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What is all the Buzz about Kansas Senate Bill No. 54?

It’s that time of year again: the legislature is back in session, and a host of bills are moving through the Kansas House and Senate. Recently, I received a legislative update from the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers concerning Senate Bill No. 54. The bill itself seems relatively straightforward, standardizing language and clarifying technical changes to the definitions of architecture, engineering, geology, landscape architecture, and surveying. There are other proposed changes within the bill, but nothing that seems terribly problematic from the perspective of the design industry.

Given the content of the bill, I was surprised to learn there are two proposed amendments currently being discussed in the capital. If approved, these amendments could have enormous implications on the health and safety of the public. One of the proposed amendments would provide an exemption for religious facilities related to design. In essence, a non-licensed architect or engineer could design a religious facility under the proposed amendment without having to be licensed by the State of Kansas.

The second proposed amendment being discussed would to allow a person to build any structure (residential or commercial) on their own property (including building open to the public), if they agreed to accept liability for any injuries that occurred on the property. While I have not seen written drafts of these proposed amendments, they are being openly discussed and could be introduced as early as this week.

I will continue to monitor this bill and others that are important to the construction industry as we work through the legislative session.

What about you? Do you think Senate Bill No. 54 will be amended to allow the design of religious facilities by non-licensed individuals?