Bill Text: FL S0572 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Engineers

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-22 - On Committee agenda-- Regulated Industries, 03/01/21, 4:00 pm, 412 Knott Building [S0572 Detail]

Download: Florida-2021-S0572-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 572
       By Senator Baxley
       12-00283C-21                                           2021572__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to engineers; amending s. 471.003,
    3         F.S.; prohibiting a person who is not licensed as an
    4         engineer from using a specified name or title;
    5         prohibiting, after a specified date, a person who is
    6         not a licensed professional structural engineer from
    7         using specified names and titles or practicing
    8         professional structural engineering; exempting certain
    9         persons from licensing requirements; amending s.
   10         471.005, F.S.; defining terms; revising definitions;
   11         amending s. 471.013, F.S.; authorizing the Board of
   12         Professional Engineers to refuse to certify an
   13         applicant for a professional structural engineer
   14         license for certain reasons; amending s. 471.015,
   15         F.S.; providing licensure and application requirements
   16         for a professional structural engineer license;
   17         exempting certain applicants who apply for licensure
   18         before a specified date from having to pass a certain
   19         national examination, under certain conditions;
   20         requiring the board to certify certain applicants for
   21         licensure by endorsement; amending ss. 471.019 and
   22         471.025, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made
   23         by the act; amending s. 471.031, F.S.; prohibiting
   24         certain persons from practicing professional
   25         structural engineering after a specified date;
   26         prohibiting specified persons from using specified
   27         names and titles; amending s. 471.033, F.S.;
   28         specifying acts that constitute grounds for
   29         disciplinary action, including civil penalties,
   30         against a professional structural engineer; amending
   31         ss. 471.037 and 471.0385, F.S.; conforming provisions
   32         to changes made by the act; providing an effective
   33         date.
   35  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37         Section 1. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 471.003,
   38  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   39         471.003 Qualifications for practice; exemptions.—
   40         (1)(a) No person other than a duly licensed engineer shall
   41  practice engineering or use the name or title of “licensed
   42  engineer,” “professional engineer,” or “registered engineer” or
   43  any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or
   44  device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
   45  license as an engineer in this state.
   46         (b) Effective March 1, 2023, no person other than a duly
   47  licensed professional structural engineer shall engage in the
   48  practice of professional structural engineering or use the name
   49  or title of “licensed structural engineer,” “professional
   50  structural engineer,” or “registered structural engineer” or any
   51  other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or
   52  device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
   53  license as a professional structural engineer in this state.
   54         (2) The following persons are not required to be licensed
   55  under the provisions of this chapter as a licensed engineer or a
   56  licensed professional structural engineer:
   57         (a) Any person practicing engineering for the improvement
   58  of, or otherwise affecting, property legally owned by her or
   59  him, unless such practice involves a public utility or the
   60  public health, safety, or welfare or the safety or health of
   61  employees. This paragraph shall not be construed as authorizing
   62  the practice of engineering through an agent or employee who is
   63  not duly licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
   64         (b)1. A person acting as a public officer employed by any
   65  state, county, municipal, or other governmental unit of this
   66  state when working on any project the total estimated cost of
   67  which is $10,000 or less.
   68         2. Persons who are employees of any state, county,
   69  municipal, or other governmental unit of this state and who are
   70  the subordinates of a person in responsible charge licensed
   71  under this chapter, to the extent that the supervision meets
   72  standards adopted by rule of the board.
   73         (c) Regular full-time employees of a corporation not
   74  engaged in the practice of engineering as such, whose practice
   75  of engineering for such corporation is limited to the design or
   76  fabrication of manufactured products and servicing of such
   77  products.
   78         (d) Regular full-time employees of a public utility or
   79  other entity subject to regulation by the Florida Public Service
   80  Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or Federal
   81  Communications Commission.
   82         (e) Employees of a firm, corporation, or partnership who
   83  are the subordinates of a person in responsible charge, licensed
   84  under this chapter.
   85         (f) Any person as contractor in the execution of work
   86  designed by a professional engineer or a professional structural
   87  engineer or in the supervision of the construction of work as a
   88  foreman or superintendent.
   89         (g) A licensed surveyor and mapper who takes, or contracts
   90  for, professional engineering services incidental to her or his
   91  practice of surveying and mapping and who delegates such
   92  engineering services to a licensed professional engineer
   93  qualified within her or his firm or contracts for such
   94  professional engineering services to be performed by others who
   95  are licensed professional engineers under the provisions of this
   96  chapter.
   97         (h) Any electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or
   98  mechanical contractor whose practice includes the design and
   99  fabrication of electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or
  100  mechanical systems, respectively, which she or he installs by
  101  virtue of a license issued under chapter 489, under former part
  102  I of chapter 553, Florida Statutes 2001, or under any special
  103  act or ordinance when working on any construction project which:
  104         1. Requires an electrical or plumbing or air-conditioning
  105  and refrigeration system with a value of $125,000 or less; and
  106         2.a. Requires an aggregate service capacity of 600 amperes
  107  (240 volts) or less on a residential electrical system or 800
  108  amperes (240 volts) or less on a commercial or industrial
  109  electrical system;
  110         b. Requires a plumbing system with fewer than 250 fixture
  111  units; or
  112         c. Requires a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning
  113  system not to exceed a 15-ton-per-system capacity, or if the
  114  project is designed to accommodate 100 or fewer persons.
  115         (i) Any general contractor, certified or registered
  116  pursuant to the provisions of chapter 489, when negotiating or
  117  performing services under a design-build contract as long as the
  118  engineering services offered or rendered in connection with the
  119  contract are offered and rendered by an engineer or a
  120  professional structural engineer licensed in accordance with
  121  this chapter.
  122         (j) Any defense, space, or aerospace company, whether a
  123  sole proprietorship, firm, limited liability company,
  124  partnership, joint venture, joint stock association,
  125  corporation, or other business entity, subsidiary, or affiliate,
  126  or any employee, contract worker, subcontractor, or independent
  127  contractor of the defense, space, or aerospace company who
  128  provides engineering for aircraft, space launch vehicles, launch
  129  services, satellites, satellite services, or other defense,
  130  space, or aerospace-related product or services, or components
  131  thereof.
  132         Section 2. Present subsections (10) through (12) of section
  133  471.005, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (12)
  134  through (14), respectively, new subsections (10) and (11) are
  135  added to that section, and present subsection (10) of that
  136  section is amended, to read:
  137         471.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  138         (10)“Professional structural engineer” means a person who
  139  is licensed to engage in the practice of professional structural
  140  engineering under this chapter.
  141         (11)“Professional structural engineering” means a service
  142  or creative work that includes the structural analysis and
  143  design of structural components or systems for threshold
  144  buildings as defined in s. 553.71. The term includes
  145  engineering, as defined in subsection (7), which requires
  146  significant structural engineering education, training,
  147  experience, and examination, as determined by the board.
  148         (12)(10) “Retired professional engineer,or “professional
  149  engineer, retired,“retired professional structural engineer,”
  150  or “professional structural engineer, retired” means a person
  151  who has been duly licensed as a professional engineer by the
  152  board and who chooses to relinquish or not to renew his or her
  153  license and applies to and is approved by the board to be
  154  granted the title “Professional Engineer, Retired” or
  155  “Professional Structural Engineer, Retired.”
  156         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  157  471.013, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  158         471.013 Examinations; prerequisites.—
  159         (2)(a) The board may refuse to certify an applicant for
  160  failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only
  161  if:
  162         1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of
  163  good moral character of the applicant and the professional
  164  responsibilities of a licensed engineer or licensed professional
  165  structural engineer; and
  166         2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character
  167  is supported by clear and convincing evidence.
  168         Section 4. Present subsections (3) through (7) of section
  169  471.015, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (4)
  170  through (8), respectively, a new subsection (3) is added to that
  171  section, and present subsection (3) of that section is amended,
  172  to read:
  173         471.015 Licensure.—
  174         (3)(a) The management corporation shall issue a
  175  professional structural engineer license to any applicant whom
  176  the board certifies as qualified to practice professional
  177  structural engineering and who meets all of the following
  178  requirements:
  179         1. Is licensed under this chapter as an engineer or is
  180  qualified for licensure as an engineer.
  181         2. Submits an application in the format prescribed by the
  182  board.
  183         3. Provides satisfactory evidence of good moral character,
  184  as defined by the board.
  185         4. Provides a record of 4 years of active structural
  186  engineering experience, as defined by the board, under the
  187  supervision of a licensed professional engineer.
  188         5. Has successfully passed the 16-hour National Council of
  189  Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Structural Engineering
  190  examination.
  191         (b) Before March 1, 2023, an applicant who satisfies the
  192  requirements of subparagraphs (a)1.-3. may satisfy subparagraphs
  193  (a)4. and 5. by:
  194         1. Submitting a signed affidavit in the format prescribed
  195  by the board which states that the applicant is currently a
  196  licensed engineer in this state and has been engaged in the
  197  practice of professional structural engineering with a record of
  198  at least 4 years of active structural engineering design
  199  experience;
  200         2. Possessing a current professional engineering license
  201  and filing the necessary documentation as required by the board,
  202  or possessing a current threshold inspector license; and
  203         3.Agreeing to meet with the board or a representative of
  204  the board, upon the board’s request, for the purpose of
  205  evaluating the applicant’s qualifications for licensure.
  206         (c)An applicant who is qualified for licensure as an
  207  engineer under s. 471.013 may simultaneously apply for licensure
  208  as a professional structural engineer if all requirements of s.
  209  471.013 and this subsection are met.
  210         (4)(3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license
  211  by endorsement an applicant who:
  212         (a) In engineering, by endorsement, an applicant who
  213  qualifies to take the fundamentals examination and the
  214  principles and practice examination as set forth in s. 471.013,
  215  has passed a United States national, regional, state, or
  216  territorial licensing examination that is substantially
  217  equivalent to the fundamentals examination and principles and
  218  practice examination required by s. 471.013, and has satisfied
  219  the experience requirements set forth in paragraph (2)(a) and s.
  220  471.013; or
  221         (b) In engineering or professional structural engineering,
  222  by endorsement, an applicant who holds a valid license to
  223  practice engineering, or, for professional structural
  224  engineering, an applicant who holds a valid license to practice
  225  professional structural engineering, issued by another state or
  226  territory of the United States, if the criteria for issuance of
  227  the license were substantially the same as the licensure
  228  criteria that existed in this state at the time the license was
  229  issued; or
  230         (c) In professional structural engineering, by endorsement,
  231  an applicant who holds a valid license to practice professional
  232  structural engineering issued by another state or territory of
  233  the United States and who has successfully passed one of the
  234  following 16-hour examination combinations:
  235         1. The 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering
  236  and Surveying Structural Engineering I examination and the 8
  237  hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
  238  Structural Engineering II examination.
  239         2.The 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering
  240  and Surveying Structural Engineering II examination and either
  241  the 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering and
  242  Surveying Civil: Structural examination or the 8-hour National
  243  Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Architectural
  244  Engineering examination.
  245         3.The 16-hour Western States Structural Engineering
  246  examination.
  247         4.The 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering
  248  and Surveying Structural Engineering II examination and either
  249  the 8-hour California Structural Engineering Seismic III
  250  examination or the 8-hour Washington Structural Engineering III
  251  examination.
  252         Section 5. Section 471.019, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  253  read:
  254         471.019 Reactivation.—The board shall establish by rule a
  255  reinstatement process for void licenses. The rule shall
  256  prescribe appropriate continuing education requirements for
  257  reactivating a license. The continuing education requirements
  258  for reactivating a license for a licensed engineer or a licensed
  259  professional structural engineer may not exceed the continuing
  260  education requirements prescribed pursuant to s. 471.017 for
  261  each year the license was inactive.
  262         Section 6. Subsection (2) of section 471.025, Florida
  263  Statutes, is amended to read:
  264         471.025 Seals.—
  265         (2) It is unlawful for any person to seal or digitally sign
  266  any document with a seal or digital signature after his or her
  267  license has expired or been revoked or suspended, unless such
  268  license is has been reinstated or reissued. When an engineer’s
  269  or a professional structural engineer’s license is has been
  270  revoked or suspended by the board, the licensee shall, within a
  271  period of 30 days after the revocation or suspension has become
  272  effective, surrender his or her seal to the executive director
  273  of the board and confirm to the executive director the
  274  cancellation of the licensee’s digital signature in accordance
  275  with ss. 668.001-668.006. In the event the engineer’s license
  276  has been suspended for a period of time, his or her seal shall
  277  be returned to him or her upon expiration of the suspension
  278  period.
  279         Section 7. Present paragraphs (b) through (g) of subsection
  280  (1) of section 471.031, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
  281  paragraphs (c) through (h), respectively, a new paragraph (b) is
  282  added to that subsection, and present paragraph (b) of that
  283  subsection is amended, to read:
  284         471.031 Prohibitions; penalties.—
  285         (1) A person may not:
  286         (b) Beginning March 1, 2023, practice professional
  287  structural engineering unless the person is licensed as a
  288  professional structural engineer or is exempt from licensure
  289  under this chapter.
  290         (c)(b)1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2. or
  291  subparagraph 3., use the name or title “professional engineer”
  292  or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations,
  293  or device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
  294  license as an engineer when the person is not licensed under
  295  this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following
  296  titles: “agricultural engineer,” “air-conditioning engineer,”
  297  “architectural engineer,” “building engineer,” “chemical
  298  engineer,” “civil engineer,” “control systems engineer,”
  299  “electrical engineer,” “environmental engineer,” “fire
  300  protection engineer,” “industrial engineer,” “manufacturing
  301  engineer,” “mechanical engineer,” “metallurgical engineer,”
  302  “mining engineer,” “minerals engineer,” “marine engineer,”
  303  “nuclear engineer,” “petroleum engineer,” “plumbing engineer,”
  304  “structural engineer,” “transportation engineer,” “software
  305  engineer,” “computer hardware engineer,” or “systems engineer.”
  306         2. Any person who is exempt from licensure under s.
  307  471.003(2)(j) may use the title or personnel classification of
  308  “engineer” in the scope of his or her work under that exemption
  309  if the title does not include or connote the term “licensed
  310  engineer,” “professional engineer,” “registered engineer,”
  311  “licensed professional engineer,” “licensed engineer,”
  312  “registered professional engineer,” “licensed structural
  313  engineer,” “professional structural engineer,” or “registered
  314  structural engineer or “licensed professional engineer.”
  315         3. Any person who is exempt from licensure under s.
  316  471.003(2)(c) or (e) may use the title or personnel
  317  classification of “engineer” in the scope of his or her work
  318  under that exemption if the title does not include or connote
  319  the term “licensed engineer,” “professional engineer,”
  320  “registered engineer,” “licensed professional engineer,”
  321  “licensed engineer,” “registered professional engineer,”
  322  “licensed structural engineer,” “professional structural
  323  engineer,” “registered structural engineer,” or “structural
  324  engineer,” or “licensed professional engineer” and if that
  325  person is a graduate from an approved engineering curriculum of
  326  4 years or more in a school, college, or university which has
  327  been approved by the board.
  328         Section 8. Paragraphs (b) through (e) and (g) of subsection
  329  (1) and subsection (4) of section 471.033, Florida Statutes, are
  330  amended to read:
  331         471.033 Disciplinary proceedings.—
  332         (1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the
  333  disciplinary actions in subsection (3) may be taken:
  334         (b) Attempting to procure a license to practice engineering
  335  or professional structural engineering by bribery or fraudulent
  336  misrepresentations.
  337         (c) Having a license to practice engineering or
  338  professional structural engineering revoked, suspended, or
  339  otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by
  340  the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country,
  341  for any act that would constitute a violation of this chapter or
  342  chapter 455.
  343         (d) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea
  344  of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in
  345  any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of
  346  engineering, professional structural engineering, or the ability
  347  to practice engineering or professional structural engineering.
  348         (e) Making or filing a report or record that the licensee
  349  knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record
  350  required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or
  351  obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or
  352  obstruct such filing. Such reports or records include only those
  353  which that are signed in the capacity of a licensed engineer or
  354  licensed professional structural engineer.
  355         (g) Engaging in fraud or deceit, negligence, incompetence,
  356  or misconduct, in the practice of engineering or professional
  357  structural engineering.
  358         (4) The management corporation shall reissue the license of
  359  a disciplined engineer, professional structural engineer, or
  360  business upon certification by the board that the disciplined
  361  person has complied with all of the terms and conditions set
  362  forth in the final order.
  363         Section 9. Subsection (1) of section 471.037, Florida
  364  Statutes, is amended to read:
  365         471.037 Effect of chapter locally.—
  366         (1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to
  367  repeal, amend, limit, or otherwise affect any local building
  368  code or zoning law or ordinance, now or hereafter enacted, which
  369  is more restrictive with respect to the services of licensed
  370  engineers or licensed professional structural engineers than the
  371  provisions of this chapter.
  372         Section 10. Subsection (3) of section 471.0385, Florida
  373  Statutes, is amended to read:
  374         471.0385 Court action; effect.—If any provision of s.
  375  471.038 is held to be unconstitutional or is held to violate the
  376  state or federal antitrust laws, the following shall occur:
  377         (3) The Executive Office of the Governor, notwithstanding
  378  chapter 216, is authorized to reestablish positions, budget
  379  authority, and salary rate necessary to carry out the
  380  department’s responsibilities related to the regulation of
  381  professional engineers and professional structural engineers.
  382         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.