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’s Bill to Address Attorneys’ Fees Awards in Bond Claims Considered but not Enacted
Washington SB 6428/HB 2852 would have placed reasonable limits on the award of attorney fees’ against sureties. The bill provided that the rights granted under current procurement law would have been the exclusive remedy for recovering attorneys’ fee for all disputes, including but not limited to coverage disputes involving a performance or payment bond required under the Little Miller Act. The legislation stalled in the House and died at the end of the session since bills do not carry over to 2019 in Washington.
SFAA’s Bill in Indiana to Require Bonding in P3s Goes to Study
Indiana HB 1301 would direct the Legislative Council to form an interim study committee to examine requiring performance and payment bonds for future public private partnership (P3) projects for the three P3 laws that SFAA sought to amend. As introduced, HB 1301 contained the amendments that SFAA drafted to require 100% bonds in all three P3 laws. The bill was amended twice to reduce the bond requirements from 100% to 50% and then down to 25% before it was amended again to send the issue to another study committee. HB 1301 has been sent to the Governor. There also are study provisions on bonding for any kind of P3 project in HB 1374 that the Governor has signed. HB 1374 also revises the existing law for the Indiana Finance Authority.