House Bill in Washington Alters Bond Requirements for Public Contracts

Representatives Hinkle and Kretz introduced House Bill 3055 yesterday, whose digest explains will "modif[y] provisions regarding contractors' bonds for public contracts." If passed, the bill would amend RCW 39.04.155 and 39.08.010, and make the following substantive changes:
  • Contracts $35,000 or less would not require a bond
  • On contracts between $35,000 and $100,000, in lieu of a bond, the county or public entity may retain 25% of the contract amount for a period of 30 days after final acceptance of the work
Currently, bonds are required on every project, with the state having the option to retain 50% of contract funds in lieu of a bond when the contract is less than $35,000.00. The suggested amendment here seems to make practical sense. Requiring a bond for tiny public contracts is a bit overkill, and the 50% retainage figure is near unworkable.    The amended figures and bond requirements feels more aligned with the practical needs of smaller public projects. Stay tuned here for updates on this bill, or you can follow it online or subscribe to its RSS feed.   Download the original bill here. This article was originally posted on Wolfe Law Group’s topic-specific Northwest Construction Law Blog.
Scott Wolfe
About the Author: Scott Wolfe
Scott Wolfe, Jr. obtained his J.D. degree from Loyola University of New Orleans, and his B.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. In 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Scott was recognized as a Leader in Law by CityBusiness Magazine. The son and grandson of general contractors, Scott is a construction litigator in the Pacific Northwest, and the founding member of the bi-coastal law firm, Wolfe Law Group. Scott is also the founder and CEO of Express Lien, Inc., a legal document preparation service for contractors. In 2008, City Business Magazine recognized Scott as one of its Innovators of the Year for the Express Lien concept. As an entrepreneur himself, Scott has a strong background in business and commercial transactions and laws. He focuses his practice on the legal issues facing the construction industry, and has represented clients in multi-million dollar construction disputes in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Scott is a LEED AP.

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