State Legislatures Continue to Act on Construction Bills
With only four state legislatures in regular session, two states in special session and two states in extended session, governors continue to approve laws that impact construction subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, and suppliers. The following are just a few of the laws recently enacted:
Connecticut: S1502, the state budget, includes a provision concerning self-performance by a construction-manager-at-risk. Specifically, the new law allows the contractor to self-perform if the government determines that the CM can perform the work more cost-effectively than a subcontractor. All work not performed by the CM must be approved by trade subcontractors selected by a process approved by the government.
Delaware: HB145 raises the prevailing wage contract threshold for new construction and for alterations, repairs, and renovations from $15,000 to $45,000. The new law also establishes a Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee that is tasked with advising the General Assembly as to how the prevailing wage survey can be improved or whether the survey should be eliminated. The committee is to provide a report to the General Assembly by Jan. 20, 2016.
Hawaii: HB391 relates to government public works construction contracts. Specifically, the new law provides that overtime compensation be not less than the laborers or mechanics basic hourly rate of pay plus fringe benefits and that if the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations determines that the prevailing wage is determined by a group represented by collective bargaining, then the overtime and any other premium shall be at the same rates set by the collective bargaining agreement.
Illinois: SB718 amends Elevator Safety Act by providing that the Office of the State Fire Marshal shall authorize the issuance of elevator contractor’s licenses, elevator mechanic’s licenses, inspector’s licenses, and inspection company licenses. The new law also provides that all applications for a contractor’s or inspection company license shall contain a copy of the Certificate of Authority to transact business in the State from the Secretary of State for corporations registered in another state, a certificate of good standing for corporations registered in Illinois, and an assumed name certificate issued by the Illinois county in which the business is located for a sole proprietor or partnership.
Michigan: HB4052 prohibits municipalities from requiring businesses to pay wages, benefits, or provide sick days exceeding federal or state requirements.
North Carolina: HB255 reforms building code enforcement to conform work in progress inspection authority to recently enacted inspection limitations; requires the building code council to study the alternate methods approval process; clarifies the definition of official misconduct for code officials; eliminates mandatory plan review for residential structures; raises the threshold for requirement of a building permit; and creates the building code council residential code committee.
Rhode Island: HB5932 provides that notice under the provisions of the mechanic’s lien law may be provided either as incorporated in a written contract, or a separate document incorporated in a written contract prior to or within ten (10) days of commencing physical work on the property, or upon delivery of construction, erection, alteration, or repair materials for the property.
Rhode Island: SB968 eliminates the requirement that notice under the provisions of the mechanic’s lien law be provided within ten (10) days of commencing physical work on the property, or upon delivery of construction, erection, alteration, or repair materials for the property, by authorizing the notice to be given at any time prior to commencing work or delivery of materials, either incorporated conspicuously in a written contract or sent by certified mail.
Washington: S5997 provides that the joint transportation committee must convene a design-build contracting review panel to examine the department’s implementation and use of design-build contracting.
Wisconsin: S21, the state budget bill, includes a provision that requires that any contract entered into by the state for the construction, repair or modification of a public works or public improvement project must contain a provision that the contractor will use materials that are manufactured in the United States in the performance of the contract.