ASLA Oregon has taken an official position against House Bill 3337-A, which establishes a limited landscape construction professional license to any person who pays application and license fees. The bill passed the Oregon House and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee, awaiting a hearing.
Why weigh in? Landscape contractors and landscape architects have some overlapping scopes of services. Both licenses allow planning of irrigation systems and drainage as part of a licensee’s practice. ASLA policies recognize licensure as the only effective regulatory measure to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to maximize practitioners’ ability to compete within regulated markets of the design professions.
So why this bill? Latinos are highly represented in the community as low-paid workers but not as business owners. This bill seeks to build wealth and capacity in the landscape construction community.
What did our members tell us? In May, we reached out to Oregon Chapter members to ask for feedback on an opinion to present to lawmakers. We received 30 responses, and all but two endorsed our position against the bill. Several members also endorsed our statements in support of efforts to make entry to the trade more equitable.
What is our official position? After reviewing our members’ feedback, the ASLA Oregon Executive Committee unanimously voted to provide testimony against HB 3337-A and to engage our members and the landscape architecture community in advocacy efforts to defeat this bill. The Executive Committee also decided that our testimony against HB 3337-A will include statements in support of policy that would allow more equitable access to the landscape contracting profession while maintaining key licensure standards for public health, safety and welfare.
What’s next? With four weeks remaining in the 2017 session, ASLA Oregon is monitoring the bill and is prepared to deliver our letter of testimony if a hearing is scheduled. If you’re interested in testifying at a hearing or submitting a letter of testimony, please contact Jean Senechal Biggs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us in advocacy efforts to protect licensure!