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LB 2011 - 05

February 14, 2011

 

CANDIDATE FIELD FOR GOVERNOR CROWDED

 

Saturday was the deadline for candidates to register to run for governor. On the democratic ticket there's acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, House Speaker Rick Thompson, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, State Treasurer John Perdue, Arne Moltis and Acting Senate President Jeff Kessler. Republican candidates include Senator Clark Barnes, former Secretary of State Betty Ireland, Putnam County prosecutor Mark Sorsaia, former Delegate Larry Faircloth, Cliff Ellis, Delegate Mitch Carmichael, Ralph William Clark and Bill Maloney. The Secretary of State’s office held a drawing Sunday for ballot positions for the May 14 primary election. Democratic acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Republican Bill Maloney will be at the top of their parties' ballots.

 

H.B. 3136 MANDATES SEPARATE PRIME BID ON CONTRACTS OVER $500,000

 

New Delegate Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, introduced today H.B. 3136.  The bill, which was not available for view at press time, is expected to require all public building contracts over $500,000 to have multiple prime contracts.  In speaking with Del. Householder, he states more West Virginia contractors would have an opportunity to bid on public projects.  He also noted the School Building Authority of West Virginia has used multiple prime contracts for years.  The CAWV responded by saying the SBA uses multiple prime contracts on large projects and that it is not mandated.  The process is used when it is prudent to do so.  The CAWV also noted the SBA has had much experience in managing multiple prime contracts but many state agencies, counties and cities don’t do many construction projects and don’t have much construction experience.  CAWV building members will receive a Legislative Alert on H.B. 3136 when details become available.  The bill goes to Government Organization then Judiciary.

 

SENATE TRANSPORTATION DEDICATES SURPLUSES TO STATE ROAD FUND

 

The Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed out S.B. 395, introduced by senators Bob Beach, Orphy Klempa and Bob Williams.  The bill dedicates surplus general revenue funds to the State Road Fund.  Currently, when there is a surplus of funds at the end of the state’s fiscal year, fifty percent goes into the Rainy Day Fund.  The current statute says the Rainy Day Fund is fully funded when it exceeds ten percent of the total appropriations from the “state fund, general revenue, for the fiscal year just ended.”  The general revenue budget is around $4.3 billion and it is estimated the Rainy Day Fund could be fully funded this year.  S.B. 395 provides that future surpluses go into the road fund. 

 

This bill has hurdles to overcome in that governors have been reluctant in the past to dedicate surpluses for specific purposes.  The positive side is that legislators are beginning to look at options to provide additional funding for the highway program.  Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, told committee members he wouldn’t have a problem with a transfer on a short term basis but thinks there needs to be a comprehensive plan for the State Road Fund.   Sen. Bob Beach, chairman of Senate T & I Committee, said in committee that “I don’t see a comprehensive plan and people of West Virginia tired of doing nothing.  We cannot respond in a do-nothing manner.”

 


Sen. Doug Facemire, D-Braxton, said, “We’ve got a major, major problem and no one has come forward to show how we are going to fund the road program.  The Secretary of Transportation says we need an additional $800 million annually just to maintain our current road system.  We are going to need to stop building roads until we figure out how to pay for the ones we have.”  Many committee members noted their constituents are telling them of the poor road conditions in their counties. 

 

S.B. 395 now goes to the Senate Finance Committee.  The CAWV is meeting with administration officials and senate members this week to determine the status of the bill.  Members should look for a Legislative Alert and be ready to respond with calls to their senators and other elected officials.

 

PROMPT PAY BILL REINTRODUCED

 

West Virginia’s prompt pay statute was inadvertently eliminated on the last night of the 2010 legislative session.  The plan was to delete the statute from the State code dealing with the Purchasing Division and add it to code dealing with the State Auditor.  This was to expand the Prompt Pay Act to all state contracts not just those dealing with the Purchasing Division.  One bill passed and one was defeated.  There has been no Prompt Pay Act since July 1, 2010.  S. B. 462 reinstates the act.

 

S.B. 510 ESTABLISHES 2009 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY CONSERVATION CODE

 

S.B. 510, introduced by Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, requires new public facilities to be designed and constructed complying with the International Energy Conservation Code and the ANSI / ASHREA / IESNA Standard 90.1 - 2007.  The current IECC version is 2003.  The CAWV worked with Senator Unger and his staff on the bill.  CAWV members provided input on what impact the 2009 version will have on construction costs, on contractors preparing bids, and on contractors performing the construction contract.  CAWV contractor and architect members stated it appears that contractors would not see much change in bidding a project.  The architect and/or engineer would prepare plans and documents based on the 2009 code and contractors would price their bid accordingly. It also appears there would be no additional administrative or hidden costs in constructing the project.

 

It is anticipated that the 2009 version would increase construction costs in the 5 percent range in the short term while manufacturers upgrade their production process.  Some people noted this is common with previous code revisions and that costs should stabilize once manufacturers implement the new code version.

 

One option would be to delay the effective date of the new code version to projects in the design phase after January 1, 2012.  This would give everyone more time to implement the new version.  S.B. 510 states the provision applies to building construction projects that enter the schematic design phase after July 1, 2011.  Contractors would probably not see changes until much later since it could take months or years to complete a project’s design.  The CAWV appreciates members who provided comment on the proposed bill.  There will not be legislation advanced this year that requires public buildings over 50,000 square feet to meet U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Certification.

 

WVDOH WOULD HAVE TO USE RECYCLED MATERIALS

 

H.B. 2343 would require the WV Division of Highways to use recycled materials, “such as old pavement, concrete and used tires in the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of state roads and highways when those materials are available.”  The WVDOH has used recycled asphalt and other materials for years.  The bill does put in the words “when available” so it does gives the WVDOH an out when it is not feasible to use recycled materials.  The bill goes to the Committee on Roads and Transportation then Finance.

 

WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE BILL INFORMATION

 


House and Senate bills can be accessed from the CAWV’s Legislative home page at www.cawv.org/legislative.  Members can view status updates on bills of interest to the construction industry and see what legislation is introduced that affects the construction industry.  A summary of each day’s activities will be uploaded each afternoon.

 

Below is a list of bills that have been introduced this week that have an impact on the construction industry or some CAWV members.  Anyone needing further information can contact Mike Clowser at (304) 342-1166 or email mclowser@cawv.org.

 

HOUSE BILLS

 

HB 3071                      Del. Hunt, Varner, Givens, Perdue and Kominar-Requiring certification of correctness as to design, construction and performance of domestic and commercial liquified petroleum gas-consuming equipment and appliances.-To Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then Judiciary.

 

HB 3088                      Del. Manypenny and Fleischauer-West Virginia Energy Efficiency Act (FN)-To Governmental Organization then Finance.

 

HB 3090                      Del. Martin and D. Poling-Relating to oversight, care and maintenance of certain highways used in natural gas and oil production-To Roads and Transportation then Finance.

 

HB 3099                      Del. Varner, Kominar, White, Pethtel, ferro, Ennis, Ferns, Skaff, Storch, Givens and Nelson-Marcellus Gas and Manufacturing Development Act (FN)-To Finance.

 

HB 3118                      Del. Doyle-Relating to private developers construction new water systems (FN)-To Political Subdivisions then Finance.

 

HB 3119                      Del. Hartman, Pethtel, Perry, Williams and Evans-Increasing the expenditure limit on public service district construction and purchase contracts-To Political Subdivisions then Finance.

 

HB 3120                      Del. Caputo, Manypenny, Poore, Wells, Moore, Skaff, Frazier, Brown, Longstreth, Barker and Hamilton-Keep Jobs in West Virginia Act (FN)-To Finance.

 

HB 3122                      Del. Walker, Caputo, Shaver, Barker, Butcher, Ellem, Perry, Snuffer and Martin-Allowing the West Virginia State Police and the Division of Labor to confirm the validity of an employee verification card-To Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then Judiciary.

 

HB 3136                      Del. Householder, Storch, White, Kominar, T. Campbell, Varner and Barill-Relating to government construction contracts-To Government Organization then Judiciary.

 

HB 3137                      Del. Kominar [By Request of the Department of Commerce]-Providing for additional circumstances giving rise to “state ‘on’ indicators” for purposes of extended unemployment compensation-To Judiciary then Finance.

 

HB 3138                      Del. Caputo, Barker, Brown, Manypenny, Poore, Wells, Moore, Frazier, Longstreth, Hamilton and Ellem-Providing for companies with state-funded contracts to disclose any employment practices regarding the employment of workers overseas-To Government Organization then Judiciary.

 


HB 3141                      Del. Fleischauer, Martin, Miley, M. Poling, T. Campbell, Barill, Manypenny, Caputo, Manchin, Michael and Wells-Requiring the Commissioner of Highways to require bonds be posted in connection with major construction, mineral extraction and industrial projects that impact the roads (FN)-To Roads and transportation then Finance.

 

HB 3149                      Del. Caputo, Barker, Brown, Manypenny, Poore, Wells, Moore, Frazier, Longstreth, Hamilton and Ellem-Requiring state contracts and local contracts funded with state dollars to be performed within the United States-To Judiciary.

 

HB 3150                      Del. Armstead, Ellem, Pasdon, Sobonya, C. Miller, Lane, Householder, Savilla, Nelson, O’Neal and Storch-Authorizing a new court to be known as the Intermediate Court of Appeals-To Judiciary then Finance.

 

SENATE BILLS

 

SB 459                         Sen. Yost and Klempa-Creating Keep Jobs in WV Act (FN)-To Judiciary then Finance.

 

SB 462                         Sen. Unger-Creating the Prompt Pay Act of 2011 (FN)-To Government Organization then Finance.

 

SB 465                         Sen. McCabe, Kessler [Acting President], Browning and Unger-Creating Marcellus Gas and Manufacturing Development Act (FN)-To Energy, Industry and Mining then Finance.

 

SB 469                         Sen. Hall and Browning-Relating to public service district board members-To Government Organization then Finance.

 

SB 510                         Sen. Unger-Relating to requirements for new facility projects of public agencies and projects receiving state funds (FN)-To Finance.