Subcontractors Pave the Way for Legislation

By Tami Faram

Subcontractors in eight states are leading the charge in improving the way business is done. Specialty trade contractors, including glazing contractors, in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas have recently been successful in pursuing the enactment of "subcontractor-friendly" laws for their states.

"Several of these states, in particular Colorado, Kansas and Tennessee, are setting some very good examples for contractors legislatively," David Mendes, ASA's senior director of communications and education told USGNN today. Members of the American Subcontractors Association's local chapters worked in each of theses states to pursue the changes in legislation.

A new law signed by the Colorado governor in May prevents the subcontractor from being responsible for all damage or injuries that occur on a jobsite. "It's a significant piece of legislation for all subcontractors," says Corky Kyle, president and chief executive officer of The Kyle Group LLC in Arvada, Colo., who worked as a lobbyist for the new legislation. "It means we [subcontractors] only have to be responsible for our own negligence."

On June 19, USGNN reported on the new law in Texas that allows subcontractors--including glazing contractors--to take legal recourse if a general contractor does not pay them. CLICK HERE to read that story. New legislation enacted in Kansas, the Fairness in Public Construction Act, now assures subcontractors of payment on all projects.

Subcontractors in Kentucky will benefit from a law that prohibits "no damage for delay" clauses and establishes prompt pay requirements that were not in place before.

New Mexico, considered the most "subcontractor-friendly" state, according to ASA, enacted two laws. One regards the use of retainage and enacts a prompt pay deadline, while the other new action in New Mexico improves the enforcement of property lien rights.

David H. Bradbury, ASA president, says legislative victories in these states can serve as catalysts for improved policies nationwide.

"The enactment of good, subcontractor-friendly laws enables progress on other issues in these eight states while also facilitating opportunities for other legislative improvements to be made across the country," he says.

CLICK HERE to view all the new laws benefiting subcontractors in all of these states.