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Sb1023 doa


Feb 23, 2010
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
PABCO Members:

SB1023, which many of you have worked on tirelessly with PABCO leadership over the last three months, is DEAD FOR THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

House Leadership pulled it from any consideration on the voting calendar, because of legislators on both sides of the aisle refusing to pull their planned floor amendments and the Senate standing firm that they would not concur on the bill if there were any amendments.

Here’s what we know for sure about the future:

1. A bill to address the needed fixes to the RAC code review process will be introduced in late January. PABCO will be intimately involved in helping to draft the bill and see it through the process.

2. Public hearings are going to be scheduled on one or more UCC-related issues. There will definitely be a hearing on the mandated use of multiple third party agencies when an opt-in municipality chooses to use a third party for any UCC function. It is likely that a hearing will be held on inspection turn around times. PABCO and its members will be actively involved in these hearings and will use them as a golden opportunity to educate legislators and the public about the realities of day to day administration and enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code. It will be a good opportunity!

3. PABCO has been asked to help inform legislators of the importance of fixing the problems with the RAC review process. We have already given our word that we will be glad to do whatever we can to assist with this objective.

4. PABCO will be working over the fall and winter to prepare for the hearings and the re-introduction of a “RAC bill”, actively involving all of you in the process.

In the meantime, we go back to where we were:

The mandated language regarding multiple third party agencies is gone for now.

RAC has to review 2015 codes and submit report by May 29th of next year.

The RAC cannot modify codes.

Status of reviewing the 2012 codes remains in the air.

The training fund goes back to PHRC/PCCA each receiving 50% of permit fees.

The language that we fought for that solved the issue over “accessibility provisions” has been lost for the time being. We will fight to make sure it returns in the new bill.

Thanks for all of your hard work!

Leadership and I cannot begin to express our thanks, gratitude and appreciation for the INCREDIBLE show of support and involvement we had over the last several months from so many of our PABCO members. Your grassroots work with your legislators was truly inspirational. Your personal appointments. Your group meetings. Your emails, phone calls and faxes. And your continued follow up.

And not to be overlooked at all was the work that many of you did to get your municipal officials actively engaged in the debate, who in turn contacted their legislators and their state associations. In the final evaluation, the support of PSATS, PSAB and the League was critical in convincing legislators that the multiple third party agency language was a real problem and would have created chaos throughout the state in how the UCC is administered and enforced.

This was a “textbook case” of how the right messages got sent, the right allies and partners were identified and engaged, but most importantly, so many of you got personally involved, realizing that the amendments to this bill would have had a dramatic impact on your jobs, careers and livelihood. If you had not gotten personally involved, I cannot assure you that the results would have been as positive as they are.

But, this is just the beginning, in many senses. There are people in the legislature and beyond who feel that they have “lost” and they don’t take well to losing. We will need to fight the battle again. You can’t ever let your guard down. But at least for the next battle, we will already have a number of weapons and tools that we have accumulated that worked and we will use them again.

Just as there are some who will not forget that they “lost”, there are many others who have come to have great respect for the job that all of you have done – and I mean that sincerely. While I can’t quote specific people because of confidentiality, there are definitely people in the legislature, elected and staff, who have given high praise to the efforts that all of you have put forth. People have noticed and have respected your professionalism and tenacity in getting the job done. PABCO and its membership has moved to a different level in terms of legislative recognition over the last three months – and that is solely as a result of what you all have done.

Congratulations for a job well done!