May, 2021
Follow us on Facebook & Twitter
ACECL remembers and honors those brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms and protect us from harm. May they all rest in eternal peace.

We hope you all have a safe holiday weekend.
The May, 2021 Board of Governor's meeting was held May 21, 2021 at the Louisiana Engineering and Surveying Center. The next meeting will be held June 18, 2021.
  • HB 113 amends the state ethics law to codify a longstanding exception. The bill has passed the House and Senate Committee. It is pending final passage on the Senate Floor.
  • HB 323 changes 'design professional services' to 'architecture, engineering and landscape architecture professional services' in the Hammett Act. The bill has PASSED. The law will now also include 'land surveying' as a service that falls under the provisions of the law. This clarification will help in advocating against QBS violations, particularly for services that owners try to claim are not 'design'.
  • SB 180 originally subjected professional services - including engineering - to reverse auction. Bill was amended at request of ACECL to remove professional services from the bill. The Bill passed with the requested amendment.


Capital Outlay Bill - HB 2 - includes $563 million for roads and bridges from the American Rescue Act to be deposited into the TTF sub fund. Click here for list of projects to be funded.

HB 2 passed the Senate on May 27 but the House rejected the Senate amendments. The bill is now in Conference Committee to work out the disagreement.

Appropriations Bill - HB 1 includes additional funding from the American Rescue Plan:
  • $50 million for ports to be transferred to the La. Port Relief Fund to reimburse for lost revenue due to COVID19.
  • $300 million for water, sewage, and drainage upgrades - to be transferred to a new Water Sector Fund to disburse grants for repairs, improvements, and consolidation of community water systems. The bill also creates a Water Sector Commission consisting of members of the legislature. The Commission will develop the guidance and recommendations for grants from the Fund. There will also be a working panel consisting of employees of La. Dept. of Health, Community Development, Facility Planning and Environmental Quality.
  • The bill also has $30m for Southwest Louisiana to assist with hurricane-related infrastructure including $14m for Port of Lake Charles, $4m for McNeese State University and other funding for structural damage repairs to regional airport and school districts.

HB 1 passed the Senate May 27 and the House later concurred in the Senate amendments. It heads to the Governor's desk.

HB 514 by Rep. Tanner Magee is a bill to allocate and dedicate a tax on medical marijuana. It passed the House and a Senate Committee with 50% of the avails dedicated to TTF Sub-fund. During debate on the bill on the Senate floor, Sen. Rick Ward successfully added an amendment to remove the sunset on the .45 temporary sales tax and move into the TTF Sub-fund 33% in the first year, 66% in the second year and 100% by year three and each year thereafter. He testified that .33 raises $125-$130m each year so that there will be $370 million going into the fund by Year 3 and thereafter. The amendment allocates 75% to mega projects and 25% to maintenance. Click here for list of projects. The amendment passed 27 to 10 but the bill was then recommitted to Finance Committee because there is now a fiscal impact on state general fund.

HB 511 by Rep. Jack McFarland. Rep. McFarland's bill has passed the House and is pending in Senate Finance. The current version of the bill shifts the avails of the tax on the sale, use, lease and rental of motor vehicles into the TTF Sub-fund beginning in FY 22 by 10% and increasing by 10% each year until 2031 when 100% of the avails would be deposited into the Sub-fund. By FY 31, the annual amount going into the fund would be $470m. This bill did not require s 2/3 vote because it is not raising a tax, only dedicating existing tax revenue. This bill joins the Magee bill described above in Senate Finance. Both create a state general fund hole but supporters of both argue the incoming federal stimulus can off set the gradual shifting of the funds from the state general fund. The bill originally created the Commission on Government Reform in Transportation (GRIT). That part was removed on the House Floor. Instead the Legislative Transportation Committees will review and make recommendations on certain information.

HB 40 by Rep. Mark Wright has passed the House and has been referred to Senate Finance. HB 40 reduces DOTD’s reliance, over time, on the Transportation Trust Fund for retired employee benefit costs and salary and benefit costs of current DOTD employees. By FY29, all benefits and salary costs of DOTD employees would be paid for by the state’s General Fund. Benefits and salary costs for both retired and current DOTD employees is estimated to be approximately $390M in FY29, assuming no market rate adjustments between now and then. That equates to approximately 13 of the 20 cents currently paid in state motor fuels tax.

Senate Finance meets Tuesday, June 2.
FAR Credits Clause/PPP Loan Forgiveness -
ACEC and ACECL continue efforts to resolve the problem with the FAR Credits Clause and PPP Loan Forgiveness. While ACEC seeks a congressional solution, they have been working to get clarification from FHWA on how the credits are to be applied. A workgroup of State DOT auditors and ACEC CPA affiliate firms who do extensive amounts of FAR audit work developed a set of Q&As regarding the FHWA guidance issued March 24. I have met with DOTD to better understand their intentions. At this time, DOTD sees this less of a problem in LA than some other states. This will not affect fixed price or lump sum contracts. There are also other direct costs that you will likely have that can reduce the credit for projects that are for private/non-FAR transportation related. There are also unallowable indirect costs on FAR transportation projects that can further reduce the credit owed. I will be working with DOTD to provide an opportunity for your CPAs to engage with DOTD as this proceeds so that you understand how to show the credit on your books and to what contracts it should to apply.
Click here for the Q&A document. Please share with your CPA. ACEC has on-demand virtual webinars for purchase on the subject if interested:
QBS: ACECL successfully advocated for changes/clarifications to recent RFQs:

St. John the Baptist - two gateway projects
SWBNOLA - Carrollton Water Plant
E. Feliciana Parish - Parish Engineering Services
(aka ACEC)
Click here for the latest A/E Economic Indicator presentation.
Surface Transportation Bill - In a very positive development, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee voted 20-1 May 27 for a bi-partisan surface transportation reauthorization bill. Click for the text . The bill authorizes $303.5 billion over five years for highway programs from the Highway Trust Fund and an additional $7.8 billion from the General Fund (subject to annual appropriations), for a total investment of $311.3 billion for Fiscal Years 2022-2026. This is a 34% funding increase over total FAST Act funding levels.  
Within those totals, $273 billion would be distributed by formulas to the states. Click here to see the estimated state-by-state apportionments. The funding increases in the bill would be front-loaded, with a $9 billion bump in FY 2022, the first year of the bill (about 18%), and then 2% growth in the following years.
The bill retains a number of features from the highway reauthorization bill that the committee approved back in 2019, with some changes and additions. Among the notable provisions:
  • $7.25 billion for a new bridge rehabilitation grant program
  • $7.3 billion for PROTECT grants aimed at bolstering resilience, split between formula funds and competitive grants
  • $6.4 billion in a new carbon emissions reduction program, distributed by formula to states
  • $4.8 billion for INFRA freight and multimodal grants
  • $2.5 billion for grants for electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas refueling stations
  • A new pilot program for reconnecting communities, to study the feasibility and impacts of removing, retrofitting, or mitigating an existing transportation facilities that create barriers to mobility, access, or economic development
  • A national vehicle-miles traveled user fee pilot program, and reauthorization of existing surface transportation system funding alternatives program
  • Codification of the One Federal Decision policy, two-year average timeline for completing Environmental Impact Statements, and other project delivery reforms

Side by side: Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposes to spend $115 billion over the FAST Act baseline over eight years for roads and bridges, while the Senate bill is $77 billion bigger than the FAST Act over five years, making the Senate proposal $1 billion bigger per year.
Remember: The EPW handles only the highway section — other committees tackle transit, rail, safety and the all-important pay-for. 
American Jobs Plan - The Biden Administration has reduced it's infrastructure plan from $2.3T to $1.7T. Senate Republicans have crafted their own plan which is set at approximately $1T, up from $568B. There is a second group of 8 bi-partisan senators (including Sen. Cassidy) that is looking at pay-fors for the Republican plan that would replace the Biden's plan to hike the corporate tax rate. They are looking at indexing federal gas tax for road projects; electric vehicle tax; and unspent COVID relief funds. In addition to the amount of funding, there continue to be differences in the scope of the two bills. The Biden administration feels the Republican proposals for drinking water, rail and transit, and resilience are inadequate as well as investments in the power grid, environmental remediation, public buildings and other vertical construction, and child care and elder care programs.
Click here for the Republican Plan.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $61.6 million in federal funding for 16 flood risk reduction projects throughout the state as part of the Watershed Projects Grant Program: Local and Regional – Round 1. The Round 1 funding opportunity is part of the state’s Action Plan to spend $1.2 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds.
2021 Coastal Day at the Capitol and Industry Day were held May 19.

All presentations during Industry Day, together with the final agendas for both days, have been uploaded at the below link.

*Internet Explorer seems to work better than Google Chrome.*

Note that all presentations are in .pdf format, with the filenames for each presentation following the numbering as shown on the agenda for the given day.

Direct any questions to:

Jacques Boudreaux, P.E.
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
Staff Engineer | Engineering Division
The Water Campus | 150 Terrace Avenue | Baton Rouge, LA 70802
o: 225.342.0242 | c: 225.603.9733

Click here for a memo from ACECL President relative to information and resources for updating your Return to Work Policy, including vaccinations.
ACEC of Louisiana and AIA Louisiana welcomed the 2021 Emerging Leaders Class to Session I on May 11-12. The two day Session included personal personality profiles and necessary tools to work with clients and colleagues with different personalities; conflict resolution; a 2021 Legislative update in the A/E Industry and spending a day with our state legislative leaders witnessing two of our bills move out of Committee.
2021 Emerging Leaders

Grant Besse, P.E., Bluewing Civil Consulting, Inc.
Kevin Beyer, P.E., T. Baker Smith, LLC
Nathan Burke, E.I., ECS Southeast, LLP
Eric Ericson, P.E., Evans-Graves
Evan Geerts, P.E., Duplantis Design Group
Casey Genovese, P.E., Linfield Hunter & Junius
Aleah H. Guilbeau, AIA, Cockfield Jackson Architects
Mark Heck, AIA, Williams Architects
David Lachin, AIA, Lachin Architects, apc
Dayna LeBoeuf, T. Baker Smith, LLC
Kara Moree, Atlas Consultants
Holly Morgan, P.E., Sigma Consulting Group
Michael Olivier, AIA, RHH Architects
Monica Perez, AIA, Gasaway Gasaway Bankston Architects
Joe Rivera, HNTB Corporation
Andy Sellers, P.E., C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates
Dustin Silbernagel, P.E., Fairway Consulting & Engineering
Elizabeth Songy, E.I., Duplantis Design Group
Gage Spell, LSI, Quality Engineering & Surveying, LLC
Dishili Young, P.E., Neel-Schaffer
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.

Baton Rouge Chapter:
Chad Bacas, P.E., President
Forte & Tablada
Kimberly McDaniel, P.E., PTOE, Vice-President
C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates
New Orleans Chapter:
Robert Delaune, P.E., President
Digital Engineering
Brian Moldaner, P.E., Vice-President
T. Baker Smith
Lafayette Chapter:
Colby Guidry, P.E., President
Huval & Associates
Alex Guillory, P.E., Vice President
Bluewing Civil Consulting, LLC
Shreveport Chapter:
Brandon Aillet, P.E.
Halff Associates

Lake Charles Chapter:
Butch Babineaux
C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates
Special thanks to Kent Poyser for his leadership of the New Orleans Chapter, particularly during 2020!
The Awards Committee for the American Concrete Institute Louisiana Chapter is seeking construction projects entries for the 23rd Annual Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards
Eligible Projects: Louisiana projects
Completed between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2021
Projects which utilize concrete and feature innovative design, creative solutions, or aesthetics are excellent candidates. Concrete masonry projects are also eligible!
(Project size is not a criteria)
Award recipients will be recognized on February 12, 2022
at the ACI Louisiana’s Excellence in Concrete Awards Banquet.
Winners will proceed on to the ACI International Excellence in Concrete Awards Program
Please visit for more information.

  • June 10: Emerging Leaders Institute (Webinar)
  • June 11: HR Forum Monthly Meeting
  • June 14: Baton Rouge Chapter Luncheon
  • June 17: Water Resources Committee Meeting
  • June 18: Board of Governors Meeting
  • June 29: Lake Charles Chapter Luncheon


The ACEC Business Insurance Trust (BIT) oversees a program that provides business and professional liability insurance coverage for participating ACEC member firms. The program offers policyholders ACEC-exclusive tailored coverage along with broad policy terms and conditions.
Act like a construction contractor? That’s something design firms are usually cautioned against doing.
Join Greyling's legal expert, Mark Baum, J.D., for a webinar where we challenge the status quo and introduce the provocative idea that design firms should adopt subconsultant partner programs modeled on those utilized by construction contractors to manage trade subcontractor relationships. We’ll discuss the premise, design, and implementation of partner programs for design firms.

Learn the business case for subconsultant partner programs to:
  • Enhance your firm’s risk management practices;
  • Increase the velocity and accuracy of scope, pricing, and schedule estimates;
  • Expedite contract negotiations;
  • Meet supplier diversity requirements;
  • Create business development opportunities.

Registered attendees will receive an exclusive post-webinar resource: Greyling Playbook: Designing & Implementing a Subconsultant Partner Program.

Date: June 9, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM ET
Please reach out to me if you have any questions.
Jeff Connelly
Senior Vice President

The tax code can be complicated and minimizing your tax payments is a need for every business, especially in times like these. As an affiliated partner with ACEC Louisiana chapter, BRAYN Consulting works directly with your CPA to assist in claiming tax incentives specifically geared towards engineering companies.  

BRAYN service offering for engineering companies includes the R&D tax credit, the 179D energy efficiency deduction and cost segregation studies. 

BRAYN offers a FREE Phase 1 to assess and estimate the potential of these specific tax programs. If you want to maximize your firm value by creating significant cash flow through claiming tax incentives for engineers, reach out to Jason Villere , [email protected] (225) 337-0053, at BRAYN Consulting ( for a FREE Phase 1 Consultation.  

Jason Villere
Director, BRAYN Consulting LLC
Mobile: 225.337.0053

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 | [email protected] |