June 2017 Licensure Update
Dear Michigan ASLA Members:
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wanted to share a brief update on key legislative activity in Lansing. On June 7th, a three-bill package was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives (HB 4693, 4694, and 4695) that would eliminate the requirement for licensure of landscape architects. As many of you are aware, this has been an issue hanging over the profession since landscape architecture was listed among those professions recommended for deregulation by the Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) in a report released in 2011. This is not the first time the Chapter has experienced this type of legislation that threatens our license and our careers.
As we all know, the deregulation of landscape architects will have catastrophic consequences for all landscape architects and graduate landscape architects seeking licensure; public health, safety and welfare will be compromised; and the University of Michigan and Michigan State University landscape architecture programs will be negatively impacted.
Please know that the Executive Committee and the MiASLA lobby team were made aware of the legislation prior to its introduction. At that point, the lobby team began immediately engaging key staffers and legislators. The Chapter has been hard at work fighting this legislation for quite some time.
Summer break has begun in the legislature and they will not return to a full schedule until September 6th. In the meantime, our lobby team will continue to work with key lawmakers and staff in opposition to the legislation. We will also continue to work towards the introduction of our P3, Public/Private Partnership licensure bill; in the long run we continue to believe this will improve the security of landscape architecture licensure in Michigan. With the passage of the P3 bill our license would continue to be issued by LARA as a State license, a private board would be authorized by the State, and continuing education would be established as a part of licensure.
The MiASLA will transmit a separate email in the near future that will include talking points and other next steps members should take to assist in efforts to fight this legislation. Until our lobby team can develop a coordinated approach and provide detailed guidance, we ask members to hold off on contacting legislators regarding this latest threat to licensure. Please continue to check our website www.michiganasla.org for updates.
In the meantime though there are two very important things every Landscape Architect should do. First, it is vital that we all become more politically active. Introduction of this legislation is a reminder that advocacy never ends and members are the leading line of defense against bad policy initiatives in Lansing. Sign up for your legislator’s newsletters and attend an in-district coffee hour or other event sponsored by your legislator. This is a great way to educate them what our profession is all about. If you are contemplating attending such an event, don’t hesitate to contact any one of your elected Chapter leaders and we can provide you with some tips to help get our message across.
Second, we ask members to consider a contribution to the MiASLA PAC. 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 http://michiganasla.org/wordpress/?p=195 or call the office at (517) 485-4116 to make a contribution.
I greatly appreciate all your efforts and the privilege to serve as your President.
Ben Baker, ASLA President, MiASLA