News from AIA Ohio

Payment Assurance Legislation Introduced


On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the Senate Judiciary Committee invited Opponent Testimony on Senate Bill 49 (PAL Legislation) at a third hearing, to create lien rights for Design Professionals. No opposition testimony was offered. We await a fourth hearing to vote the bill out of Committee, and onto the Senate Floor.
Organizations working with AIA Ohio in support of SB49 include:
  • Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio

AIA Ohio has successfully partnered with Senators Vernon Sykes (D, Akron) and Jay Hottinger (R, Newark) to introduce Payment Assurance Legislation (PAL) in the 134th General Assembly. SB 49 would establish a payment assurance program for registered design professionals (architects, landscape architects, engineers and surveyors). The bill has co-sponsors: Senator Cecil Thomas (D, Cincinnati), Senator Hearcel Craig (D, Columbus), Senator Michael Rulli (R, Salem), Senator Kenny Yuko (D, Richmond Hts., Minority Leader), and Senator Bill Blessing (R, Cincinnati), the only licensed Engineer in the General Assembly. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and AIA Ohio is working to see that it receives the necessary hearings to progress.

Construction industry design professionals currently have limited options when a commercial real estate owner does not pay for plans or specifications. It is inequitable when an owner goes forward with construction without first compensating for the design work. Unlike construction contractors, the work of design professional does not improve the physical real estate, and therefore a design professional cannot file a mechanics’ lien. Ohio is the only state that offers no alternative payment protection for design professionals. 

SB 49 will:

  • Apply only to commercial property, and not to residential property;
  • Apply only to private work, and not to public construction; and
  • Will be subordinate to any real estate mortgage previously filed

We ask for your support.

What can you do?  

  1. Donate to the AIA Ohio PAC! PAC funds are critical to the process and are essential in keeping AIA Ohio relevant when it comes to proactive legislation like the PAL.
  2. Watch for AIA Ohio Call to Action requests to contact your legislators and ask them to vote favorably on this legislation.

Register to attend the AIA Ohio Virtual Advocacy Day – we’ll be talking to legislators about our PAL legislation – taking place on Feb. 24

Click here for more information.

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American architecture stands as a testament to our unique place in the world. Our architects work at the leading edge of a $1T construction industry that promotes commerce and drives consumer confidence. Architects have always dared to reach higher and set new standards. Our next architectural achievements will be measured by how well they respond to a post-pandemic world, eradicate inequity, fuel economic recovery, eliminate carbon emissions, and nurture individual and community health.

Now is the time for urgent and decisive action on these issues. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) represents more than 95,000 architecture professionals. We step forward to address the needs of our economy, climate, and communities. We seek support for the crushing student debt of our members; support for disadvantaged businesses; and real progress to end the systemic racism that has existed for centuries and continues to grip our nation. We seek meaningful policies and commit to better buildings that will sustain a healthy country.

In a spirit of cooperation, we challenge others to join us in support for the following initiatives. Learn more here.

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