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News & Press: MSS News

Government Affairs Update

Monday, December 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tim Quinn
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2018 Election results


The 2018 election is on the books and there is good news for business in Maryland. Governor Larry Hogan easily defeated Ben Jealous becoming the first Republican governor re-elected to a second term in Maryland. There was, however, significant turnover in the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates. 17 new members were elected to the Maryland Senate and 43 new members were elected to the House of Delegates. This represents a 36% turnover in the Senate and a 30% turnover in the House of Delegates. This turnover may be perceived as a challenge for MSS, but it actually presents us with a great opportunity to educate the new legislators about the mission of MSS, the issues we are facing and the importance of land surveying to the public.  


2019 Legislative Initiatives


Qualification based selection for land surveying services


Currently, procurement of engineering and architectural services through Maryland’s Department of General Services and Department of Transportation are subject to qualification based selection, while contracts for professional land surveying services and property line surveying services are awarded based on a competitive bidding process. The competitive bidding process does not provide adequate assurance that the work contracted for will be performed by the most qualified candidate. This ultimately costs the taxpayer in situations when inferior work must be redone by a more qualified professional.


MSS is proposing a bill in 2019 to require qualification based selection for professional land surveying services and property line surveying services.


Preparations for the rollout of the North American Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (NATRF2022)


Almost 40 years since the National Geodetic Survey adopted NAD83 they are on schedule to implement NATRF2022 toward the end of 2022. This change will have a significant impact on all geospatial professions. MSS will be working closely with the Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Geological Survey, Maryland Department of Transportation and other geospatial stakeholders to insure that statutes and regulations are updated and adopted in time for the release of the new reference frame. For more details regarding implementation of NATRF2022 please visit


Modernization of the Maryland Land Surveyors Act


Technology has dramatically changed the way we practice our profession and run our businesses. The Maryland Land Surveyors Act, commonly referred to as the practice act, has undergone many changes since its inception. These changes are typically modifications to individual subsections of the practice act to address issues as they arise. Frequent changes made to statutory law often result in confusion, and in some cases, contradictions between law and regulation. The practice act needs comprehensive change.


The Chair of The Maryland Board for Professional Land Surveyors recently appointed a committee to study the current practice act, identify inconsistencies and outdated content, and recommend a comprehensive change to the act. The committee is composed of board member Tom Orisich (Chair), board member T.J. Frazier, and MSS members Aaron Worley and James Shaw. MSS is honored to be involved in this important process. The committee plans to begin meetings in January 2019, and work through the year. If all goes well, the committee should have its recommendations ready late in 2019.


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