In the future....

I recently joined the AGC of Washington and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) in Olympia to work on legislation affecting construction in the years to come.

Our state’s capital is beautiful this time of year. But that beauty belies some of the incredibly bad pieces of legislation that construction industry trade groups like the AGC of Washington and NUCA have to fend-off each year.

Like most other years since becoming an attorney, this year I joined in the effort to guide legislators in their lawmaking by providing a realistic assessment of how new laws might affect construction in our state.

Over the last year, NUCA’s Legislative Affairs Committee has been devising proposed legislation to add the posting of bid results to the bid protest process set forth in RCW 39.04.105. Making several trips to Olympia to testify in support of the bill—including this most recent trip—I've discussed how the new law would increase transparency and procurement efficiencies by allowing interested bidders to review other bids before deciding whether to protest. The bill (ESSB 5418) continues to work its way through the legislative process.

While NUCA’s agenda was to create a new law and gather support around it, the AGC’s main agenda this year has been playing defense on a number of particularly anti-business bills, including a “direct contractor” bill that would have held general contractors and upstream subcontractors liable for downstream subcontractors’ failures to pay union benefits. The real problem with the bill was that it sought to hold general contractors and subcontractors strictly liable when these contractors have very little ability to ensure trust benefits are being paid.

See the AGC of Washington’s website for more on defeating the so-called direct contractor” bill.