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News: Legislative Updates

SEAOC works on retrofit bill

Thursday, May 28, 2015  

By Don Schinske, SEAOC Executive Director

The legislative year in Sacramento is at the halfway point, and SEAOC continues to work on clarifying legislation sponsored by the City of Los Angeles that would allow building owners to obtain state income tax credits for seismic retrofits.

AB 428, authored by Van Nuys Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, proposes that owners of “at risk” properties could receive credits for up to 30 percent of the costs to retrofit “qualified” buildings.  SEAOC supports the general concept of the bill, and members of SEAOC’s Legislative Committee including SEAONC’s David Bonowitz, SEAOC President Ryan Kersting, and Executive Director Don Schinske have been working with the Assembly member’s staff and Legislative Counsel to clarify the bill’s scope and definitions.  

Several SEAOC amendments have already been incorporated into AB 428, which this week advanced out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is now on the Assembly Floor.  SEAOC’s position remains “Support if Amended,” and we will continue to seek more precision in the bill regarding the eligibility of projects and the applicability of the proposed retrofit work.  In addition, SEAOC is asking for language that might encourage jurisdictions to prioritize projects based on their importance to community function and post-disaster recovery. 

Here’s a link to the current version of AB 428

Elsewhere, SEAOC’s Legislative Committee expects that BPELSG will soon convene a joint meeting of its Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering technical advisory committees, to discuss SEAOC’s proposed Significant Structures Amendment to the Professional Engineers Act.   Our hope is that together these advisory committees -- with input from other stakeholders – would recommend a proposal that the licensing board could then consider endorsing.   That endorsement would prove helpful in our efforts to move a proposal via legislation.     

We’ll keep members posted as the process evolves.  If you have questions about SEAOC’s proposal or how to get involved, please contact Don Schinske in the SEAOC office.