Committee ParticipantsAlbanyCapitol200

Joe Jones, Bowne Management Systems, Chair
Ben Houston, GroundPoint Technologies
Bruce Oswald, Oswald Associates LLC



To protect and promote the interests of the State’s geospatial community by reviewing proposed legislative initiatives and providing appropriate input.

NYS GIS Association Legislative Committee Surveyor Legislation Update

Joseph T. Jones – Chairman, and Bruce Oswald; 9 Sep 1012

The Legislative Committee has been very active during 2013.  In 2012, the Committee was delighted to reach an agreement with the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors (NYSAPLS) to include exemptions in their legislative proposal for GIS practitioners.   However, as the year ended, we were informed that NYSAPLS’s 2013 legislative proposal would not include those exemptions.

In response, the committee started by sending a document outlining the concerns that the NYS GIS Association had with the modified NYSAPLS’s proposed legislation (Senate Bill S04827-A) to the New York Senate office of Kenneth LaValle, chairman of the Higher Education Committee. These concerns were also sent to Jane Blair of NYS Department of Education’s Board for Engineering & Land Surveying.

On May 22nd, a companion bill (A07486A) was introduced in the Assembly and referred to its Higher Education Committee.  On May 23rd there was a roundtable discussion called by the Senate Higher Education Committee chaired by Nicole Burkard in which Joseph Jones participated remotely. Other participants were interested parties in this legislation.

Numerous follow-ups were initiated. Both Joe Jones & Bruce Oswald met with NYS Education’s Engineering Board in Albany on June 5th to discuss the committees concerns with the legislation and the potential effect on the GIS community if the bill would be passed as written. Subsequent to that, the Association’s Legislative Committee developed revised wording for the legislation providing exemptions for GIS practitioners and submitted the revision to the Senate’s Higher Education Committee and the NYS Department of Education’s Engineering Board, and Senator Lavelle’s office.

On 6/13/13 an e-mail was received from Daren Morgan of the NYSAPLS Legislative Committee, stating that “We do not have a major problem with the intent of the GIS proposed addition, and would suggest rewording as follows ….”  The revision to the legislation did not occur as the legislative session closed before agreement between all other parties occurred. The bill died in committee.

The Surveyors Board of Directors will have to determine if they will pursue legislative changes in the next session.

The NYS GIS Association will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation and will act appropriately to support the GIS community to assure that legislation is not approved that will have adverse consequences to the GIS community.