JANUARY 13, 2017
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Legislative, Regulatory and Other News at a Glance for Grassroots Action
Currently forty-one legislatures are in session:  Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio,  Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 
In This Issue:
Federal Report
Infrastructure Legislation: A Topic of Discussion on Capitol Hill 

During her confirmation hearing on Wednesday before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Transportation Secretary-designate Elaine Chao told committee members that "as we work together to develop the details of President Trump's infrastructure plan, it is important to note the significant difference between traditional program funding and other innovative financing tools, such as public-private partnerships." In October, President-elect Trump released a 10-year, $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that relies on $137 billion of tax credits to attract private investments in transportation and other infrastructure projects. Ms. Chao added that "another major challenge is to unleash the potential for private investment in our nation's infrastructure." Additionally, committee member, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), noted that she will introduce a transportation funding bill in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, House members John Delaney (D-MD-6), Ted Yoho (R-FL-3) and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) plan to introduce a pair of bipartisan infrastructure bills using revenues from international tax reform to upgrade America's infrastructure. Congressman Delaney and Congressman Davis will bring forward "The Partnership to Build America Act," legislation that creates a new American Infrastructure Fund (AIF) to finance state and local projects. Congressman Delaney and Congressman Yoho will introduce "The Infrastructure 2.0 Act," legislation that includes the AIF and provides additional long-term revenues to stabilize and expand the Highway Trust Fund. Congressman Delaney has advocated for this framework for the last four years, drawing support from over 40 Republican and 40 Democratic cosponsors in the House and Senate since 2013. Once these bills are formally introduced, NASBP plans to review each and begin to meet with these offices to raise the point that bonds should be included. Given the cross-jurisdictional nature of any infrastructure package, it is likely legislation will be assigned to traditional committees of jurisdiction such as the House Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, as well as those committees that will be responsible for providing appropriations such as the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees.

Final rule on bid surety bonds for the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid published its final rule on bid surety bonds for the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program on November 4, 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services has reached out to NASBP to help make the bond community aware of the rule on bid surety bonds. 

Questions regarding this new bid bond requirement may be sent to bidsuretybond@cms.hhs.gov. Questions submitted to this email will not be responded to immediately but will be used to develop Frequently Asked Questions. Other important information will be posted on the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) website
State Report
Bond Threshold Increase
New Hampshire House Bill 371

NH HB 371 (Danielson) increases the amount of a public works contract for which a bond is required from $35,000 to $150,000. HB 371 was referred to the House Public Works and Highways Committee. A hearing date has not been set. 
North Dakota Senate Bill 2146

ND SB 2146 (Kannianen) increases the current bond threshold for construction contracts from $100,000 to $150,000. SB 2146 was referred to the Senate Industry, Business, and Labor Committee where a hearing has been set for January 17, 2017. NASBP has sent a letter in opposition to this Senate Committee in advance of this hearing. 
New York Assembly Bill 1255

NY AB 1255 (Simon) increases the bond threshold for State Finance Law § 137 from $100,000 to $150,000 and State Finance Law § 139-f from $200,000 to $300,000. A hearing date has not been set. NASBP has informed our members in New York, and will provide updates as they become available. 
Bond Waivers
Nevada Senate Bill 1

NV SB 1 (Special Session) was fast-tracked through the Nevada Legislature in a special session last fall. This legislation would authorize a sales tax on hotel rooms in Las Vegas, and use the proceeds, along with other private and public funds, to build a stadium with the hope of persuading the NFL to relocate a team to Nevada. There are recent examples where professional stadiums have been built but no bonds were required. Thus, NASBP has been closely monitoring SB 1. This session the legislature will be making minor corrective changes to the bill and NASBP is working to ensure bonding requirements are included. 
Little Miller Act
Minnesota House Bill 145

MN HB 145 (Thissen) amends the Little Miller Act to make public bodies, that do not require payment bonds on projects less than $100,000, liable for all unpaid costs and charges that may accrue on account of completing the specified work, and for all just claims by persons furnishing the labor and materials.
Public-Private Partnerships
Indiana House Bill 1266

IN HB 1266 (Gutwein) amends the P3 statutes that cover public works projects and transportation projects to require performance and payment bonds and specifies the performance bond must be in "an amount equal to the cost to design and construct the project." Last year an Interim Study Committee was created to review the State's P3 laws following an incident with the I-69 project in which subcontractors and suppliers went unpaid for nearly nine months. NASBP sent a letter to that Study Committee as did several members. HB 1266 contains the suggested language NASBP offered to the Interim Study Committee. NASBP will continue to monitor this legislation and provide the membership with updates. 
Missouri House Bill 155

MO HB 155 (Corlew) authorizes the use of a P3 to build I-70. As currently written, HB 155 includes discretionary bonding requirements. Amended language was developed to address this when this legislation was offered in 2015. NASBP is working with members in the State to encourage the bill sponsor to accept the amended language. 
Focal Point is an e-bulletin sent 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. Copyright © 2015. NASBP. All rights reserved.
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