Advocating for Your Bottom Line

Greetings from the AIA California Office,

We know the regulatory environment in California impacts your work, your firm, and its bottom line. The pressure on fees continues to escalate and the economic environment is variable and unsettled.

Designing where Californians live work and play, those architects designing public projects are being constrained by bureaucracy and AIA California is working to remove these barriers.

Those seeking to perform work on public works projects are currently required to register annually as a Public Works Contractor with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) in order to bid on projects. Registration is currently set at$400 per year and these fees are used to finance DIR’s oversight and enforcement of the prevailing wage laws.

The rub here is because architectural services usually do not involve services requiring the payment of a prevailing wage, AIA California argues architects should not be required to register as a Public Works Contractor. And worse, firms are required to register during the pursuit of projects, before a contract is awarded.

AIA CA was successful in 2020 in introducing legislation to change this burden on architecture firms, however, it was among the 75% of bills dropped as a result of COVID-19. 

We’re not giving up and the advocacy team continues to have conversations with stakeholders,  Legislative staff and the Governor’s office to require transparency in fees and requirements by DIR, and ultimately lobbying for removal of this requirement for architects.

Of course we would rather report this as a “win”, but its also important to recognize AIA CA is “at the table” advocating on your behalf, and on some issues that means playing the long game. We will continue to push forward on behalf of the architectural profession and will keep you updated.

Have a wonderful week,

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