february 5, 2016
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Legislative, Regulatory and Other News at a Glance for Grassroots Action
Currently forty-one legislatures are in session: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 
In This Issue:
State Report
Bond Threshold Increase
New York Assembly Bill 9141 

NY AB 9141 (Simon) increases the bonding thresholds in New York. The threshold for projects covered by N.Y. State Fin. Law § 137, the payment bond provision, would increase from $100,000 to $150,000. The threshold for projects covered by N.Y. State Fin. Law § 139-f would increase from $200,000 to $300,000. Additionally both of these statutes would be amended to allow the contracting agency to "adjust the aggregate contract amounts listed in this subdivision every year to account for increases in the costs of construction." AB 9141 was introduced on January 29 and referred to the Committee on Assembly Governmental Operations. 
Washington House Bill 2129

WA HB 2129 (Santos) attempts to raise the bonding threshold in RCW 39.08.010, the Little Miller Act, from $35,000 to $150,000. HB 2129 was referred to the House State Government Affairs Committee where an executive session is scheduled on the bill on February 4. NASBP sent the committee a letter opposing the legislation. 
Washington House Bill 2933

WA HB 2933 (Gregerson) would raise the project threshold at which localities may use the "limited public works process" from $35,000 to $150,000. When this procurement method is used, localities may waive performance and payment bonds which are required under RCW 39.08.010. A public hearing was conducted on HB 2933 on February 2. NASBP sent a letter in opposition to the legislation. 
Individual Sureties
Missouri House Bill 2308

MO HB 2308 (Green) creates a bonding review board that may "[e]stablish criteria and procedures to create credit ratings for any individual, partnership, or corporation as described in section 143.441 or 143.471, that markets or provides individual sureties for the satisfaction of bonding requirements and assign such credit ratings." This bill was introduced last year and did not advance out of committee. Missouri NASBP members have indicated they believe the bill will not move again this year. 
Little Miller Act
Hawaii House Bill 2544

HI HB 2544 (Yamashita) subjects the procurement of Hawaii construction contracts to federal procurement laws. Current law is amended so that construction shall comply with Title 42 United States Code, Section 6962, "Federal Procurement" and Title 48 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1 to 9999. The entirety of Title 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System is referenced so "that the procurement officer shall comply with the rules of the federal agency that is the closest counterpart to the agency of the procurement officer, and if there is none, then to the rules of the General Services Administration under parts 500-599."

Most importantly to NASBP, HB 2544 amends the Hawaii Little Miller Act, Section 103D-324, which removes the bonding threshold, currently at $25,000 and repeals Section 103D-323, Bid Security. HB 2544 would require Hawaii state contracts to be subjected to Title 42 of the FAR, Part 28.102 - Performance and payment bonds and alternative payment protections for construction contracts where the performance bond threshold is $150,000 and the payment bond threshold is $35,000. 

NASBP members in Hawaii are working with AGC to determine why the bonding provisions are included in the bill. We will continue to keep members apprised of any updates. 
Public-Private Partnerships
Hawaii House Bill 2064

HI HB 2064 (Nakashima) would authorize counties to enter into P3 agreements for transportation facilities. The state does not currently have authorization for P3s. HB 2064 does not reference the state Little Miller Act, but rather provides discretion as to the type of security required for the P3 agreement. HB 2064 was referred to the House Transportation and Finance Committees on January 27. 
Oklahoma Senate Bill 1316

OK SB 1316 (Sparks) creates the Oklahoma Public and Private Facilities and Infrastructure Act, authorizing the state to enter into P3 agreements. Agreements would require "delivery of letters of credit or other security in connection with the development or operation of the qualifying project, in the forms and amounts satisfactory to the responsible governmental entity, and delivery of performance and payment bonds required for all construction activities." SB 1316 was referred to the Rules Committee on February 2. 
Tennessee Senate Bill 2093

TN SB 2093 (Ketron) authorizes state and local entities to enter into public-private partnership (P3) agreements for transportation projects. P3 agreements require the delivery of performance and payment bonds or other forms of security in connection with the development, redevelopment, or operation of the qualifying transportation facility, in the forms and amounts satisfactory to the responsible public entity. SB 2093 was introduced on January 21 and has not been assigned to a committee. 
Self-Insurance Programs
Ohio House Bill 416

OH HB 416 (Schuring) would allow state colleges and universities to establish joint self-insurance pools. These pools would not be subject to current insurance statutes. As originally drafted, HB 416 would have included surety as covered through the pool. The Surety Association of Ohio was able to successfully advocate for the removal of "surety" from the bill.  
Focal Point is an e-bulletin sent twice per month to members and friends of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers when most state legislatures are in session and as needed thereafter. To obtain copies of Bills or other materials discussed above, contact advocacy@nasbp.org. Visit the NASBP Advocacy Resource Center. Copyright © 2015. NASBP. All rights reserved.
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