Austin architects have recently joined TSA staff and contract lobbyists in a series of meetings with state representatives from the AIA Austin chapter area, with more meetings scheduled later this month.
Each visit has featured a tour of the office and introductions of the entire staff, followed by more focused discussions on probable 2011 legislative topics between the representatives and the local architects and TSA lobbyists.
Among the topics stressed are the need to protect Qualifications Based Selection (QBS), taxes (including a threatened sales tax on professional services and changes to the Margins Tax), licensing issues and TSA initiatives like High Performance Building Standards and Alternative Project Delivery.
Rep. Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs (Dist. 45) visited with TSA interim executive vice president Tommy Cowan, FAIA, Austin member Jacqui Dodson, AIA, and staff lobbyists Yvonne Castillo and David Lancaster, Hon. AIA on August 2. Round Rock Rep. Diana Maldonado (Dist. 52) had lunch on August 10 with the same three staff members (Cowan, Castillo and Lancaster) and AIA Austin chapter leaders Alan Bell, AIA, John Nyfeler, FAIA, and executive director Sally Fly, Hon. AIA.
Still to visit later this month are State Representatives Valinda Bolton (Dist. 47) and Donna Howard (Dist. 48), and State Senator Kirk Watson, all of Austin.