Florida Senate - 2015                       CS for CS for SB 338
       By the Committees on Fiscal Policy; and Regulated Industries;
       and Senator Altman
       594-03789-15                                           2015338c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to engineers; amending s. 471.003,
    3         F.S.; prohibiting a person who is not licensed as an
    4         engineer or a structural engineer from using specified
    5         names and titles or practicing engineering or
    6         structural engineering; exempting certain persons from
    7         the licensing requirements; amending s. 471.005, F.S.;
    8         providing definitions; amending s. 471.011, F.S.;
    9         establishing various fees for the examination and
   10         licensure of structural engineers; amending s.
   11         471.013, F.S.; revising provisions authorizing the
   12         Board of Professional Engineers to refuse to certify
   13         an applicant due to lack of good moral character to
   14         include structural engineer licensure applicants, to
   15         conform; amending s. 471.015, F.S.; providing
   16         licensure and application requirements for a
   17         structural engineer license; exempting, under certain
   18         conditions, a structural engineer who applies for
   19         licensure before a specified date from passage of a
   20         certain national examination; requiring the board to
   21         certify certain applicants for licensure by
   22         endorsement; amending ss. 471.019 and 471.025, F.S.;
   23         revising continuing education requirements for
   24         reactivation of a license and provisions requiring an
   25         engineer with a revoked or suspended license to
   26         surrender his or her seal, respectively, to include
   27         structural engineers, to conform; amending s. 471.031,
   28         F.S.; prohibiting specified persons from using
   29         specified names and titles; amending s. 471.033, F.S.;
   30         providing various acts which constitute grounds for
   31         disciplinary action against a structural engineer, to
   32         which penalties apply; amending s. 471.037, F.S.;
   33         revising applicability, to conform to changes made by
   34         the act; providing an effective date.
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   38         Section 1. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 471.003,
   39  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   40         471.003 Qualifications for practice; exemptions.—
   41         (1)(a) No person other than a duly licensed engineer shall
   42  practice engineering or use the name or title of “licensed
   43  engineer,” “professional engineer,” “registered engineer,” or
   44  any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or
   45  device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
   46  license as an engineer in this state.
   47         (b) Beginning March 1, 2017, no person other than a duly
   48  licensed structural engineer shall practice structural
   49  engineering or use the name or title of “licensed structural
   50  engineer,” “professional structural engineer,” “registered
   51  structural engineer,” “structural engineer,” or any other title,
   52  designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to
   53  indicate that such person holds an active license as a
   54  structural engineer in this state.
   55         (2) The following persons are not required to be licensed
   56  under the provisions of this chapter as a licensed engineer or
   57  structural engineer:
   58         (a) Any person practicing engineering for the improvement
   59  of, or otherwise affecting, property legally owned by her or
   60  him, unless such practice involves a public utility or the
   61  public health, safety, or welfare or the safety or health of
   62  employees. This paragraph shall not be construed as authorizing
   63  the practice of engineering through an agent or employee who is
   64  not duly licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
   65         (b)1. A person acting as a public officer employed by any
   66  state, county, municipal, or other governmental unit of this
   67  state when working on any project the total estimated cost of
   68  which is $10,000 or less.
   69         2. Persons who are employees of any state, county,
   70  municipal, or other governmental unit of this state and who are
   71  the subordinates of a person in responsible charge licensed
   72  under this chapter, to the extent that the supervision meets
   73  standards adopted by rule of the board.
   74         (c) Regular full-time employees of a corporation not
   75  engaged in the practice of engineering as such, whose practice
   76  of engineering for such corporation is limited to the design or
   77  fabrication of manufactured products and servicing of such
   78  products.
   79         (d) Regular full-time employees of a public utility or
   80  other entity subject to regulation by the Florida Public Service
   81  Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or Federal
   82  Communications Commission.
   83         (e) Employees of a firm, corporation, or partnership who
   84  are the subordinates of a person in responsible charge, licensed
   85  under this chapter.
   86         (f) Any person as contractor in the execution of work
   87  designed by a professional engineer or structural engineer or in
   88  the supervision of the construction of work as a foreman or
   89  superintendent.
   90         (g) A licensed surveyor and mapper who takes, or contracts
   91  for, professional engineering services incidental to her or his
   92  practice of surveying and mapping and who delegates such
   93  engineering services to a licensed professional engineer
   94  qualified within her or his firm or contracts for such
   95  professional engineering services to be performed by others who
   96  are licensed professional engineers under the provisions of this
   97  chapter.
   98         (h) Any electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or
   99  mechanical contractor whose practice includes the design and
  100  fabrication of electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or
  101  mechanical systems, respectively, which she or he installs by
  102  virtue of a license issued under chapter 489, under part I of
  103  chapter 553, or under any special act or ordinance when working
  104  on any construction project which:
  105         1. Requires an electrical or plumbing or air-conditioning
  106  and refrigeration system with a value of $125,000 or less; and
  107         2.a. Requires an aggregate service capacity of 600 amperes
  108  (240 volts) or less on a residential electrical system or 800
  109  amperes (240 volts) or less on a commercial or industrial
  110  electrical system;
  111         b. Requires a plumbing system with fewer than 250 fixture
  112  units; or
  113         c. Requires a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning
  114  system not to exceed a 15-ton-per-system capacity, or if the
  115  project is designed to accommodate 100 or fewer persons.
  116         (i) Any general contractor, certified or registered
  117  pursuant to the provisions of chapter 489, when negotiating or
  118  performing services under a design-build contract as long as the
  119  engineering services offered or rendered in connection with the
  120  contract are offered and rendered by an engineer or structural
  121  engineer licensed in accordance with this chapter.
  122         (j) Any defense, space, or aerospace company, whether a
  123  sole proprietorship, firm, limited liability company,
  124  partnership, joint venture, joint stock association,
  125  corporation, or other business entity, subsidiary, or affiliate,
  126  or any employee, contract worker, subcontractor, or independent
  127  contractor of the defense, space, or aerospace company who
  128  provides engineering for aircraft, space launch vehicles, launch
  129  services, satellites, satellite services, or other defense,
  130  space, or aerospace-related product or services, or components
  131  thereof.
  132         Section 2. Subsections (14) and (15) are added to section
  133  471.005, Florida Statutes, to read:
  134         471.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  135         (14) “Licensed structural engineer,” “professional
  136  structural engineer,” “registered structural engineer,” or
  137  “structural engineer” means a person who is licensed to engage
  138  in the practice of structural engineering under this chapter.
  139         (15) “Structural engineering” means an engineering service
  140  or creative work that includes the structural analysis and
  141  design of structural components or systems for threshold
  142  buildings as defined in s. 553.71. The term includes
  143  engineering, as defined in subsection (7), which requires
  144  significant structural engineering education, training,
  145  experience, and examination, as determined by the board.
  146         Section 3. Subsections (1) and (6) of section 471.011,
  147  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  148         471.011 Fees.—
  149         (1) The board by rule may establish fees to be paid for
  150  applications, examination, reexamination, licensing and renewal,
  151  inactive status application and reactivation of inactive
  152  licenses, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The board may also
  153  establish by rule a delinquency fee. The board shall establish
  154  fees that are adequate to ensure the continued operation of the
  155  board. Fees shall be based on department estimates of the
  156  revenue required to implement this chapter and the provisions of
  157  law with respect to the regulation of engineers and structural
  158  engineers.
  159         (6) The fee for a temporary registration or certificate to
  160  practice engineering or structural engineering shall not exceed
  161  $25 for an individual or $50 for a business firm.
  162         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  163  471.013, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  164         471.013 Examinations; prerequisites.—
  165         (2)(a) The board may refuse to certify an applicant for
  166  failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only
  167  if:
  168         1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of
  169  good moral character of the applicant and the professional
  170  responsibilities of a licensed engineer or structural engineer;
  171  and
  172         2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character
  173  is supported by clear and convincing evidence.
  174         Section 5. Present subsections (3) through (7) of section
  175  471.015, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (4)
  176  through (8), respectively, present subsection (3) is amended,
  177  and a new subsection (3) is added to that section, to read:
  178         471.015 Licensure.—
  179         (3)(a) The management corporation shall issue a structural
  180  engineer license to any applicant who the board certifies as
  181  qualified to practice structural engineering and who:
  182         1. Is licensed under this chapter as an engineer or is
  183  qualified for licensure as an engineer.
  184         2. Submits an application in the format prescribed by the
  185  board.
  186         3. Pays a fee established by the board under s. 471.011.
  187         4. Provides satisfactory evidence of good moral character,
  188  as defined by the board.
  189         5. Provides a record of 4 years of active structural
  190  engineering experience, as defined by the board, under the
  191  supervision of a licensed professional engineer.
  192         6. Has successfully passed the National Council of
  193  Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Structural Engineering
  194  examination.
  195         (b) Before September 1, 2016, an applicant who satisfies
  196  subparagraphs (a)1.-4. may satisfy subparagraphs (a)5. and 6.
  197  by:
  198         1. Submitting a signed affidavit in the format prescribed
  199  by the board which states that the applicant is currently a
  200  licensed engineer in the state and has been engaged in the
  201  practice of structural engineering with a record of at least 4
  202  years of active structural engineering design experience;
  203         2. Possessing a current professional engineering license
  204  and filing the necessary documentation as required by the board,
  205  or possessing a current threshold inspector license; and
  206         3.Agreeing to meet with the board or a representative of
  207  the board, upon the board’s request, for the purpose of
  208  evaluating the applicant’s qualifications for licensure.
  209         (c)An applicant who is qualified for licensure as an
  210  engineer under s. 471.013 may simultaneously apply for licensure
  211  as a structural engineer if all requirements of s. 471.013 and
  212  this subsection are met.
  213         (4)(3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license
  214  by endorsement an applicant who:
  215         (a) In engineering, by endorsement, an applicant who
  216  qualifies to take the fundamentals examination and the
  217  principles and practice examination as set forth in s. 471.013,
  218  has passed a United States national, regional, state, or
  219  territorial licensing examination that is substantially
  220  equivalent to the fundamentals examination and principles and
  221  practice examination required by s. 471.013, and has satisfied
  222  the experience requirements set forth in s. 471.013; or
  223         (b) In engineering or structural engineering, by
  224  endorsement, an applicant who holds a valid license to practice
  225  engineering, or, for structural engineering, an applicant who
  226  holds a valid license to practice structural engineering, issued
  227  by another state or territory of the United States, if the
  228  criteria for issuance of the license were substantially the same
  229  as the licensure criteria that existed in this state at the time
  230  the license was issued; or
  231         (c) In structural engineering, by endorsement, an applicant
  232  who holds a valid license to practice structural engineering
  233  issued by another state or territory of the United States and
  234  who has successfully passed one of the following 16-hour
  235  examination combinations:
  236         1. The 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering
  237  and Surveying Structural Engineering I examination and the 8
  238  hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
  239  Structural Engineering II examination.
  240         2.The 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering
  241  and Surveying Structural Engineering II examination and the 8
  242  hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
  243  Civil: Structural examination or the 8-hour National Council of
  244  Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Architectural
  245  Engineering examination.
  246         3.The 16-hour Western States Structural Engineering
  247  examination.
  248         4.The 8-hour National Council of Examiners for Engineering
  249  Structural Engineering II examination and the 8-hour California
  250  Structural Engineering Seismic III examination or the 8-hour
  251  Washington Structural Engineering III examination.
  252         Section 6. Section 471.019, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  253  read:
  254         471.019 Reactivation.—The board shall prescribe by rule
  255  continuing education requirements for reactivating a license.
  256  The continuing education requirements for reactivating a license
  257  for a licensed engineer or structural engineer may not exceed 12
  258  classroom hours for each year the license was inactive.
  259         Section 7. Subsection (2) of section 471.025, Florida
  260  Statutes, is amended to read:
  261         471.025 Seals.—
  262         (2) It is unlawful for any person to seal or digitally sign
  263  any document with a seal or digital signature after his or her
  264  license has expired or been revoked or suspended, unless such
  265  license is has been reinstated or reissued. When an engineer’s
  266  or structural engineer’s license is has been revoked or
  267  suspended by the board, the licensee shall, within a period of
  268  30 days after the revocation or suspension has become effective,
  269  surrender his or her seal to the executive director of the board
  270  and confirm to the executive director the cancellation of the
  271  licensee’s digital signature in accordance with ss. 668.001
  272  668.006. In the event the engineer’s license has been suspended
  273  for a period of time, his or her seal shall be returned to him
  274  or her upon expiration of the suspension period.
  275         Section 8. Present paragraphs (b) through (g) of subsection
  276  (1) of section 471.031, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
  277  paragraphs (c) through (h), respectively, present paragraph (b)
  278  of that subsection is amended, and a new paragraph (b) is added
  279  to that subsection, to read:
  280         471.031 Prohibitions; penalties.—
  281         (1) A person may not:
  282         (b) Beginning March 1, 2017, practice structural
  283  engineering unless the person is licensed as a structural
  284  engineer or exempt from licensure under this chapter.
  285         (c)(b)1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2. or
  286  subparagraph 3., use the name or title “professional engineer”
  287  or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations,
  288  or device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
  289  license as an engineer when the person is not licensed under
  290  this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following
  291  titles: “agricultural engineer,” “air-conditioning engineer,”
  292  “architectural engineer,” “building engineer,” “chemical
  293  engineer,” “civil engineer,” “control systems engineer,”
  294  “electrical engineer,” “environmental engineer,” “fire
  295  protection engineer,” “industrial engineer,” “manufacturing
  296  engineer,” “mechanical engineer,” “metallurgical engineer,”
  297  “mining engineer,” “minerals engineer,” “marine engineer,”
  298  “nuclear engineer,” “petroleum engineer,” “plumbing engineer,”
  299  “structural engineer,” “transportation engineer,” “software
  300  engineer,” “computer hardware engineer,” or “systems engineer.”
  301         2. Any person who is exempt from licensure under s.
  302  471.003(2)(j) may use the title or personnel classification of
  303  “engineer” in the scope of his or her work under that exemption
  304  if the title does not include or connote the term “licensed
  305  engineer,” “professional engineer,” “registered engineer,”
  306  “licensed professional engineer,” “licensed engineer,”
  307  “registered professional engineer,” “licensed structural
  308  engineer,” “professional structural engineer,” “registered
  309  structural engineer,” or “structural engineer.” or “licensed
  310  professional engineer.”
  311         3. Any person who is exempt from licensure under s.
  312  471.003(2)(c) or (e) may use the title or personnel
  313  classification of “engineer” in the scope of his or her work
  314  under that exemption if the title does not include or connote
  315  the term “licensed engineer,” “professional engineer,”
  316  “registered engineer,” “licensed professional engineer,”
  317  “licensed engineer,” “registered professional engineer,”
  318  “licensed structural engineer,” “professional structural
  319  engineer,” “registered structural engineer,” or “structural
  320  engineer,” or “licensed professional engineer” and if that
  321  person is a graduate from an approved engineering curriculum of
  322  4 years or more in a school, college, or university which has
  323  been approved by the board.
  324         Section 9. Paragraphs (b) through (e) and (g) of subsection
  325  (1) and subsection (4) of section 471.033, Florida Statutes, are
  326  amended to read:
  327         471.033 Disciplinary proceedings.—
  328         (1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the
  329  disciplinary actions in subsection (3) may be taken:
  330         (b) Attempting to procure a license to practice engineering
  331  or structural engineering by bribery or fraudulent
  332  misrepresentations.
  333         (c) Having a license to practice engineering or structural
  334  engineering revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against,
  335  including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of
  336  another state, territory, or country, for any act that would
  337  constitute a violation of this chapter or chapter 455.
  338         (d) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea
  339  of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in
  340  any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of
  341  engineering, structural engineering, or the ability to practice
  342  engineering or structural engineering.
  343         (e) Making or filing a report or record that the licensee
  344  knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record
  345  required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or
  346  obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or
  347  obstruct such filing. Such reports or records include only those
  348  which that are signed in the capacity of a licensed engineer or
  349  licensed structural engineer.
  350         (g) Engaging in fraud or deceit, negligence, incompetence,
  351  or misconduct, in the practice of engineering or structural
  352  engineering.
  353         (4) The management corporation shall reissue the license of
  354  a disciplined engineer, structural engineer, or business upon
  355  certification by the board that the disciplined person has
  356  complied with all of the terms and conditions set forth in the
  357  final order.
  358         Section 10. Subsection (1) of section 471.037, Florida
  359  Statutes, is amended to read:
  360         471.037 Effect of chapter locally.—
  361         (1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to
  362  repeal, amend, limit, or otherwise affect any local building
  363  code or zoning law or ordinance, now or hereafter enacted, which
  364  is more restrictive with respect to the services of licensed
  365  engineers or structural engineers than the provisions of this
  366  chapter.
  367         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.