P. O. Box 16148
Albuquerque, NM 87191
p. 505-328-3969, f: 505-856-0104
nmdirector@aianewmexico.org
Jean Gibson, Executive Director

 
 

 

2017 GOVERNMENT ADVOCACY:

 
 

AIA New Mexico’s mission is to serve as the unifying voice of all AIA Chapters in New Mexico, in service to the architectural profession. It is dedicated to legislative and governmental advocacy as a leader in shaping the built environment for the public good. As the state chapter of The American Institute of Architects, AIA New Mexico actively advocates at both the state and federal level.

 

 

GOVERNMENT LINKS:

Federal Links:

· AIA National Government Affairs

· US Government Information

· HUD

 

 

State Links:

· New Mexico Legislature

· New Mexico State Agencies on the Web

 

 

 
 


AIA NEW MEXICO OPPOSES BORDER WALL

AIA New Mexico opposes the construction of a permanent border wall along the length of the US/Mexico border. The Resolution on Alternatives to the Border Wall was passed unanimously by the Board of Director on September 19, 2017, joining other US border states in opposition.

The full text of the Resolution follows:

Resolution on Alternatives to the Border Wall
PASSED - September 19, 2017 (R)

The New Mexico Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NM) joins our fellow AIA chapters in the other US border states in opposition to the construction of a permanent border wall extending along the 1,954-mile length of the US/Mexico border. The initial estimated cost for this project is presumed to range from $20 billion to over $50 billion and could, conceivably, be as much $17 to $24 million per mile. There is little doubt that the funding of a border wall will, inevitably, be borne by U.S. taxpayers.

While some support the concept for a border wall and its perceived benefits, others remain apprehensive and have raised considerable doubts about the effectiveness of this massive project in accomplishing the publicly stated objectives.  As do many in our country, we know individual members of AIA New Mexico hold differing opinions on the efficacy of the proposed wall. 

As architects, a primary obligation of our profession is to serve the public interest.  AIA is further bound by ethical principles that include an underlying commitment toward the intelligent stewardship of our natural resources and our physical environment. 

AIA-NM has considerable doubt about the effectiveness of this project in accomplishing its stated objectives. While the designated region of the wall in New Mexico only extends 180 miles, the impact on our communities and businesses will be real and potentially devastating.

The border region has a complex natural habitat and the environmental impacts of the wall would be incalculable – potentially leading to irreparable damage to vast tracts of natural vegetation, habitat, migratory species movement, and ecosystems. The cultures, economies, and histories of Mexico and New Mexico are also inextricably linked. The wall would be a cruel statement disrupting the rich centuries-old, mostly peaceful, and mutually beneficial relationship between our state, our nation, and our neighbor, Mexico. With the infrastructure needs of our nation, now aggravated by the recent twin disasters of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, federal funding can be best allocated to public infrastructure “bricks and mortar” projects that respond to urgent needs already well-documented and underfunded. 

Therefore, the AIA New Mexico Chapter of the American Institute of Architects requests that the US Senators and Representatives from New Mexico consider alternatives to the construction of a US/Mexico border wall, and advocate instead for infrastructure projects that will better serve and enrich the public interest while safeguarding our natural environment.

Barbara J. Felix, AIA
2017 President, AIA New Mexico

 

 

State Advocacy

AIA New Mexico is actively involved in advocacy at the state level, not only at the legislature, but also at the administrative level of state government. AIA NM contracts with a part-time lobbyist, J. D. Bullington, to assist in representing the interest of our members and the entire architectural community in New Mexico.

The Government Affairs Committee of AIA New Mexico has the responsibility to determine whether to support, oppose or remain neutral on specific issues coming before the New Mexico legislature which relate to the practice of architecture and/or the construction industries. The Committee reports its decisions to the full Board of Directors of AIA NM on a weekly basis during the legislative sessions, in accordance with the Government Affairs Policy adopted by the Board. The Executive Director of AIA New Mexico serves as the point of central communications during the fast-paced legislative sessions.

AIA New Mexico seeks to work collaboratively in its advocacy efforts with other organizations in the construction industries to maximize our voices in shaping policies and legislation related to the built environment.


 

2016 New Mexico Legislative Actions


At the start of each legislative session, AIA NM distributes a copy of its Legislative Agenda to all the New Mexico legislators.  It summarizes who we are, our policy positions and our beliefs.  To read AIA New Mexico’s 2016 Legislative Agenda, click here

Among this year’s bills, AIA New Mexico specifically supports the following:

HB 307 (Sponsors:  Rep. Cook, Sen. Cisneros) – Capital Outlay Reform Act.  AIA New Mexico supports this comprehensive reform of the current capital outlay process.  It is modeled after the successful public school capital outlay system, including the development of a comprehensive state-wide plan of infrastructure needs and a transparent process for ensuring that highest-priority projects are fully funded.

HB 166 (Sponsor:  Rep. Baldonado) – Home Inspector Licensing Act.  This bill would require regulation and supervision of the business of home inspection and evaluation by a newly created New Mexico Home Inspectors Board.  The Board would establish standards for training, experience and continuing education, publish a Code of Ethics and Standards for licensees, among other duties of a licensing board.

HM 51 (Sponsor:  Rep. Steinborn) – Feasibility Study for the Use of Solar Power on State Facilities.  This memorial requests the General Services Department, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and Solar Energy Proponents to evaluate the potential energy and cost savings, feasibility and financial options for expanding the use of solar power on state facilities. 

HB 173 (Sponsor:  Rep. Egolf) – Web-based Capital Outlay Publication.  This “sunshine” bill requires the publication of capital projects approved in each legislative session, indicating which legislators, or if applicable the governor, allotted a portion of their capital outlay allocation to the project and how much was allocated.  AIA New Mexico supports transparency for a currently flawed and non-transparent capital outlay process.

HB 276 (Sponsor:  Rep. Youngblood) – Qualified Business Facility Construction and Rehabilitation Tax Credits.   This bill expands, restructures and renames the existing personal and corporate income tax qualified business facility rehabilitation tax credits. 

SB 13 (Sponsors:  Sen. Stewart, Rep. Maestas Barnes) – Solar Market Development Tax Credit Incremental Reductions.  This bill increases the allowable maximum annual aggregate of the solar market development tax credit from $3 million to $5 million, extends the life of the tax credit until January 1, 2025 and incrementally reduces the amount of the credit from 10% down to 5% from 2016 until Jan. 1, 2025.  For solar thermal system or photovoltaic system in a residence, business or agricultural enterprise installed before Jan. 1, 2019, a solar market development tax credit up to 10% is authorized for purchase and installation costs.  From Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2025 the credits is incrementally decreased by 1% per year. 

SB 199 (Sponsor:  Sen. C. Sanchez) - Expansion of Preservation of Cultural Property Income Tax Credits.  This bill boosts the potential preservation of cultural properties income tax credit (both individual and corporate) amounts for qualifying projects for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016.  Taxpayers may apply for such credits for as many as ten consecutive years.

Look for updates on the session in upcoming AIA New Mexico E-Bulletins.

2015 Advocacy Report

Advocacy

Change in administration of the State Use Act – The New Mexico Council for Purchasing from Persons with Disabilities and its agent Horizons will no longer circumvent Qualification Based Selection (QBS) for architectural and other licensed professional services.  This is a result of a three year effort by AIA New Mexico lead by Vic Johnson and Joe Brawley with others to assure that this change was made for the benefit of New Mexico architects.  

QBS Legislation in 2015 – AIA New Mexico-backed legislation to require QBS in contracting by Home Rule Entities was again introduced in the 2015 legislative session.  Though facing strong opposition and defeated in committee, it helped to highlight the importance of QBS and the determination of architects to keep this issues front and center with legislators. 

State Public Works Bill – When the 2015 Public Works Bill failed to pass in the regular legislative session, AIA New Mexico responded with a request for members to write the governor with a copy to Rep. Don Tripp, Speaker of the House.  Andre Larroque, AIA New Mexico 2015 President-Elect, wrote an Op-Ed in the Albuquerque Journal and architects across the state joined to pressure the legislature to come to the eventual agreement. 

Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction – At the federal level, Congress, as part of the comprehensive budget bill, approved a two-year extension of the 179D tax deduction which provides up to $1.80 per sq.ft. for the design of energy efficient buildings.  AIA President Russell Davison, FAIA, stated: “Our 87,000 members strongly support this deduction as one way to encourage the design and construction of buildings that are energy efficient – and save tax payer dollars in the process.  We’d like to see it made permanent.”  AIA New Mexico’s advocacy team visited with our members of Congress in their home districts and/or in DC this year to successfully advocate for 179D. 

Current and Adopted Codes in NM – As a service to its members, AIA New Mexico published the complete and up-to-date code information and the contact information for the five Bureau Chiefs at CID.  You may find this information here.

     

Advertisement