Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 5821

January Session, 2009

 

LCO No. 3757

 

*03757HB05821CE_*

Referred to Committee on Commerce

 

Introduced by:

 

(CE)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) As used in this section: (1) "Engineering professional" means a person who is qualified by reason of his knowledge, as specified in subsection (e) of this section, to engage in activities associated with work on economic development projects, including the rendering or offering to render to clients professional services in connection with such activities; (2) "commissioner" means the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development or the commissioner's designee; and (3) "economic development project" has the same meaning as in section 32-23d of the general statutes.

(b) There shall be within the Department of Economic and Community Development a State Board of Examiners of Engineering Professionals. The board shall consist of eleven members. One member, who shall be the chairperson of the board, shall be the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or the commissioner's designee. The Governor shall appoint the other ten members of the board, six of whom shall be licensed engineering professionals or, prior to the publication by the board of the first roster of licensed engineering professionals, persons on the list maintained by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (h) of this section. The members of the board shall administer the provisions of this section as to licensure and issuance, reissuance, suspension or revocation of licenses concerning engineering professionals. The Governor may remove any member of the board for misconduct, incompetence or neglect of duty. The members of the board shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The board shall keep a true and complete record of all its proceedings.

(c) A licensed engineering professional shall perform his duties in accordance with the standard of care applicable to professionals engaged in such duties. The commissioner, with advice and assistance from the board, may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, concerning professional ethics and conduct appropriate to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity and dignity in the practice of an engineering professional and may make rules for the conduct of the board's affairs and for the examination of applicants for licenses.

(d) The commissioner shall receive and account for all moneys derived under the provisions of this section and shall deposit such moneys in the General Fund. The board shall keep a register of all applications for licenses with the actions of the board thereon. A roster showing the names of all licensees shall be prepared each year. A copy of such roster shall be placed on file with the Secretary of the State.

(e) The board shall authorize the commissioner to issue a license to any person who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that such person: (1) Has, for a period of time established by the commissioner, in regulations adopted under chapter 54 of the general statutes and this section, engaged in work on economic development projects and holds a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited college or university in a related science or related engineering field or is a professional engineer licensed in accordance with chapter 391 of the general statutes; (2) has successfully passed a written examination, or a written and oral examination, prescribed by the board and approved by the commissioner, which shall test the applicant's knowledge of economic development projects; and (3) has paid an examination fee of one hundred eighty-eight dollars to the commissioner. In considering whether a degree held by an applicant for such license qualifies for the educational requirements under this section, the board may consider all undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and other courses completed by the applicant.

(f) The board shall authorize the commissioner to issue a license to any applicant who, in the opinion of the board, has satisfactorily met the requirements of this section. The issuance of a license by the commissioner shall be evidence that the person named therein is entitled to all the rights and privileges of a licensed engineering professional while such license remains unrevoked or unexpired. A licensed engineering professional shall pay to the commissioner an annual fee of three hundred thirty-eight dollars, due and payable on July first of every year beginning with July first of the calendar year immediately following the year of license issuance. The commissioner, with the advice and assistance of the board, may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, pertaining to the design and use of seals by licensees under this section and governing the license issuance and renewal process, including, but not limited to, procedures for allowing the renewal of licenses when an application is submitted not later than six months after the expiration of the license without the applicant having to take the examination required under subsection (e) of this section.

(g) The board may conduct investigations concerning the conduct of any licensed engineering professional. The commissioner may conduct audits of any actions authorized by law to be performed by a licensed engineering professional. The board shall authorize the commissioner to: (1) Revoke the license of any engineering professional; (2) suspend the license of any engineering professional; (3) impose any other sanctions that the board deems appropriate; or (4) deny an application for such licensure if the board, after providing such professional with notice and an opportunity to be heard concerning such revocation, suspension, other sanction or denial, finds that such professional has submitted false or misleading information to the board or has engaged in professional misconduct, including, without limitation, knowingly or recklessly making a false verification of a remediation under section 22a-134a of the general statutes or violating any provision of this section or regulations adopted under the provisions of this section.

(h) The board shall hold the first examination pursuant to this section not later than eighteen months after the date the commissioner adopts regulations pursuant to chapter 54 of the general statutes and this section, and shall publish the first roster of licensed engineering professionals not later than six months after the date of such examination. Until such time as the board publishes the first roster of licensed engineering professionals, any person, who (1) has, for a minimum number of years determined by the commissioner, engaged in work on economic development projects; (2) holds a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited college or university in a related science or related engineering field or is a professional engineer licensed in accordance with chapter 391 of the general statutes; and (3) pays a registration fee of two hundred twenty-five dollars, may apply to the commissioner to be placed on a list of engineering professionals. Any person on such list may perform any duties authorized by law to be performed by a licensed engineering professional until such time as the first roster of licensed engineering professionals is published by the board.

(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a licensed engineering professional to engage in any profession or occupation requiring a license under any other provisions of the general statutes without such license.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall, by regulations adopted in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, define the scope of activities to be engaged in by licensed engineering professionals. Such regulations shall be designed to expedite the process of issuing approvals under any provision of the general statutes for economic development projects. In developing such regulations, the commissioner shall consult with municipalities, colleges and universities and relevant professional engineering organizations.

(b) Each licensed engineering professional shall submit an action report to the commissioner for such a project which includes a proposed action for the commissioner. The report shall be deemed approved unless, not later than sixty days after such submittal, the commissioner determines, in his sole discretion, that such action should not be taken. The commissioner may disapprove the report provided the reasons therefore shall be stated, in writing, and transmitted to the licensed professional engineer.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall publish, along with any list or roster of licensed engineering professionals published pursuant to section 1 of this act, a record of any work performed by any licensed engineering professional pursuant to review or approval for work on economic development projects which is submitted to the commissioner and any action taken by the commissioner with regard to such work.

(b) Any licensed engineering professional who performs any services pursuant to section 1 of this act or any regulations adopted under section 2 of this act shall perform such services with reasonable care and diligence and shall apply the knowledge and skill ordinarily required of a professional in good standing practicing in that field at the time the services are performed.

(c) Any licensed engineering professional who performs any services pursuant to a license issued under section 1 of this act or any regulations adopted under section 2 of this act shall not have, develop or acquire any business association or financial interest which is substantial enough to create an impression of influencing his judgment in connection with the performance of such services. No licensed engineering professional shall offer or render such services under an arrangement whereby no fee will be charged if a specified finding or result is attained, or where the payment of his fee or the amount of the fee is otherwise dependent upon a specified finding or result of such services.

(d) Any licensed engineering professional who violates any provision of subsection (b) or (c) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars. The Attorney General, upon complaint of the State Board of Examiners of Engineering Professionals or the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, shall institute a civil action to recover such penalty.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2009

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To authorize licensed professional engineers to certify that work done on economic development projects is done in accordance with state requirements in order to expedite the completion of such projects.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

REP. O'CONNOR, 35th Dist.; REP. FRITZ, 90th Dist.

REP. BERGER, 73rd Dist.

H.B. 5821