April, 2021
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  • HB 113 to amend the state ethics law to codify a longstanding exception. This bill was heard in House & Governmental Affairs committee. It was deferred until the week of May 10 for the Board of Ethics to review proposed amendments. Click here to access bill.
  • HB 323 changing 'design professional services' to 'architectural and engineering professional services' in the Hammett Act. Passed House Floor on 4.29 with an amendment add land surveyors to the Hammett Act. Click here to view bill.
  • SB 180 subjecting professional services - including engineering - to reverse auction was amended at request of ACECL to remove professional services from the bill. The bill now amends 'consulting' contracts - of which your contracts ARE NOT - to allow for reverse auction. These are contracts OTHER THAN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACTS.
  • Infrastructure funding. There are now three viable bills out of committee on the House side that increase infrastructure funding.
  • On Tuesday the House Ways and Means Committee advanced HB 693 by Rep Paula Davis and Sen Rick Ward to dedicate a portion of the existing .45 temporary sales tax to the TTF sub fund until it expires in 2025 and then extend .40 to 2031 and continue dedicating an increasing amount into the sub fund from FY 26-31. HB 693 is pending full House consideration. This bill would generate $37.8m in first year ramping up to $151.m in FY 25. In FY 26 it will generate $168m ramping up to the full $336 million in FY 31 when it expires. If the tax were to be made permanent then $336m could be deposited every year into the TTF sub fund. Starting in FY 21, these funds can be bonded to greatly expand it's potential. Redirecting this existing tax revenue does create a hole in the general fund, albeit slowly. This approach to new dollars for infrastructure is gaining momentum but requires 2/3 vote.
  • Prior to the Davis-Ward bill passing in Ways and Means, HB 615 by Rep Frieberg originally raising the gas tax was defeated by a tie vote. At the start of her testimony Frieberg stripped the tax out of the bill and left the fee on electric and hybrids but that still failed to generate enough support to pass. After the Davis-Ward bill passed a committee member made a motion to reconsider the Frieberg bill and it passed 11-4. Note this bill also still includes the 'reform' provision or GRIT portion of the bill. HB 615 is pending House consideration. This bill now only raises $1 million per year. This bill is considered a companion to the Davis-Ward bill. It does not create any hole in the general fund.
  • On Wednesday, HB 511 by Rep. McFarland passed House Appropriations. This bill redirects revenue generated from the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax from the general fund to the TTF subfund. Starts at 10% in FY 22 then increases each year by 10% until all avails of the tax go to the subfund. 10% generates roughly $47m per year so after 10 years, approximately $470m will be directed to the subfund for projects. This bill also creates a hole in the general fund that will have to be addressed. His bill also still contains the GRIT portion of the Frieberg bill. This bill requires only 53 votes.
  • There are also a couple of Senate bills that redirect the .45 temporary sales tax to infrastructure. We'll see if those hold if/until the House bills make it over to the Senate. If the House bills can't generate enough support to pass the House floor, the senate bills would face the same hurdle.
  • Tax Reform
  • The full House passed a set of key tax reform. HB 292 and HB 293 by Rep. Neil Riser are paired bills that reduce the corporate income tax rate and use the savings from the elimination of the Federal Income Tax (FIT) Deduction to offset the cost of the rate decrease. The House voted 77-20 in favor of HB 292, and 88-11 in favor of HB 293.
  • Two other fiscal bills, HB 171 by Rep. Zeringue and HB 278 by Rep. Bishop were returned to the calendar to await debate and discussion on a later date. HB 171 seeks to simplify the tax code by instituting a flat four percent tax rate on personal incomes above $12,500. HB 278 reduced individual income tax rates by eliminating the FIT. 
FAR Credits Clause/PPP Loan Forgiveness - Work continues on a congressional waiver from the FAR Credits Clause provision that would adversely impact firms whose PPP loans were forgiven on federally funded projects. According to the most recent information, it would impact Cost Plus contracts. It wouldn't impact Lump Sum or Billable rate contracts. ACEC has formed a small working group of four affiliate CPAs and four State DOT auditors to develop additional guidance to supplement the memo from FHWA. The goal is to provide consistency and clarity for firms and DOTs since the FHWA guidance was so broad and left many questions unanswered. The working group has drafted a set of FAQs to address a range of topics, including
  • the calculation of the credit
  • what costs would be excluded
  • the timing of the credit
  • the types of contracts that are subject to the credit
  • what documentation is required
  • methods to limit the impact of the credit so the amount recovered does not exceed the allocable portion

The goal is to reach agreement among the working group and finalize the document next week and then submit the FAQ guidance to FHWA for approval. 
ACEC continues to work to limit the impact on firms as much as possible through the development of that guidance. For example, we want to ensure the guidance excludes from the calculation of the credit direct labor costs for work performed on commercial / private sector contracts, lump sum / fixed price government contracts, and state or local agency contracts. We also want to be very careful in the application of the credit to adjust overhead rates on future contracts. One of the important components of this issue is the question of whether the credit for forgiven PPP loans ought to be limited to federally funded contracts, and whether states will also insist on receiving a credit on state-only contracts because those contracts and/or the DOT policy requires compliance with the FAR cost principles.
(aka ACEC)
Louisiana has two members serving on ACEC incoming President Robin Greenleaf's Planning Cabinet for 2021-2022:
Kenneth "Kenny" Smith, T. Baker Smith
Kurt Evans, Digital Engineering and Imaging
The Committee Goals for 2021-2022: 
1. Provide recommendations for metrics that can be associated with the Strategic Plan.
2. Review the ACEC Bylaws and Rules of Policy and Procedure to recommend amendments to remove unconscious bias or other barriers to greater inclusion and diversity within ACEC.
3. Under the direction of the Executive Committee, review elements of the Strategic Plan and its corresponding Implementation Plan as appropriate and make recommendations for amendments or updates.
4. Undertake, as requested by the Chair, the study of program or organizational improvements for ACEC.
5. Review the ACEC governing documents and make recommendations for amendments as appropriate.
2020 EEA Gala held March 25 at the
Baton Rouge Marriott hotel
It was another night to remember as fourteen projects received Engineering Excellence Awards at the 2020 ACEC of Louisiana EEA Gala! Led by emcee Jay Dardenne, the evening brought together over 150 attendees to celebrate engineering achievement. The Board of Directors for ACECL has decided to hold the EEA Gala each spring. Look for the 2021 Call for Entries this summer with judging and winning project announcements in early Fall.
2020 Grand Conceptor Award Recipient
Associated Design Group
2020 People's Choice Award Recipient
Forte & Tablada, Inc.
State Highway Infrastructure - Joint Transportation Committee approves DOTD Priority Program. Click here for more information.
Governor Edwards has announced his priorities for spending the first tranche of the state's $3.2 billion share of American Rescue Plan Stimulus funds. $400 million would be dedicated to roads and bridges and $300 million for water and sewer infrastructure. There will also be a second tranche allocated over the next two years. Click here for more information. The Legislature will have its say in this allocation as they have to appropriate the funds.
Federal Infrastructure - The Biden Administration announced the American Jobs Plan to funding a wide range of infrastructure programs. Click here for the Louisiana Fact Sheet issued by the Biden Administration.
Speaking of the Biden Administration. On April 27, the Administration issued an Executive Order raising the minimum wage on federal contracts. Specifically, starting January 30, 2022 all agencies will need to incorporate a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations, and by March 30, 2022, all agencies will need to implement the minimum wage into new contracts. Click here for the executive order. ACECL has provided feedback to ACEC Federal Procurement staff on the impact to firms who employ non-engineering staff, particularly administrative and entry level employees, below $15/hr.
La. Congressional delegation urges approval of federal grant to replace I-10 bridge in Lake Charles. Click here for story.
Gov. Edwards Joined DOTD, Legislative Leaders to Announces Coronavirus 2020 Relief Act Projects for Road and Infrastructure Improvements Across Louisiana. Click here for announcement.
The DOTD Form 24-102 has been revised to incorporate minor changes to the instructions and add Section 24, Sub-Consultant Information. The revised form, dated May 1, 2021, can be found at the link below. All changes to the form have been highlighted in yellow. Please begin using the May 1, 2021 version immediately.
The members of the DOTD Project Evaluation Team 4 have been selected and will serve for fiscal years 2022 through 2024. Their names can be found at the following link under Project Evaluation Teams (PET):
SAVE THE DATE - Coastal Day at the Capital. May 19. This event will include an industry day at CPRA and may include some levee districts. I've spoken to CPRA about including design projects as well as those going to construction. There will also be a crawfish boil following at the Pentagon Barracks. More information to come as available.
The Office of Community Development recently testified to a legislative committee regarding the hold up in projects funded by the $1.2billion in federal flood mitigation funding. Click here for the article.
FP&C - The Division of Administration launched a new website, which includes a new and improved Selection Board webpage. This new webpage can be found at https://www.doa.la.gov/doa/fpc/selection-boards/. Here you will find the LSB-1 application form and instructions, subscription information for our electronic notification lists, and links to the Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Architects Selection Board information pages, which include the member lists, meeting dates, ads, submittal lists and meeting results.
MOVEBR - The City-Parish and MOVEBR Program Team will host several upcoming public meetings to provide updates on the projects below. All meetings will be held virtually and will begin at 6:00 p.m.
Registration is required. Click on the project links below to register.
Congratulations, Reid Romero of Huval & Associates, winner of the 2021 Cocodrie Fishing Excursion Raffle benefitting the ACEC Federal PAC!
Come, Find Your Place in the Sun!

Join owners and key principals from premiere consulting engineering and land surveying companies from across the Deep Southern States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi for a Hybrid Deep South Convention and Exhibitor's Trade Show.

Because of continued social distancing considerations, we are pleased to provide a VIRTUAL registration option for our Members and Industry Partners for 2021.

Sessions will be Broadcast live, via Zoom.

  • May 11-12: Emerging Leaders Institute (Session I)
  • May 13: New Orleans Chapter Luncheon
  • May 13: Transportation Committee Meeting
  • May 14: HR Council Meeting
  • May 21: Board of Governors Meeting
  • May 28: HR Council Meeting


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ACEC Affiliate Members

ACEC Business Insurance Trust
ACEC Life/Health Insurance Trust
Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc.
Alexander & Sanders, a division of BXS Insurance
Barriere Construction Group, LLC
Benefits One, LLC
BFM Corporation, LLC
Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP
Brown & Brown of Louisiana
BRAYN Consulting, LLC
CxA Services, LLC
Durable Piling Restoration, LLC
Environmental Technical Sales, Inc.
Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.
Foley & Judell, LLP
Forterra Pipe & Precast
Galloway Johnson Tompkins Burr & Smith, LLP
Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP
HUB International
Industrial Fabrics
O. R. Colan Associates, LLC
Quality Sitework Materials, Inc.
Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn
Wray & Associates, L.L.P.
Doreen Brasseaux
President & CEO
ACEC of Louisiana
ACEC of Louisiana | 225.927.7704 | dbrasseaux@acecl.org | www.acecl.org