Wyoming State Bond Threshold
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
In a cooperative effort of the surety industry, Wyoming SB 107 was amended on the House floor yesterday to remove the increase in the state bond threshold to $250,000, and retain the State's bond threshold at $100,000. State counsel for CNA, AIA and PCI worked together to contact members of the House before yesterday's Floor action. Previously, the bill moved quickly through the Senate in less than two days. SFAA was a focal point for the group in providing the talking points, data and other information the state counsel needed to answer questions from legislators.
As originally drafted, Wyoming SB 107 would have increased the bond threshold for contracts with the state, counties, cities, towns, school districts and other political subdivisions from $100,000 to $250,000. The bill came from the Joint Appropriations Interim Committee, and AIA state counsel reported that the Municipal League was behind the bill as a way to save money from the premiums paid for bonds.
The bill sponsor and many of other legislators approached on this bill initially saw the threshold increase as an inflationary increase, rather than as a substantive policy choice of the level at which the state chooses to protect itself, taxpayers, subcontractors, suppliers and workers on the job. SFAA's state bond threshold chart showed that Wyoming would be in a small minority of states with a bond threshold at $250,000. Wyoming is among many others with a threshold of $100,000 or less. Legislators asked local counsel for data on losses in Wyoming and countrywide on projects under $250,000 and SFAA was able to provide that data. They also wanted default rates on bonds under $250,000 and the incremental increase in costs between bonding at $100,000 and $250,000. We were able to address all these issues.
The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.