AIA-Ohio Legislative Priorities: Who Sets & Who Implements Them?

Not so long ago Ohio architects suffered from “cradle-to-grave” liability and were selected by competitive bidding.  Today, thanks to AIA-Ohio’s dynamic government relations programs, an Architect’s Statute of Repose limits their liability and Qualification Based Selection (QBS) has replaced competitive bidding.

AIA-Ohio is currently playing a substantive role in legislation (HB7) that will establish additional state energy standards.  Through AIA-Ohio the architect’s legislative voice has been heard on subjects as wide-ranging as Historic Building Tax Credits, Building Code legislation, and Architect licensing–as well as the licensing of others.

AIA-Ohio is the Ohio architect’s legislative and regulatory advocate; but who sets and who implements its policy?  The answer is:  YOU!

Consider this example: At one time architects were being sued unfairly in connection with decades old projects. Minimal remaining documentation prevented them from adequately defending themselves.  Often their roles had been so negligible or non-existent that courts removed them from the suits, but not before they’d spent thousands of dollars defending themselves.  In many cases the defending architects had no insurance because they had retired years before.

Architects asked the AIA-Ohio Board to pursue a Statute of Repose for architects and the Board agreed.  

At AIA-Ohio’s urging HB 350, including an Architect’s Statute of Repose, was introduced into the Ohio General Assembly and AIA-Ohio: Coordinated member contact with their state senators and representatives explaining the need for such a remedy and urging passage and Conducted a “Day at the Statehouse” where members invited their legislators to a luncheon where they pressed for HB 350’s passage.

The bill eventually became law.  Member architects asked for it; member architects lobbied for it; and AIA-Ohio facilitated the process.

Of course Architects don’t initiate all Government Relations issues.  Others within the construction industry pursue their own legislative and regulatory agendas.  Interior designers, for example, have pursued licensing legislation each of the past fifteen (15) years.  Their proposals would have allowed them to perform architect functions for which they have no training.  AIA-Ohio members – coordinated by AIA-Ohio – have lobbied against such licensing… using the same techniques described above in the “Statute of Repose” example.

Bottom Line: Who sets AIA-Ohio legislative priorities and who helps implement them?  Quite simply, YOU do!  When you see a need for a legislative or regulatory change, let AIA-Ohio know.  When asked to help lobby, make the requested contact. You’ll be helping your profession and you’ll be helping yourself!