NASBP continues to oppose Cuyahoga County, Ohio Ordinance 2016-0006, which would establish a county-run risk management program and waive performance and payment bonds on county projects under $250,000. At the first hearing of the ordinance, NASBP State Government Affairs Representative Lou Colagrossi of the NASBP Member Firm of Dawson Insurance testified and described the importance of bonding on public works projects. Also, the surety industry has met several times with the proponents of the Ordinance to educate them on the highly specialized and labor intensive work that goes into pre-qualifying contractors for surety bonds. Despite these meetings, the County appears to be moving forward and invoking its Home Rule Charter that supports a county-run program.
Another hearing about the proposed Ordinance is scheduled before the full County Council. Although the Ordinance is expected to be passed before the end of the month, NASBP will continue to work with Colagrossi and other NASBP members in Ohio to ensure bonding education continues to be offered to small and emerging contractors.
You may recall a similar ordinance was proposed by the County in 2013. See article in July/August 2013 NASBP Pipeline. That ordinance was withdrawn pending the completion of a Disparity Study, which has now been finalized. The study found that between 2009 and 2012, minority-owned businesses received only 1.4% of County contracts. The new, 2016 ordinance, along with several others, is the County's attempt to remedy this disparity.
For more information, contact NASBP Manager of State Regulations Shannon Crawford at email@example.com.