Legislative Update

Act 46 approved by the Governor on July 13, 2005 for the first time since 1987 increases School Districts reimbursements from the State for construction.  The Act also includes additional reimbursement for construction projects that use pre-approved designs from the Department of Education’s school design clearinghouse or whose buildings meet certain environmental design standards.

HB 1507 Building Code Exemptions.  Amendment proposed to the Pa. Construction Code Act providing that existing buildings without a certificate of occupancy prior to April 10, 2004 would be treated as an existing building under Chapter 3.  These buildings would be issued an occupancy permit if the entire building meets the requirements for fire protection and means of egress and the building is not unsafe, unsanitary or judged not be a fire hazard or dangerous to human life or public welfare.

HB 1637 Mechanics’ Lien Law.  Proposes to amend the Mechanics Lien Law to only allow a contractor and not a subcontractor to waive lien rights.

SB 62 Electronic Bidding.  Proposes to amend the Procurement Code by requiring the Department of General Services to receive, assess and respond to commonwealth purchase proposals for the procurement of supplies, services or construction.  The proposed legislation also add a chapter entitled “Local Government Unit Electronic Bidding Act” which permits local government units to permit the electronic submission of bids electronically if the local government has the capability to maintain the confidentiality of the bid until the bid opening time.

Various HB’s – Competitive Bidding.  Various bills have been introduced to increase the minimum threshold amount of work that would require public notice. For example the First Class Township Code, Municipal Code, School Code and County Code threshold would be raised from $10,000 to $25,000.

HB 1873 – Construction Sales Tax Exclusion.  Proposes an amendment to the Tax Reform Code by exempting a construction contractor employed by a nonprofit school from sales and use tax.

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