May 22, 2020

Treasury and SBA has released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. Click here to view the application and instructions.

We are still waiting on more guidance than just this application and instructions.
In yet another fall out from the coronavirus, the 2020 Deep South Convention scheduled for July 24-26 in SanDestin has been cancelled. The four states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi have spent the past several weeks in discussions to determine SanDestin's ability to meet their contractual obligations related to the conference.

This decision did not come easy. All four states look forward every year to the opportunity to network with fellow ACEC Deep South members. However, the health and safety of our attendees is our top priority and we are committed to providing a safe meeting environment in which to convene. Taking these safety issues into account, along with current governmental regulations adversely impacting our ability to execute a successful conference, the four states determined that cancelling the event is in the best interest of our members, our associates, and their families.

If you have registered for the conference or paid for a sponsorship, you will be refunded in full.

I f you already made a reservation with the resort, please contact them directly to cancel your reservation should you not plan to attend due to this cancellation. Your reservation will not cancel automatically . See below for contact information:

Sandestin® Group Reservations                 Call: 800-320-8115 or                                                                      Fax: 850-267-8221

ACEC Group Reservation Number:    2416XB

Keep your beach towel handy! The Deep South Convention will be back in 2021 better than ever!
It appears the Legislature is headed for a special session to convene following conclusion of the Regular Session on June 1. The general explanation for the purpose of the special session is to pass a budget because there has not been enough time during the shortened regular session. Normally the Governor calls the Legislature into special session and 'controls' the call/subjects that can be debated as well as the length of the session. However, the Constitution does allow for the Legislature to call themselves into a special session. It requires a majority of both houses signing a petition that outlines the call. The petition circulating among the Legislature states the session would convene June 1 at 6:01pm following the end of the 2020 Regular Session and cannot exceed 30 days.

The 41 items in the call include mostly funding/fiscal and declared emergency matters (suspensions and extensions) including the Capital Outlay bill but it does include several non-fiscal matter such as:
  • Workforce Training
  • Incentive Program requirements
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Expansion of broadband coverage
  • Creation of a Streamlining Commission
  • Suspension of licensing requirements and fees imposed on businesses during emergency (will need to see what is filed under this item)
  • Relative to civil liability and motor vehicle liability coverage, general prescriptive periods for delictual actions, collateral source, prescription, jury trials, jury trial thresholds, direct actions against insurers, evidence regarding seat belts, annual rate filings by the commissioner of insurance and mandatory rate reductions.

This last item is at the core (in my opinion) of the petition for a Special Session. It puts the Legislature in session and more easily able to consider an override of a gubernatorial veto in the event bills related to this last item pass.

What does that mean for HB2 and my Legislative Action Alert? HB2 was passed over this week. It is likely to be considered next Tuesday when the appropriations bill is expected to be considered by the full House. This timing makes it difficult (but not impossible) for the appropriations bill to pass this session. Your continued outreach to legislators is important. We still need the surplus funds appropriated to DOTD, CPRA and FP&C to protect projects whether its this bill or the one to be filed in a special session. The issue isn't going away. Without the funding necessary to adequately fund the highway program we're looking at least $250m in projects not going forward next fiscal year.
For those of you who may have been unable to attend the Transportation Conference in March or the subsequent presentations by DOTD relative to the consultant selection changes effective with advertisements issued after July 1, ACECL is hosting a virtual presentation with DOTD staff on June 4 at 1:30pm . This meeting will be recorded and available after the meeting for those with a conflict.
Topic: DOTD Consultant Selection Process Changes
Time: Jun 4, 2020 01:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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ACECL Principal Round Table
When: May 26, 2020 12:30 PM Central Time
Invite has been sent to all ACECL firm principals individually. Please sign up for this opportunity to network and discuss ongoing business challenges presented by COVID19

Upcoming ACEC webinars:
Thursday, May 28th, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM EST
Presenter: Jackson Walsh, Morrissey Goodale LLC 
Wednesday, May 27th at 1:30 PM Eastern
Rather than focusing on normal project deliverables and deadlines, the rising stars in your firm are now grappling with shifting client needs, change orders, and accounts receivable more than ever before. This session will cover ways they can continue fulfilling their changing role with clients.
Past ACEC Webinar information:
Guidelines and Protocols to Reduce Your Company’s Risk Exposure as You Bring Your Employees Back to the Office

Held Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 12:30 PM
You can click here to stream the recording.

Working with the HR Council, ACECL developed the attached  Safe at Work / Return to Work Policy/Infectious Disease Policy  template for firms to customize according to your standard operations and office culture. We know you are already making plans for how to transition to more employees working at the office. This policy is simply offered as a resource to complement your own planning as the state moves toward easing of stay-at-home restrictions. There is both a version that can be edited as well as a PDF version which activates all the hyperlinks so you can access the resources. To activate the links in your own final policy document - if being distributed electronically or posted online - simply save your version as a PDF. The links are not active in the word document.

You are welcome to call me if you have any questions. These suggestions are consistent with recommendations identified through extensive research. However, they should not substitute for your own management decision-making. This document is intended to be tailored to fit your individual circumstances.