ASA Makes Big Changes State-by-State for Subcontractors

Times are a changin’ for subcontractors — and for once, we’re not talking about the housing slump. Even in the midst of the drastic U.S. housing downturn, there’s good news from the American Subcontractors Association. Its local chapters have lobbied for a number of public policy reforms, according to Contractormag.com, which

Times are a changin’ for subcontractors — and for once, we’re not talking about the housing slump.

Even in the midst of the drastic U.S. housing downturn, there’s good news from the American Subcontractors Association. Its local chapters have lobbied for a number of public policy reforms, according to Contractormag.com, which should make working conditions, contracts and other building aspects easier.

A few highlights achieved in 2007 through successful lobbying include:

  • Colorado: Gov. Bill Ritter signed an indemnity reform bill (S.B. 87) on April 11 that prevents any party in a construction agreement from contractually indemnifying another party for damage or injury caused by its own negligence. It had been previously shot down twice by the former governor. (Hence the joyful clapping in the Rocky Mountain News photo as Ritter signs it.)
  • Kansas: The Fairness in Public Construction Contract Act (S.B. 333) was signed by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on April 21. Public owners now have to pay contractors undisputed amounts within 30 days of receiving an invoice; contractors must pay subcontractors within seven days of receiving payment. An interest at a rate of 18 percent per year will be applied to late payments.
  • Texas: Gov. Rick Perry approved a new law on June 16 that will make contingent payment clauses in construction contracts unenforceable unless a failure to meet contractual obligations by the party seeking payment can be proven. (The law doesn’t apply to small residential projects, but larger ones may benefit.)
  • Tennessee: H.B. 1003, signed May 22 by Gov. Phil Bredesen, limits all private and public project retainage to 5 percent, which will help with project cash flow issues, according to Designandbuildwithmetal.com. Now millions of dollars in earnings will be available to contractors and subcontractors during the construction.

For information about all ASA-sponsored changes, visit the news section of the American Subcontractors Association’s site.

The changes in 2007 were significant. And the new year is just around the corner; what changes do you think still need to made in the construction industry? What should local lobbyists in your area be fighting for?

We want to hear — post or e-mail us your thoughts.