The AIA Tennessee government relations committee and staff work throughout the year to protect the profession and advocate on behalf of Tennessee architects. AIA TN’s Government Relations Committee holds weekly conference calls to discuss legislation that potential to threaten public safety, the practice of architecture and architects in general. The 111th Tennessee General Assembly reconvened on January 14, 2020.
2020 Priorities (in no particular order):
- State’s Built Environment
- Historic Preservation
- Economic Development and Growth
- Building Codes and Zoning Regulation
- Professional Licensure
- Safe School Design
- Qualification Based Selection
Trey Wheeler, AIA, is the chairman of the Government Relations Committee. Sign up here if you are interested in serving on the committee.
37 states have adopted historic preservation incentives – TN is NOT one of those states.
Let’s compete to save Tennessee’s historic buildings, revitalize communities and create jobs!
A note from the AIA TN President:
With this year’s legislative session recently concluded, AIA Tennessee has completed a number of advocacy initiatives as we navigated a tumultuous session with many bills presenting the potential for positive and negative impacts on the profession.
Protecting Licensure. Although Tennessee has seen deregulation efforts in the past, 2019 presented unprecedented activity in attempts to permit the practice of architecture by unlicensed individuals. Most notable, the “Right to Earn a Living Act” would have excluded community and societal well being from the definition of “public health” which would open the door to deregulating professions that protect public welfare. AIA Tennessee’s efforts were successful in preventing this bill from coming to a vote in 2019.
Advocating for Rehabilitation and Preservation. This year, AIA Tennessee supported the Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act which would establish a state historic tax credit program in Tennessee. Although the bill was not passed this year, AIA was successful in educating legislators, government officials (state and local) and staff on the importance of including historic tax credits in the state’s economic development agenda. Establishing new programs of this nature requires a long term effort. For example, AIA Illinois shared that it took a decade for architects and coalition partners to pass a historic tax credit bill in their state. AIA Tennessee will continue to advocate for investment in the state’s built environment.
Reducing Burdens on Architects. As shared in the Advocacy Statement, AIA Tennessee was successful in repealing the $400 professional privilege tax on architects. We are pleased that this barrier to licensure and burden on the profession in Tennessee will be removed effective in 2020. As a reminder, members should pay the tax in 2019 for the last time.
Thank you to the AIA Tennessee Government Relations Committee, this year’s participants in Architect’s Advocacy Day on the Hill, and to all of our members for your role in advocating for the profession this year.
Josh Flowers, FAIA
President, AIA Tennessee