response to Governor Snyder; however, we think it is crucial that he hear from as many licensed landscape architects and supporters of our profession as possible immediately.
Please take 30 seconds to tell Governor Snyder how this proposal will hurt business and stifle competition in Michigan. Most of all, ask him to maintain licensure for landscape architects. If you can, take a few minutes more to tell your story, adapting the template to share specifically how this would hurt your business and your practice of landscape architecture. Also please reach out to your clients, including allied design professionals, and ask them to call the Governor's office and tell them all that we do for their projects. They are the business leaders that support our political leaders and help finance their campaigns!!
Our strategy needs to remain focused on the Governor's office. It will be his decision whether or not landscape architecture is included in deregulation legislation. If this effort is not effective we will need to expand our efforts to the legislature, but for now we need everyone to focus their efforts on the Governor's office. We need to keep the pressure on. You can also make your voice heard through the Governor's Facebook page or by participating in his On-Line Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday April 25 at 2:15 pm (ET)
May 1st is our Lobby Day at the State Capitol. Given this critical danger to our profession your participation is extremely important. Click here to register and learn more about this event and how you can help. It is crucial that we begin to establish relationships with our legislators NOW so that they will understand the importance of landscape architects to Michigan's future.
As you and your chapter continue to fight to preserve licensure, please consider making a contribution to our "Landscape Architecture Political Action Committee". This fund is critical to our effort to successfully preserve our practice. You can download a PAC contribution card at the bottom left corner of our home page at www.michiganasla.org. All PERSONAL checks should be made payable to: "Landscape Architects of Michigan PAC" and should be sent to; Landscape Architects of Michigan PAC, 1000 W. St. Joseph Hwy., Suite 200, Lansing, MI 48915.
August 24, 2010 Update
Department of Technology, Management and Budget(DTMB)- Office of Facilities Administration consider Landscape Architects eligible to perform as Prime Professionals under the State of Michigan DTMB Contract for Professional Service. DTMB will continue this practice as long as the work conforms to State law.
The DTMB professional services contract definition of "Prime Professional Services” reads:
PRIME PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACTOR (ARCHITECT/ENGINEER): Shall mean an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity under a separate Contract with the Owner who is legally permitted by law to sign and seal final design construction Contract Documents and licensed under the State of Michigan's professional licensing and regulation provisions of the Occupational Code (State Licensing Law), Act 299 of the Public Acts of 1980, Article 20, as amended, to practice architecture, engineering, environmental engineering, land surveying, or landscape architecture services in the State of Michigan.
The Michigan Chapter of ASLA cannot emphasize enough that, as a prime professional, it is imperative you as a landscape architect demonstrate that the required professional qualifications are included within the proposal(s) and clearly address the technical aspects of the project needs which will ensure that public health, safety and welfare are met.
The Michigan Chapter of ASLA also notes this is informational purposes only and does not guarantee that landscape architects will be awarded state contracts. For more information see the following web link http://www.michigan.gov/buymichiganfirst and select the Design and Construction brochure.
July 29, 2009 Update
Your chapter is please to report that licensure implementation is progressing well.
As a reminder, licensure for the landscape architect profession officially began on May 13, 2009.
Those in the profession who were Registered Landscape Architects should keep their registration information as it does not expire until July 31, 2010. The department is trying to send new licenses out before then. At the very least, everyone will have new licenses in 2010.
Also, as expected and worked out with the department, the new licensing fees will be collected beginning with 2010 renewals. So landscape architects in Michigan will pay $120 for the 2 year license when they renew their license in 2010.
Any new licensee will pay the new fee of $200 beginning now.
On other items, you do NOT need to get new stamps. The "registration" stamp can still be used and will not be penalized in any way. However, if you prefer to have a "license" stamp, that is up to you, of course, and you can certainly have new stamps created saying as much. As you may know, the department does not provide stamps and if you would like a new you stamp must do so at your own expense.
As for reciprocity, it should work as seamlessly as hoped and designed. If an out of state landscape architect wants/needs a license here in Michigan, they must utilize CLARB. If already licensed in another state, they simply work through the CLARB process, produce a certificate showing that they passed LARE, and produce the proof of experience, which is a total of 7 years with a maximum of 5 of those years coming from a university program. And then all they need to do is download the Michigan license application. In other words, they will not need to anything more than produce proof and pay the Michigan license fees to receive licensing here in Michigan if they are already licensed in another state and have passed the LARE.
Your chapter will continue to work with DELEG to coordinate website materials and provide the most helpful information to the profession.
DeLEG Appoints TAC
Part of the licensure legislation that the chapter advocated was for the possibility of DELEG to appoint a Technical Advisory Committee made up of Michigan landscape architects to address issues that directly affect the profession here. Your chapter recommended a diverse list of professionals to make up the first TAC. DELEG officially created the TAC this month and hosted the first meeting with the TAC to begin addressing the Continuing Education process to be developed for the profession.
The first TAC members are: Clare Jagenow, Patricia Cornelisse, Bill Sanders, Mark Hieber, Warren Rauhe, and Russ Clark.
Please check back here at michiganasla.org and look for e-news bulletins for continuing updates.
|Current Government Affairs Committee Information
To get more information on the licensing of Landscape Architects in Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.
Many of our members have been involved in preserving our board and pushing for licensure stretching back some 25 years. If you would like to talk to some of the members of the Government Affairs Committee to learn more about the situation we would be pleased to speak with you. Please feel free to contact any of the following Government Affairs Committee (GAC) members:
Bill Sanders, GAC Chair
Derek Dalling, Michigan ASLA Executive Director,
Pam Blough, Executive Committee Trustee and GAC Member,
Norm Cox, GAC Member
Scott Reinholt, GAC Member
Vanessa Warren, Executive Committee Trustee and GAC Member
Roger Sabine, GAC Member
Bill Sanders, GAC Member
Mark Heiber, GAC Member
LICENSURE AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE
The practice of landscape architecture directly impacts public health, safety, and welfare. The work of landscape architects surrounds us, in the planning of sites such as office plazas, public squares and thoroughfares. The design of parks, highways, housing developments, urban plazas, zoos and campuses reflects the skill of landscape architects in planning and designing the construction of useful and enjoyable places. Landscape architects are trained to work on such diverse projects as community master plans, site planning, local road design, pedestrian walkways, wetland construction and mitigation, park and trail systems, erosion control, historic preservation, site stormwater management and more. In all of these projects, there is the potential for serious harm to the public through incompetent practice.
A few examples:
- The design of a parking lot led to the death of a visitor who fell to his death when there was no barrier between the parking lot and the driveway below;
- Negligent lighting specification resulted in the electrocution of homeowner;
- The inadequate reinforcement of patio and related design flaws led the patio to come apart and slide downhill.
Landscape architecture must be regulated such that unqualified individuals are prevented from engaging in professional practice that impacts the public heath, safety, and welfare. Landscape architectural education and experience under the supervision of a licensed professional prepares professionals for licensure. The examination ensures that an individual is competent to protect the public.