Lobby Day

AIANYS sponsored “Architects in Albany Day” (Lobby Day) is an annual event providing the opportunity for architects from across the state to assemble in Albany and meet with their legislators. AIANYS develops an annual Legislative Program identifying bills that the organization supports, or opposes that serves as a guide for the individual meetings. This year’s Legislative Program can be reviewed at the AIANYS website under the heading “Government Advocacy”.

Lobby Day 2015 Report

By Craig Polhamus

Once again we gathered to make the trip to Albany on the annual pilgrimage to see our elected officials. This year, as you will see from the photos, we had a skeleton crew of veteran AIACNY Lobbyists. Look closely and see if you can identify who is missing? (Answer will be given at the end). Our contingent consisted of Joe Piraino, Steve Busa, Sarah Testa and myself, Craig Polhamus. We were fortunate to be able to visit with the offices of six elected officials that were scheduled as well as drop in on several more.


From Left to Right: Sarah Testa, Steve Busa, Assemblyman Al Stirpe, Craig Polhamus, Joe Piraino


From Left to Right: Joe Piraino, Craig Polhamus, Steve Busa, Senator David J. Valesky, Sarah Testa

Among the AIA heroes we visited was Assemblyman Al Stirpe (District 127) who is an Assembly Sponsor of the Emergency Responder Act, which is this year's version of the Good Samaritan Act of previous years, but includes other stake holders and covers both volunteer and contracted work during times of natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Assemblyman Al Stirpe (District 127) is also an Assembly Sponsor of Due Process for Design Professionals, which provides just treatment of Architects at the state level just like every other professional misconduct case. Another hero is Senator Joseph Griffo (District 47) who is a Senate Sponsor of Design Liability Reform. Senator John A. Defrancisco (District 50) is the main Senate Sponsor of Qualification-Based Selection for Public Authorities along with Senator David J. Valesky (District 53)! If you ever run into any of these state leaders, be sure to thank them for their support!


From Left to Right: Craig Polhamus, Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli, Joe Piraino

We also want to thank Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli (District 129) for the large amount of time he was able to spend with Joe and me. "Bill" was keenly interested in many of the bills and the conversation went above and beyond those into many local issues, including the I-81 initiative, the Syracuse Land Bank, and a discussion on how to address City infrastructure issues. We also visited Assemblyman Will Barclay (District 120), Assemblyman Samuel D. Roberts (District 128), Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi (District 119), and Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (District 126).

For those interested, here is a full listing of the bills we are following:

2015 AIANYS Legislative Program


Emergency Responder Act
S4238 SAVINO—No same as
SUMM: Enacts the New York emergency responder act. Provides liability protection to persons providing professional assistance and/or labor and materials during and after a disaster. The protection would extend to those persons who are either contracted by a public entity to perform services and persons who choose to provide voluntary services.

Good Samaritan Act
A2258 Englebright (MS) -- Same as S 2160 HANNON
SUMM : Add S29-f, Exec L Enacts the engineers', architects', landscape architects' and land surveyors' good samaritan act to protect from liability for personal injury, wrongful death, property damage or other loss professional engineers, architects, landscape architects and land surveyors who render voluntary services, without compensation acting reasonably and in good faith, at the scene of a natural disaster or catastrophe.

Last Act: 01/15/15 referred to higher education

Due Process for Design Professionals
S3315 LANZA -- No Same as
New York City Administrative Code
TITLE....Repeals provisions relating to false statements in documents submitted to the department of buildings of the city of New York

Statue of Repose
A2545 Pretlow -- No same as
SUMM : Rpld & add S214-d, amd S214, rpld R3211 sub (h), R3212 sub (i), CPLR Repeals and reenacts statute of limitation provisions on wrongful death, personal injury and property damage actions against professional engineers, architects, landscape architects, land surveyors and construction contractors to provide for a limitations period of ten years after completion of improvement to real property; "completion", which constitutes the accrual date for the limitations period, is defined; provides for a one year extension for injuries to person or property or wrongful death which occur during the tenth year after completion.

Last Act: 01/16/15 referred to higher education

QBS for Public Authorities
A5759 Benedetto -- No same as
TITLE....Requires public authorities to negotiate with most qualified architectural and engineering professional firms before negotiating with other firms Last Act: 03/04/15 referred to corporations, authorities and commissions Historic Preservation Tax Credit

S3631 RANZENHOFER -- No same as
SUMM : Amd SS606, 210-B & 1511, Tax L Increases the maximum award available under the historic preservation tax credit from five million dollars to twelve million dollars over a period of three years.


Rehabilitation Tax Credit (Commercial)
A4371 Schimminger (MS) -- Same as S 1295 RANZENHOFER
SUMM : Amd SS606 & 210-B, Tax L Establishes a credit against income tax for the rehabilitation of distressed commercial properties; allows for 30% of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures up to $100,000; requires that to be eligible, the commercial property is located within a distressed commercial area, as identified by each locality through local law, that is deemed an area in need of community renewal due to dilapidated vacancies; provides that the property shall be substantially rehabilitated which is where the qualified rehabilitation expenditures in relation to such building total ten thousand dollars.

Last Act: 01/30/15 referred to ways and means

Rehabilitation Tax Credit (Residential)
A4398 Schimminger (MS) -- Same as S 1293 RANZENHOFER
SUMM : Amd SS606 & 210-B, Tax L Establishes a credit against income tax for the rehabilitation of distressed residential properties; allows a credit equal to thirty percent of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures made by the taxpayer with respect to a qualified distressed residential property; requires property that qualifies must be constructed prior to January 1, 1962 in a distressed residential or mixed-use neighborhood.

Last Act: 01/30/15 referred to ways and means


Interior Design Scope of Practice
A3446 O'Donnell (MS) -- Same as S 1137 AVELLA
SUMM : Rpld & add S8302, Ed L Regulates the practice of certified interior design including the use of proper seals and construction documents.

Last Act: 01/22/15 referred to higher education

Interior Design State Contracts
A1385 Cahill -- No same as
SUMM : Amd S136-a, St Fin L Adds interior design as a type of contract that can be entered into by the state.

Last Act: 01/12/15 referred to governmental operations

Professional Certification; License Suspension
A483 Cymbrowitz - No Same as
SUMM: Relates to licensing consequences for architects or engineers who seriously abuse their self-certification privileges.

Last Act: 01/07/15 referred to higher education

Professional Certification; Prohibition
A3741 Brennan (MS) -- No same as
SUMM : Amd S20, Gen City L Grants cities authority to review plans for the construction of structures proposed to be made within its boundaries.

Last Act: 01/27/15 referred to cities

Construction Threshold
S1395 YOUNG -- Same as A 1017 Gunther
SUMM : Amd SS7209 & 7307, Ed L Increases to $50,000 the cost of the construction of a building, structure or public work, above which a professional engineer, land surveyor or architect must be utilized to plan and supervise the construction thereof.

Last Act: 01/12/15 referred to higher education

So to conclude, this is one of the most important things that the Chapter does for its members. Were you able to identify who was missing from the photos? It’s certainly not the AIANYS staff, as they were there working hard to make sure all of us were up to speed with the issues and giving us talking points etc. They also made sure that all of our food needs were satisfied with everything from breakfast to box lunches and cupcakes at the end of the day! (We walked about 3 miles, so the cupcakes were guilt free.) Score 100 points if you listed yourself as missing! I know we are all busy, but it is vital to take the time once a year to do this important task. Make a point to thank the few who went the next time you see them! Better yet, make the decision now to be present for Lobby Day 2016!