SFAA Working on Oklahoma Bill that Prohibits Retainage When Bonds are in Place
SFAA and AIA are working with the local surety association in Oklahoma to address HB 2676, which would prohibit the withholding of retainage from the general contractor on public buildings and public works projects if bonds under the Little Miller Act are in place. Oklahoma’s bond threshold is $50,000, and existing law provides that not more than 5% of the contract price may be withheld. For subcontractors, the bill provides that either retainage of not more than 5% may be withheld or performance and maintenance bonds could be required as a condition of the subcontract.
SFAA Addressing Proposed Bond Threshold Increase and P3 Pilot Program in Vermont
SFAA is addressing HB 917, which would increase the bond threshold from $100,000 to $500,000. As drafted, the bill would have provided for a $1 million bond threshold. The bill also would provide for a pilot program for the Agency of Transportation to enter into public-private partnerships (P3s) for transportation infrastructure projects. The state legislature would set the requirements and would have to approve each P3 project, unless the project will have a project lifetime cost that is less than $2 million or the project has been approved in the most recently adopted Transportation Program. The bill does not specify a bonding requirement for this P3 program. The program would expire on July 1, 2023.
SFAA Objects to Proposed Montana Rules Eliminating Aggregate Liability Provision for Public Adjusters’ Bond
SFAA advised against a proposed rule from the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance that would delete a provision limiting the surety’s aggregate liability to the bond amount for the bond required from public adjusters. SFAA noted that the proposed rules could affect the bond’s availability by increasing the surety’s financial exposure. The proposed rules state that the intent of the changes is to remove superfluous language without changing the meaning of the rule. Our comments noted that eliminating the limit on the surety’s aggregate liability could result in a material, unintended change as the statute does not limit the surety’s aggregate liability.