Last month, I wrote about the issue of a small business renting some retail or office space. If that business wants to build any interior walls, an architect must draw up the plans. Why? State law. This is costly in time and money.
So, to help small businesses, I had our state representative, Brenda Barton, introduce a bill to make an exception to the architect requirement for tenant space with no structural changes.
The bill went to the House Commerce Committee. I spoke in favor and so did our building official, Mike Scheu. But, there were six other people there speaking against the bill. It was the architects’ lobbyist and president of their association and other architects. They were adamantly against the bill.
In spite of the opposition, the committee voted to advance the bill. Two more procedural committees approved the bill. The full house voted to make the bill law.
So far, so good. We just needed to get 16 senators to vote for the bill and we would have changed state law.
But then the architects really amped up the resistance. They complained that the bill would compromise public safety and they would lose business.
The bill lost steam in the senate and ended up tabled somewhere.
What did I learn? Having a connection with our representatives is very important. When any legislation affects a group – that group is going to fight you. Getting something through the state legislature takes a lot of time and energy. Try again next year.
By Jerry Nabours
Jerry Nabours is the Mayor of Flagstaff. Any
opinions in this column are those of Jerry
Nabours and not necessarily the views of the