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CCASLA Highlights Legislative Activity

Bills backed by the California Council of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) have passed the California legislative branches and are either set to become law in 2012 or waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.

The California Council of the American Society of Landscape Architects has advocated for several pieces of legislation in California affecting landscape architects.

According to the CCASLA, the key legislative advocacy effort in 2011 focused on the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC) Sunset Review Process. Senate Bill 543 was approved by the legislature and currently awaits the governor's signature. Once signed, the Bill will extend the Landscape Architects Technical Committee for another four years.

CCASLA representatives worked diligently throughout this process, testifying before the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and submitting numerous letters to ensure the state's landscape architect's voices were heard.

CCASLA was also very active in advocating on behalf of the landscape architecture profession on a number of other important pieces of legislation. Among those, the following have been Chaptered into state law and will provide direct benefits to landscape architecture practitioners:

o SB 190, Mechanics Liens/SB 424, Mechanics Liens: Design Professional. These bills were enacted to make certain improvements to existing Mechanics Lien laws, notably to include the rights of licensed landscape architects to pursue design liens and other legal recourse for non-payment of design services fees among other actions. The bills will become operative July 1, 2012.

o SB 264, Recreational Activities - Skate Parks: This law extends indefinitely recognition of skateboarding at a public skateboard park as a hazardous recreational activity. In doing so, it will help limit the liability of landscape architects who might be involved in the design and construction of such facilities.

o AB587, Public Works: Volunteers: This legislation was specifically drafted and chaptered to extend the ability of various volunteer organizations to provide free labor in order to help preserve both natural and cultural resources throughout California. Many of these resources would otherwise fall into a state of further deterioration given that current government funding cannot support all required preservation actions.

CCASLA's support of these bills was directly tied to protecting landscape architects from certain liability issues that could be associated with deterioration of built works and deferred maintenance.

The following bills are currently awaiting the governor's approval to be enacted:

o SB 67, Public Contracts -- Small Business Participation: This bill will amend existing law to establish goals for the participation of small businesses in public procurement contracts for the provision of goods, services, information technology and for the construction of state facilities and will provide for small business preferences in the award of these contracts, give special consideration and special assistance to small businesses, and, whenever possible, make awards to small businesses. According to the CCASLA, this legislation will benefit landscape architects in their ability to pursue such work both as prime contractors and sub-contractors.

o AB 275, Rainwater Capture Act of 2011; AB 849, Water -- Use Efficiency: Both bills currently await the governor's signature to chapter provisions for the use of rainwater and graywater in the landscape. Through its advocacy on these two measures, CCASLA was able to establish a working relationship with the chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on Regional Approaches to Addressing the State Water Crisis, the Hon. Jose Solorio (Dem-69) who has expressed an interest in learning more about the profession and the contributions landscape architects are making on a daily basis to help solve the State's water issues.

The California Council of the American Society of Landscape Architects is an organization comprised of the four California Chapters including the San Diego, Southern California, Sierra, and Northern California Chapters, The purpose of the Council is to advance the profession of Landscape Architecture in the State of California as an instrument of services in public welfare and to serve as the coordinating Council in the State for the various Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

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December 14, 2019, 7:41 am PDT

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