The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is a standing committee of AIA Colorado. Per the bylaws, the GAC "...advocates the interests of the architecture profession to the State of Colorado and regional governments while supporting local governmental efforts. GAC strengthens collaboration with allied organizations and with public officials and agencies to maintain an on-going liaison, and facilitates legislative relationships that support the architecture community in promoting public health safety, and welfare. GAC assists in shaping and communicating policy positions and issues to the AIA membership."
Accomplishing this mission takes the GAC in many different areas. Each year the Legislative Subcommittee tracks individual bills as they are introduced and then taken through the legislative process, reporting to the GAC. The GAC then brings developing issues to the AIA Colorado board of directors to define an official position. On key issues, the GAC may testify at legislative hearings. The committee also works with our lobbyist to develop relationships with legislators, to encourage AIA Colorado members to become involved with legislators in their own districts, and to identify and work with those in the state House and Senate who support our positions on key issues. Click here for more information.
Every seven to 10 years, our licensing statute comes up for "Sunset Review." This two-year process began for AIA Colorado again in the early summer of 2004, with the formation of a Sunset Task Force of the GAC. The GAC focused on laying the groundwork for a successful outcome when a Sunset Bill was introduced in the legislature in early 2006. House Bill 06-1196, Sunset of Architects' License, was signed into law by Gov. Owens on Monday, May 1, 2006.
After months of meeting with legislators and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), AIA Colorado was able to successfully fight to keep the term "architect" protected. DORA recommended un-protecting the term "architect" and instead protecting "licensed architect," which could potentially open up anyone with a drafting certificate to call themselves an "architect.” If this had gone though, Colorado would have been the only state in 54 jurisdictions to not protect the term "architect.”
AIA Colorado also fought to keep the name of our new board: "The Board of Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors" as opposed to "The Board of Technical Professions.” A more generic board name could have the potential to allow additional professions to join our board, thus further watering-down the board.
AIA Colorado was the ONLY organization that has worked to have a voice in this process. AIA Colorado was the ONLY organization that fought to protect the interests of architects in this process.
Other GAC efforts involve working with our allied organizations in the engineering, consulting and construction fields. The GAC chair sits on the AIA Colorado board of directors and is also on the board of ARCpac.
The GAC meets on the first Friday of each month, from 1 - 3 p.m., in the AIA Colorado office. Participation from all of the AIA Colorado components is critical, and all AIA Colorado members are invited to join us and see what the GAC is about.