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Government Relations - General Information (Public)

SFAA and AIA Get Law Changed in Wisconsin to Repeal Bond Threshold Indexing RequirementsOpen in a New Window

SFAA and AIA Get Law Changed in Wisconsin to Repeal Bond Threshold Indexing Requirements 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

New Bonding Opportunities posted for MembersOpen in a New Window


New bonding opportunities enacted in the state legislature that may be of interest to SFAA members has been posted. The report is divided by line of business: contract surety, commercial surety, and fidelity bonds. For your reference, we have included the date of enactment for each bill. SFAA updates this list periodically as new bonding opportunities are enacted. 
Access the New Bonding Opportunities now

 

SFAA Address Bond Threshold City Ordinance in ArizonaOpen in a New Window

SFAA Address Bond Threshold City Ordinance in Arizona 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

Wisconsin Budget Bill Includes Provisions to End Bond Threshold IndexingOpen in a New Window

Wisconsin Budget Bill Includes Provisions to End Bond Threshold Indexing 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

End of Legislative Session Reports postedOpen in a New Window



End of 2017 Legislative Session reports have been updated for Oklahoma for Members only.

Previous reports posted for 2017:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Navigate to Government Relations / End of Legislative Session Reports

 

2017 State Public-Private Partnership LegislationOpen in a New Window


2017 State Public-Private Partnership Legislation 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

State Laws of Public-Private Partnerships and Bonding Requirements updatedOpen in a New Window


State Laws of Public-Private Partnerships and Bonding Requirements updated for Members and Subscribers.

More P3 information is available for Members and Subscribers at P3s / Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) - Members.


 

 

Arkansas Proposes New Rules to Implement P3 Law with Bonding ProvisionsOpen in a New Window

Arkansas Proposes New Rules to Implement P3 Law with Bonding Provisions 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

This Week in Surety & Fidelity LegislationOpen in a New Window

SFAA has replaced the monthly overview reports with the weekly legislative update on Surety & Fidelity legislation.  Reports are available for Members on the Weekly Legislative Reports page.

Members may sign up to receive email notifications by subscribing to the "Legislative-Regulatory Alert" group.


 

Florida Agency Revises Drinking Water Project Loan Program to Require BondingOpen in a New Window

  Florida Agency Revises Drinking Water Project Loan Program to Require Bonding 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

Oregon Port Authority Tollway Bill Enacted with Bonding Provisions SFAA, AIA, & Local Partners ...Open in a New Window

  Oregon Port Authority Tollway Bill Enacted with Bonding Provisions SFAA, AIA, and Local Partners Obtained 
Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

Federal/State Regulatory Reports for August 2017 posted for MembersOpen in a New Window

 

Regulatory reports for August 2017 have been posted on rules affecting Commercial Surety and Contract Surety that were recently proposed or adopted.

 For Members only (or from the menu, select "Government Relations" / "Federal/State Regulations")


 

 

SBA Adopts Regulations Increasing Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee Sought by SFAAOpen in a New Window

U.S. Small Business Administration Adopts Regulations Increasing Guarantee Amount for Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee Program 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) adopted revised regulations for the Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) that implement a recent change in the law to increase the guarantee percentage for the Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee Program (PSB) from not more than 70% to not more than 90% of the losses.  SFAA advocated for the change in the law and supported its implementation in our comments on the proposed rules.  SBA now will reimburse sureties participating in the PSB for the same amounts as set forth in the existing regulations for the Prior Approval program.  New sureties entering the PSB going forward also will need to obtain prior written approval for a guarantee on a surety bond for $2 million or more for the first nine months that they are in the PSB under the revised regulations.  The maximum amount of the bond eligible for the Quick Bond Guarantee Application program has been increased from $250,000 to $400,000.  SBA also changed the thresholds for Prior Approval Sureties for increases of the bond amount and contract amount that trigger notice requirements and requirements for SBA approval, which previously was an increase of $100,000 or 25% of the contract or bond amount, whichever is less.  The revised regulations changed the threshold to $500,000 or 25% of the original contract amount, whichever is less.

 

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.


 

U.S. Government Accountability Office Reports Findings on Bond Waivers and Surety Fraud for FederalOpen in a New Window

U.S. Government Accountability Office Reports Findings on Bond Waivers and Surety Fraud for Federal Contracts

 

In last year’s NDAA bill, a provision was included in the House Report that required a study on federal agency practices for waiving bonds on small business contracts, the results between contracts where bonds were or were not waived, and the whistleblower process for when fraud related to surety bonds is reported. SFAA met with Representative Steven King’s office as he requested this study based on his experience as a small contractor that was awarded federal and state construction contracts. Representative King believes that his business competed with other small contractors for whom the cost of bonds was waived and/or that the procurement rules were not being applied consistently to all small contractors.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) interviewed SFAA among others in its research to produce this study, which was released on August 7. We told the GAO that the Miller Act requires bonds, except when obtaining bonds in foreign countries is impractical, and that it would be illegal for the federal agencies to waive bonds. The GAO interviewed and used data from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and the State Department as these agencies awarded the most contracts to small businesses and the State Department has the most experience with foreign construction. The agencies reported that there is no source of data for contracts in which bonds were waived. In addition, they reported that instances of bond waivers are rare. There are some examples of waivers in foreign countries, as permitted under the Miller Act. The State Department noted that it has become easier for small contractors to obtain bonds so that the Department is not issuing waivers in foreign contracts as often. The federal agencies also reported that whistleblower cases regarding surety fraud also are rare, but any reports of surety fraud would be handled in the same manner as any other type of fraud. The GAO reports made no recommendations for any change in the federal procurement process.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.


 

SFAA Addresses Bond Claims Provisions in Alaska Money Transmitter RegulationsOpen in a New Window

SFAA Addresses Bond Claims Provisions in Alaska Money Transmitter Regulations

SFAA submitted comments to the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development on the proposed revisions to the regulations for the license bond required for money transmitters to address the potential for increased risk that would result from implementation. The proposed rules would establish claims procedures in the event a court or a state agency determines that the licensee violated the applicable law and issues a final order to pay an amount of money due to the violation. The bond would have to provide that the surety will pay this amount. If the surety has received more than one final order and the total claims exceed the bond amount the surety would have to make a pro rata payment to all claimants who have submitted a final order. The proposed rules would establish notice requirements for the surety in connection with the final order. SFAA offered to work with the Department to address our concerns about these new provisions.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.


 

SFAA Comments on Proposed Bond Amount Increase for West Virginia AuctioneersOpen in a New Window

SFAA Comments on Proposed Bond Amount Increase for West Virginia Auctioneers 

SFAA submitted comments to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to address the bond amounts in proposed regulations that would make the $5,000 bond currently required for apprentice auctioneers the minimum bond amount.  For auctioneers, the current $10,000 bond would be a minimum amount and the bond could be increased up to $100,000. 

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

SFAA Addresses Concerns in Proposed Federal Hard Rock Mining RulesOpen in a New Window

SFAA Addresses Concerns in Proposed Federal Hard Rock Mining Rules

SFAA made recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the proposed rules establishing financial responsibility requirements for hard rock mining operations to implement an existing law to make the proposed bonding requirements more workable for sureties. The proposed rules would apply to operations that mine metals and non-metallic fuel minerals. Surety bonds would be accepted to meet the requirement. Owners and operators of these mines would have to demonstrate and to maintain financial responsibility based on the degree and duration of risk associated with the treatment, production, transportation, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances at their facilities. The costs that the financial responsibility would have to cover include response costs, health assessment costs, and natural resource damages. The amount of financial responsibility would be based on response costs, the type of operation, the state in which the mine is located, natural resource damages, and a health assessment.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.


 

SFAA Opposing California Bill that Eliminates Immigration Consultant BondOpen in a New Window

SFAA Opposing California Bill that Eliminates Immigration Consultant Bond

SFAA opposes California AB 638, which would restrict the persons and entities that can be an immigration consultant and repeal the bond requirement in the current law. The bill provides that only attorneys, paralegals and organizations accredited by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals could be immigration consultants. Under existing law, immigration consultants, notaries public, attorneys and organizations accredited by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals may provide immigration consulting services and charge for them. The law requires these persons to post a $100,000 surety bond for the benefit of any person “damaged by any fraud, misstatement, misrepresentation, unlawful act or omission, or failure to provide the services of the immigration consultant . . . .” SFAA submitted a letter to explain the prequalification of such consultants in the underwriting of the bond allow more qualified persons and entities to provide these services and protects against fraud and other abuses.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.


 

Monthly Legislative Overview Report Posted for SFAA MembersOpen in a New Window

  Monthly Legislative Overview Report Posted for SFAA Members. Reports are available on the Weekly Legislative Reports page.
Members may sign up to receive email notifications by subscribing to the "Legislative-Regulatory Alert" group.

 

Nevada Enacts P3 Law Containing Bonding ProvisionsOpen in a New Window

 

Nevada Enacts P3 Law Containing Bonding Provisions

Nevada SB 448 authorizes counties with a population exceeding 700,000 to enter into public-private partnerships (P3) for transportation projects, including mass transit facilities.  SFAA, AIA, and NASBP worked together to obtain amendments that provide that performance and payment bonds in compliance with the Little Miller Act may be required for the design and construction portion of the project.  Bonds or other security may be required in addition to these bonds if needed.  As introduced, SB 448 contained bonding provisions that were discretionary and would have allowed P3s to be used for various kinds of State and local projects.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

New Hampshire Bond Threshold IncreasedOpen in a New Window

New Hampshire Bond Threshold Increased

SFAA, AIA, and our local industry partners worked all session in New Hampshire to address HB 371, which increases the state bond threshold. The result of our work was a compromise under which the bond threshold has been increased from $35,000 to $75,000 for state project and to $125,000 for local government projects. A provision that would have permitted political subdivisions to opt out of applying the bonding requirements for the state bond threshold was removed from the bill under this deal. The Governor has signed the legislation.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

2017 Bond Threshold LegislationOpen in a New Window

 

2017 Bond Threshold Legislation

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.


 

Regulations to Implement New Federal Law on Bond Guarantees StalledOpen in a New Window

 

Regulations to Implement New Federal Law on Bond Guarantees Stalled

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) proposed rules to implement a change in the law that increased the guarantee percentage for the Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee Program (PSB) from not more than 70% to not more than 90% of the losses appear to have stalled in the wake of the Trump Administration’s regulatory freeze. SFAA worked with the Coalition in 2015 to obtain the statutory revisions on this issue. Final regulations have not been issued to date and it is not clear when any action will occur.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

 

Comprehensive Legislative Report for Bail posted for MembersOpen in a New Window

 

Comprehensive Legislative Report for Bail posted for Members.

Navigate to any of the following:


 

President Issues Executive Order to Form Infrastructure CouncilOpen in a New Window

  President Issues Executive Order to Form Infrastructure Council 

President Trump issued an executive order to create the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure (Council) within the Department of Commerce to study and make recommendations concerning federal government funding, support, and delivery of infrastructure projects. Of note, the Council is charged with identifying methods to increase public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects, including any statutory or regulatory changes. The Council also will make recommendations for: prioritizing infrastructure needs; accelerating pre-construction approval processes; developing funding and financing options to generate new infrastructure investment over the next ten years; identifying best practices and improvements to procurement methods, grant procedures, and infrastructure delivery systems; and promoting advanced manufacturing and infrastructure-related technological innovation.

The Council will be comprised of experts from various infrastructure sectors, including real estate, finance, construction, communications and technology, transportation and logistics, labor, environmental policy, regional and local economic development, and other sectors the President chooses. The Council must issue a report containing its findings and recommendations, and will remain in place until December 31, 2018, unless the President extends its term or the Council issues a report prior to this date.

A non-profit, advocacy group has already filed a complaint against the Administration alleging that the Council was active prior to the executive order that authorized it and has been acting in violation of the law governing the formation of such advisory councils. Pending resolution of the complaint, SFAA will work with its industry partners so that we will be the resource for any issues that arise from the Council about surety bonds.

Members should visit Government Relations / General Info (Members) for more information.

Government Relations - General Info (Public)

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
US Dept. of Labor accepts SFAA proposed ERISA form PDF (198.39 KB)  more ] Administration 3/3/2017
SFAA and AIA Working with Indiana Attorney General PDF (81.72 KB)  more ] Administration 2/23/2016
Bond Waiver Bill Resurfaces in Cuyahoga County, OH PDF (156.11 KB) Administration 2/9/2016
Wisconsin - New Draft of Surety Indexing Bill ... PDF (142.4 KB)  more ] Administration 1/27/2016
Proposed Bonding Amendments for Federal Water ... PDF (142.93 KB)  more ] Administration 1/27/2016
Oklahoma - Transportation & Public Facility P3... PDF (156.37 KB)  more ] Administration 1/27/2016
Congress and States Start to Convene 2016 Sessions PDF (166.5 KB)  more ] Administration 1/7/2016
President Signs Two Surety Provisions into Law PDF (149.47 KB)  more ] Administration 11/30/2015
Final Congressional Conference Report on NDAA ... PDF (149.44 KB)  more ] Administration 9/30/2015
President Signs 3-Month Extension to Highway Act PDF (149.84 KB) Administration 8/3/2015
US House Makes First Move on Extending Highway ... PDF (163.37 KB)  more ] Administration 7/15/2015
Congress Gives VA Construction Short Term Patch PDF (38.06 KB) Administration 6/18/2015
IL Bond Form for Commercial Drivers License Test.. PDF (95.59 KB)  more ] Administration 6/12/2015
Federal Construction Coalition Procurement ... PDF (108.85 KB)  more ] Administration 6/9/2015
Nevada Adjourns - Update on Key Surety Legislation PDF (108.66 KB) Administration 6/9/2015
New York $500,000 Bond Threshold Bill to be Heard PDF (108.55 KB) Administration 6/8/2015
Construction Coalition Bill Introduced in Senate PDF (109.15 KB) Administration 6/5/2015
Congress Extends Funding for VA Hospital Project.. PDF (108.96 KB)  more ] Administration 5/26/2015
Congress Heads to Recess without a Solution to ... PDF (121.69 KB)  more ] Administration 5/21/2015
Short Term Extension Likely for Highway Trust Fund PDF (110.28 KB) Administration 5/21/2015
Connecticut Nullum Tempus Bill Passes Legislature PDF (109.32 KB) Administration 5/20/2015
SFAA Comments on Commerce Dept. Bond Waivers ... PDF (95.65 KB)  more ] Administration 5/19/2015
Bills to Transfer Control of VA Construction ... PDF (94.18 KB)  more ] Administration 4/30/2015
Connecticut Nullum Tempus Bill Amended Favorably PDF (96.38 KB) Administration 4/7/2015
New Commercial Surety Bond Opportunity Passes ... PDF (95.5 KB)  more ] Administration 3/31/2015
Sureties in Iowa Fight Bond Waiver PDF (95.62 KB) Administration 3/18/2015
CT Nullum Tempus Bill to be Heard in Committee PDF (109.05 KB) Administration 3/4/2015
SFAA Participates in Joint Trade Comments on ... PDF (62.65 KB)  more ] Administration 2/12/2015
US House Small Business Subcommittee Hearing... PDF (1.17 MB)  more ] Administration 2/12/2015
Congress Enacts New Bond Requirement for ... PDF (50.72 KB)  more ] Administration 1/5/2015
Infrastructure Bills Are Moving in New Jersey PDF (65.83 KB) Administration 12/19/2014
Threshold for Payment Security under Miller Act PDF (64.75 KB)  more ] Administration 12/12/2014
Surety Issues in Congress Wait Until Next Year PDF (54.55 KB) Administration 12/11/2014
Summary of Mid-Term Election Results PDF (50.47 KB) Administration 11/5/2014
Treasury Dept. Issues Final Rules on Sureties ... PDF (65.06 KB)  more ] Administration 10/22/2014
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