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RE: Strange But True

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>To: Stan Caldwell et al:
>
>The original posting didn't come through and I would appreciate somebody
>reposting it.  I assume this is referring to the new CA law that allows non-
>licensed mech and elect work.  There was a short article in Engineering News
>Record just recently on the matter, but I don't have the issue or page number
>with me since I'm not at work right now.
>
>Carl Sramek
>
>
>What follows is a reprint of an article published in the October 1997 issue
>(Volume 5, Number 12) of CELSOC "Update":    
>
>Senate Bill 828 by Senator Leroy Greene (D-Carmichael) that extends the life
>of the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
>for two more years has been sent to Governor Wilson by the Legislature.
>Included in the bill is the language that CELSOC, BORPELS, and other
>engineering societies opposed that exempts "consultants and those hired
>pursuant to third party contracts" from licensure (this does not apply to
>civil).  While Senator Greene removed the language in the bill's final
>hearing, the software industry and some of their allies were able to replace
>the language on the floor of the Assembly after initially defeating the bill
>with a vote of 22-49.  An issue that complicated the final days was a
>Legislative Counsel opinion that opined it would be impossible to reauthorize
>the BORPELS in 1998 with urgency legislation.  Had SB 828 not been passed,
>BORPELS would have gone out of existence on July 1, 1998, with all regulatory
>authority passing to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).
>
>It is interesting that although DCA has consistently supported the broad
>deregistration contained in SB 828, they did not object to the recommendation
>of the Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee that the state continue to
>regulate electrical and mechanical engineering.
>
>For other than civil engineering, Government Code §6747 already allows
>California manufacturing, mining, public utility, research and development or
>other industrial corporations, to conduct engineering related activities,
>through their own employees.  As long as the activities are related to their
>products, systems or services, "industrial corporations" are free from the
>regulatory activities of the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers
>and Land Surveyors (BORPELS).  The reasoning is that a company will exercise
>prudence in hiring an employee to perform engineering and will be strictly
>liable for any activity undertaken by such employee.  Industrial exemptions,
>which are common in many other states, are almost invariably linked to
>products liability coverage to protect the consumer from intentional or
>inadvertent misconduct on the part of the exempt person.
>
>However, SB 828 destroys this strict liability protection by expanding the
>industrial exemption to include "consultants" to an "industry."  The
>principle of strict liability breaks down in a relationship of "independent
>contractor" where the contractor is not supervised by an employer.
>
>During six months of discussions CELSOC, BORPELS and several of the other
>engineering societies offered a variety of alternatives to DCA and other
>proponents of the expanded exemption.  These alternatives were all flatly
>rejected.  The common refrain was "we like the bill the way it is" with the
>complete deregistration of all practice areas but civil.
>
>SB 828 provides that a consultant or third party contractor is now an
>employee.  That provision allows companies, under the exemption, to practice
>on an unlimited basis, any type of engineering but civil.  This is, in
>effect, a deregistration of electrical and mechanical engineering-at least
>when the "client" is a business entity.
>
>CELSOC has asked Governor Wilson that if he decides to sign SB 828, he
>express the need to correct this very serious problem of deregulation of
>electrical and mechanical engineering.  The complete deregulation of
>electrical and mechanical engineering to satisfy some nebulous fear of
>discipline of software designers puts the public at serious risk with no
>apparent benefit to the public.  The Governor is expected to act on SB 828
>after the publication date for this issue of Update.
>
>Best Regards,
>
>Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
>Dallas, Texas
>
>*******************************************************
>The goal of every engineer is to retire
>without getting blamed for a major catastrophe!
>			           ...Dilbert, 1996	
>*******************************************************
>
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