Today, I would like to discuss legislative affairs for architects in Michigan. Architects are advocates for the profession of architecture and we do this to maintain relevance within each state or municipality so that we can speak out for legislation that either benefits us or could be a potential negative impact to the profession of architecture. And this is very important to do, to maintain the value of our license to practice architecture. And we look forward each year at minimum to talk to legislators at the state of Michigan and our local regions, smaller local areas in heart, unique corners of Michigan. And we look forward each year to either bringing up some new content or new legislation that could be benefit to not just architects, but our fellow neighbors and constituents, but also to, um,

talk to, uh, legislators often and frequently so that they get to know who their constituents are. One of the biggest, uh, problems for architects in Michigan is hunting down those who are practicing without a license or illegally using another person’s license. And it’s, it’s a big topic in the state of Michigan and we train, dissuade those that we may know that are doing this, uh, before legal action is taken against them.

So architects in Michigan are seeking legal action against those that are misusing our license because this would bring a bad reputation to our professional license and cause it to be at risk of being deregulated at the state or national level. Uh, another topic that is very common to talk about for a buildings in cities is the historic tax credits and architects in Michigan are champions of this legislation. It has been instituted in the past, um, in the previous governor office. It was abandoned in the budget. And so we’re looking forward to bringing it back into new house and new, uh, governor’s office so that we can, uh, continue to develop and redevelop existing buildings of historic significance in the state of Michigan and in our local cities and towns that could really benefit economically if an old building that had historical significance could be converted into something valuable and useful versus an abandoned building.

A big topic right now, nationally as well as locally is infrastructure redevelopment. And this is fixing roads, underground piping and all kinds of major, uh, major components of operating cities and the state at a large scale. Um, you know, as aging in right now, architects in Michigan or working with legislators to try and improve the structure of, uh, funding and, and longevity for the infrastructure so that we don’t have a major catastrophe coming our way based on ignorance or leaving, uh, the development of infrastructure behind. And so this is how architects in Michigan can become resources for our legislators in and help out and, you know, pick up the mantle and share the share of the work with our legislators so that they don’t, uh, feel like they’re out out on a limb, but they have somebody with specific knowledge for all these types of, uh, pieces of legislation, whether it be historic tax credits are unlicensed practice.

Uh, we can add value to the conversation with alongside our legislators to become a valuable resource, not just for this congress session, but any congress session or as long as we’re in practice, uh, architects in Michigan should encourage others to become advocates themselves and get involved in legislative affairs. If you’re not a big fan of government and politics, that’s okay. You don’t have to a stump and lobby your legislators at the state government, local government or national government. But you can also get involved in all sorts of ways which could be as simple as joining a committee or board, um, at your city council or your planning commission or a Zoning Board of appeals, uh, anywhere where your expertise can be a value, a really adds value and benefit to the local municipalities, uh, at any level. And so this is a very mutual benefit to the architect and to the board or commission that you sit on.

Uh, recently we’ve been working with our legislators to try and push forward a piece of legislation called the certificate of Merit. And this means this for projects that have a problem and the client or a user wants to sue the building owner or the contractor. In many cases, architects get drawn into these legal battles because we were the ones executing the drawings and sealing them with our license. And so we would get wrangled into a legal battle, uh, because of our involvement. And in many cases, uh, the problem does not reside in the drawings but in some other form of um, malfeasance in the sense of, uh, the construction process or even something outside of the whole design and building process. And architects in Michigan need to protect those who were fighting for, which is not just the architects put our constituents and building users at the same time. And so passing the certificate of merit legislation would greatly reduce the burden of our insurance claims and deductibles and also give us time to develop quality buildings for our citizens.

And so legislative affairs doesn’t always stop the day of a year. Your lobby day, also known as, your legislative affairs day should continue on an ongoing basis with your legislators, which means have coffee with them, breakfast with them if they happen to be your neighbor, you know, walked down there and say hi, or you know, work on a garden together. You know, they’re real people too, and so they, you know, they can be friends and they’re not just figureheads and things like that. So break that barrier down and take a moment to get to know your legislator. You might have more in common than you think. Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects has a great rack record of building relationships with our legislative representatives.