News Maker - MARYLAND

Maryland:  On July 1, 2013 Maryland House Bill HB560 became law.   The new law titled "Public-Private Partnerships add Maryland to growing list of states requiring Payment Bond Protection for Public/Private jobs matching the state's little Miller Act.

"REQUIREMENTS  FOR THE  PRIVATE  ENTITY TO  PROVIDE PERFORMANCE  AND PAYMENT  SECURITY  IN  A  FORM AND  IN  AN AMOUNT DETERMINED  BY  THE RESPONSIBLE  PUBLIC  ENTITY, EXCEPT  THAT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE  PAYMENT SECURITY FOR CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS SHALL  BE  IN ACCORDANCE  WITH  TITLE 17,  SUBTITLE  1 OF  THIS  ARTICLE, INCLUDING  THE REQUIREMENT  THAT  PAYMENT SECURITY  SHALL  BE ESTABLISHED  ON  THE VALUE  OF  THE CONSTRUCTION  ELEMENTS  OF  THE PUBLIC–PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT AND NOT ON THE TOTAL VALUE OF THE PUBLIC–PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT."

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News Maker - FLORIDA

FLORIDA:  On June 27th Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 85 adding Florida to the growing list of states with a fair set of laws to facilitate public-private partnerships (P3s).  P3s transfer responsibility for certain public projects to private companies, enabling the state to utilize public funds for other purposes while still moving  forward with needed construction and improvements.   P3 legislation typically, and in this case, includes requirements for payment bond protection on projects that meet the state's public construction thresholds.

Qualifying projects under HB 85 include:

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News Maker - MISSOURI

MISSOURI - On June 28, 2013 the Governor signed SB 357 into law.  SB 357 "Modifies the law relating to mechanics' liens for rental machinery and equipment" sponsored by Rep. Gary Romine has been signed by the House Speaker and was delivered to the Governor for his signature. 

The act extends the written notice provisions from the current 5 days to the new 15 business days of the commencement of the use of the rental machinery or equipment  to  the  property  owner that rental machinery or equipment  being used upon their property.  The notice shall identify the name of the entity that rented  the  machinery or equipment, and  the  machinery or  equipment being rented, and the rental rate.

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News Maker - RHODE ISLAND

RHODE ISLAND -   Senate Bill 97 an act titled "An Act Relating To Property - Mechanics' Liens (would Repeal 34-28-4.1 Of The General Laws Which Compels Notification By A Contractor Of Possible Mechanics' Liens Prior To Commencing Any Work On A Construction Project Within 10 Business Days Of Commencing Work.)" is currently being studied.

 As the title suggests the Act would remove the Prime Contractor's requirement to serve owner Notice of Possible Mechanic's Lien within 10 days of first furnishing. 

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News Makers - OKLAHOMA

 OKLAHOMA - Oklahoma HB 2237 sponsored by Rep. Joe Dorman has been referred to the Rules Committee. As introduced the Act relates to liens; amending 42 O.S. 2011, Sections 142, 142.6, 143 and 150, which relate to mechanics' and materialmen's liens; modifying requirements for filing statement; decreasing time for filing statement; correcting statute citations; specifying time for filing statement; removing pre-lien notice exceptions; adding requirement for filing statement; increasing time for filing statement; and providing an effective date.

Specifically the Act eliminates the Prime Contractor's 4 month window for filing a lien, requiring all liens to be filed with 90 days of last furnishing.  The Act also eliminates the two NTO exceptions, (1) the residential exception and (2) the $10,000 threshold exception.

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News Maker - NEVADA

 NEVADA - Senate Bill 251 continues to move through the Nevada legislature. The act titled: Revises various provisions governing contracts for the performance of any kind of labor and for work, material or equipment for the construction, alteration or repair of property or improvements to property, requires certain owners and lessees to obtain the services of an escrow agency and to establish trust accounts for amounts withheld from payment to contractors and subcontractors; requiring those owners and lessees to record a notice of establishment of a trust account and a verification of compliance under certain circumstances; establishes requirements for administering such trust accounts; providing that a lien claimant has a lien against such retention amounts and trust accounts under certain circumstances; expandis the scope of provisions concerning the liability of an original contractor for the indebtedness for labor incurred by a subcontractor; and provides other matters properly relating thereto.

These new provisions apply to contracts over $1,000,000.  Assuming the act is signed into law it would become effective on July 1, 2013.

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News Maker - INDIANA

INDIANA -  Senate Bill 436 sponsored by Sen Ronnie J. Alting has been referred to Committee on Civil Law. The Bill, AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning property.   The bill provides that persons that sell or furnish on credit material, labor, services, equipment, or machinery: (1) for the original construction of a single or double family dwelling for the intended occupancy of the owner upon whose real estate the construction takes place, or for the original construction on, alteration to, or repair to any real estate or improvements; and (2) to a contractor, a subcontractor, a mechanic, or anyone other than the owner of the real estate or the owner's legal representatives; must furnish the owner of the real estate with a written notice of the provision of materials, labor, services, equipment, or machinery and the existence of lien rights. Provides that the notice must be: (1) furnished to the owner; and (2) filed in the recorder's office of the appropriate county; not later than 10 days after the first date the materials, labor, services, equipment, or machinery is provided. 

The bill basically reduces the current 60 day timeframe for serving notice to 10 days.

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News Maker - DELAWARE

DELAWARE -  On May 3rd DE Governor Markell signed DE HB 29. This bill creates a commercial real estate Broker's Lien and is patterned after similar legislation enacted in several other states. Commercial real estate brokers perform valuable services making a market for real estate and assisting sellers, buyers, landlords, and tenants. These services increase the value of real estate. The broker's right to compensation should be protected by the right to file a lien. At the same time, this bill protects sellers, buyers, landlords or tenants by being sure they are only charged for brokerage services if they signed a document agreeing to pay. The bill also protects mortgage lenders, real estate taxes and municipal utilities by providing that all of these lienholders have a higher lien status then the Broker's Lien and will not be affected by the Broker's Lien. This bill also provides for a procedure to establish an escrow account to extinguish a Broker's Lien so as not to delay a real estate settlement for a Broker's Lien that is genuinely in dispute. For a notice of lien to be effective while a complaint is pending under section 2610, the Broker is required to file a continuation of lien prior to the expiration of the current notice of lien. The law becomes effective on August 3rd.

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News Makers - ALABAMA

ALABAMA:   On April 23rd AL HB 668 was introduced by Representative Bill Pool of the 63rd District. The bill titled Liens, priority of liens, mechanics liens, procedure for termination of a notice of commencement by a contractor, creates a Notice of Commencement structure designed to clarify priority between mechanic's lien claimants and mortgage holders.

 Under existing law, a lien may be declared by certain persons who perform work on certain real or personal property.  This bill would provide for the priority of future advances made pursuant to a future advance mortgage over the liens of persons who perform work on real property when the mortgage is recorded prior to a notice of commencement.  his bill would provide that a mechanics' or materialman's lien would only apply to real property if it is recorded in the county where the property is situated and preceded by a notice of commencement.  his bill would provide the procedure for  the termination of a notice of commencement by a contractor.

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News Maker - TEXAS

TEXAS -   Texas legislator Jose Rodriguez had Georgia on his mind as he introduced SB 1281 last month.   SB 1281 and HB 3553 will revise Texas' lien laws to make the processes and procedures for perfecting and maintaining one's lien rights straightforward, and ensure compliance with them is not difficult or a stumbling block to maintaining lien rights.

Borrowing the Notice of Commencement and preliminary notice rules from Georgia, Texas may become the next NOC state following North Carolina's changes in April.

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