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Transportation & Public Works Legislative Update (2-6-17)

HB 1538, regarding contract retainage and bonding, was heard last week in the House Capital Budget Committee.  The bill allows a subcontractor to post a performance bond, even if the contractor has chosen the retainage option for a contract.  We testified with concerns that having this option will create new additional project administration requirements.  The bill proponents claim there will be no additional administration issues with this option.

The HPA bills, HB 1428 and SB 5466, were both heard last week in their respective natural resource related committees.  WSAC testified in opposition to both bills but expressed a desire to work with the bill sponsors and the Department of Fish & Wildlife to address our concerns.  A separate bill limiting HPA jurisdiction, SB 5228, was heard the previous week.  The jurisdiction issue is considered necessary to be resolved for the bill the HPA bills to move forward.
Bills being heard this week include HB 1307, which authorizes setting of dual speed limits by local agencies, and HB 1332, which allows a county remove “any structure, device, or natural or artificial thing that threatens or endangers the county road or bridge” when on the county road or bridge or “in sufficiently close proximity thereto”.  SB 5088 and SB 5033, the first of several infrastructure financing bills, are scheduled for hearing this week, as well.
Two of WSAC’s priority legislation will be heard this week.  HB 1764, amending the property tax growth factor, is scheduled for hearing on 2-10-17.  The bill changes the growth factor to a combination of inflation and population growth.  HB 1594, and HB 1595, both address the public records act.  Both bills are the result of months of effort of stakeholders to address the fiscal impacts of public records requests on local governments.
More information on bills being tracked can be found here.  Please contact me if you have any questions on any legislation.