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Re: Strange but True (SB 828)

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You seem to have a real interest in the politics of CA while admitting to
having no professional interests in what goes on out here. I seriously
doubt, based on the TX PE laws, that TX will use this CA legislation as a
model. You (probably) have nothing to worry about.

Whatever the actual impact of SB 828 may have on engineers in CA, it really
doesn't matter since (a) Gov Wilson has already signed it into law (b) and
we engineers probably wouldn't have done anything about it anyway.

This legislation does indicate that the trend is going away from (rather
than going towards) protecting the PROFESSIONALS. What else is new?

I guess things in TX are going so well, you need to get us "riled up" out
here in CA. Maybe you should start a SEAoT listserv.

Bill Allen
(the cynic)

-----Original Message-----
From: Caldwell, Stan <scaldwell(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)' <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Friday, October 31, 1997 8:34 AM
Subject: RE: Strange but True (SB 828)

>>From: Charles Greenlaw[SMTP:cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)]
>>Sent: Thursday, October 30, 1997 3:06 PM
>>To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
>>Subject: Re:Strange but True (SB 828)
>I have forwarded Stan Caldwell's posting on to Sen. Greene's staffer
>>Bill Gage, who handled this legislation, and to Curt Augustine at the
>>Department of Consumer Affairs, who represented the Governor's
>>during the process.
>>However, I prefaced it with my own remark, as follows:
>>"What better example in real life of the Mother Goose story of Chicken
>>is there than this, where CELSOC squawks their irrational alarm and it is
>>passed on as gospel, further exaggerated?"
>>Some background: I attended an all-afternoon negotiation session on the
>offending matter on July 29 at the state capitol and heard the positions
>of all the interested parties. Staffers from both legislative houses
>>were there, as was Mr. Augustine, himself a former Executive Officer of
>PE and LS Board.  The CELSOC position and the Board of Registration
>>position could not be distinguished from each other, and were
>>but ineptly and unpersuasively presented.
>>The present Board E.O. (a M.E.) tried to give an example of how an
>>mechanical consultant would be able to do engineering legally on a
>>project, for a surge tower on a penstock, and was promptly corrected by
>>former E.O.(a non-P.E.) that her example was civil engineering that the
>>didn't affect. She couldn't think of any other example.
>In contrast, non-PE technical and scientific consultants to research and
>development corporations and to manufacturing corporations were succinct
>>and believable.
>Curt Augustine explained that the Wilson administration regards
>>extending the decades-old "industrial" corporation exemption to
>>employees and consultants as the most important feature of the entire,
>>multi-board sunset program.
>Sen. Greene is a Civil Engineer who had a successful private practice in
>structural design in Sacramento for some 35 years. He has been a member
>of my section of SEAOC since 1949, and a legislator since 1963. And he
>is a member of CELSOC and other societies who opposed his bill. There is
>>no question as to his understanding the issues.
>I have videotapes of 1 1/2 hours of legislative hearings on this part of
>this bill. In one, after CELSOC's lobbyist made the same claims repeated
>>in the e-mail posting earlier today, Sen Greene replied, "If horses had
>feathers, I'd say 'horsefeathers'".  At another juncture, he said that
>his engineer friends overstate the prospect of adverse outcomes, and
>>that he didn't believe them.  He noted that nothing in existing law is
>>to have been abused, and that changes in employment practices means that
>>law must be amended to hold even.
>>The governor signed the bill a month ago.
>I see the CELSOC effort simply as an overextended turf grab that failed,
>>and is lingering on in the form of a lot of petulant whining and
>>self-justifying propaganda.
>An enduring question might be, how well is professional engineering
>>served when the most vigorous of its lobbying factions is so headstrong
>>lacking in credibility? If there's a threat to structurals, it will be
>>within the profession. Remember George Orwell's Animal Farm: pretty quick
>>pigs took over.
>>Charles O. Greenlaw, S.E.  Sacramento CA
>Apparently, everyone is not as knowledgeable as you are, or there
>wouldn't be any reason for this Listserv.  However, some of us are not
>able to spend our time attending hearings in Sacramento and,
>consequently, might appear (to you) to be ignorant and irrational.  I do
>not practice in California, and have never been a member of CELSOC.
>Nevertheless, when their newsletter found it's way to my desk, the
>article on SB 828 caught my attention.  This was my first exposure to
>this issue.  The idea of deregulating any aspect of the engineering
>profession alarms me.  By posting the article on the Listserv, I hoped
>to gather more information.  I certainly didn't expect to receive your
>Your post explains an environment that would allow SB 828 to be passed
>and signed into law.  It is a shame that CELSOC did such a poor job of
>lobbying on this issue.  However, nothing in your post even attempts to
>explain why SB 828 represents good public policy.  What good can
>>possibly come from "extending the decades-old industrial corporation
>exemption to non-salaried employees and consultants"?  Intel is
>currently constructing a new plant in Fort Worth, Texas.  Every sheet of
>the construction documents was sealed by a Licensed Professional
>Engineer in Texas.  However, it appears that their next plant in
>California can now be undertaken without the involvement of any
>Professional Engineers (except Civil).  Can anyone explain the logic in
>this?  Until someone can, I will continue to be alarmed.
>Chicken Little, P.E.
>Dallas, Texas