Through its government relations efforts, NSPE projects a powerful voice advocating the interests of the engineering profession on the National and State level. Resources available in the NSPE Legislative Action Center allow members to contact legislators and track legislation of interest to them as engineers. ISPE represents the interests of the 13,000 registered Indiana PEs with the Indiana General Assembly, the Professional Licensing Agency and across the state.
Licensure Under Attack
The debate over the role of government in regulating occupations and professions has recently come to the forefront. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational licensing directly affects nearly 30% of U.S. workers. Barbers, cosmetologists, florists, interior designers, naturopaths, manicurists … and the list goes on.
While the work of professional engineers—like that of doctors, registered architects, and attorneys—clearly affects the public health, safety, and welfare, it is not uncommon for state legislatures to categorize highly educated and trained PEs with barbers and cosmetologists in the debate over eliminating occupational licenses. Model legislation championed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an association of state lawmakers that supports private-sector interests, led to a recommendation that would have eliminated the PE license here in Indiana.
On August 20, 2015, as the result of extensive advocacy efforts by the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers and NSPE, the Indiana Job Creation Commission, inspired by ALEC’s model law, rescinded its troubling recommendation to eliminate licensure of the professional engineer. (Nearly identical versions of this model legislation were quickly introduced in several state legislatures.)
Although ALEC’s model legislation does not specifically target PEs, in opposing occupational licensure in general, this broad attack undermines the value of the PE and unintentionally impacts engineering licensure.
Legislation was introduced again in 2018 that would undermine the requirements for the practice of engineering. Working with ACEC-IN, AIA-Indiana and through the NSPE Legislative Action Center, the bills did not pass the Indiana General Assembly last Spring.
ISPE appreciates all who took the time to contact your Senators and Representatives last session.