A flurry of procurement bills

February 4, 2021

HB 2001 (Helmer) would require localities to design certain buildings and renovations with Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards to include charging stations and tracking of energy efficiency and carbon emissions. The bill applies to new buildings in excess of 5,000 square feet or any building renovated that would increase the value of the building by 50%. There is an opt-out provision that requires a locality by resolution to complete a cost comparison of energy costs over 20 years versus construction without these requirements. HB 2001 passed the House by a vote of 53-45 and will move to the Senate.

VACo opposes HB 1811 (Helmer), which requires localities to select only Energy Star certified bids while procuring goods in certain circumstances. The bill provides that if a public body receives at least 2 bids that are Energy Star they must select one of those bids. They cannot consider other preferences or cost and as drafted may be forced to accept a bid that greatly exceeds anticipated costs. HB 1811 passed the House by a vote of 55-44 and will move to the Senate.

SB 1305 (McPike) requires public bodies (except localities with a population under 25,000) to include language in construction contracts over $500,000 requiring that subcontractors use at least 90% of their own labor, with opportunity for a waiver by a contractor. The bill provides that upon receiving the contractor’s written submission, the public body may exercise the appropriate contract terms and conditions to enforce the outsource requirements of the contract. SB 1305 passed the Senate by a vote of  21-18 and moves over to the House.

HB 2288 (Graves) requires contractors to submit a list of subcontractors for construction contracts over $250,000 (applies to localities with over 50,000 in population). HB 2288 has a reenactment clause meaning that the bill will need to be reenacted in the 2022 session. The bill is on the House floor.

As introduced, HB 1849 (Simonds) required public bodies to include in construction contracts over $250,000 provisions requiring the contractor and subcontractors to participate in an apprenticeship program for each separate trade. The bill was amended to create a study committee of stakeholders to study the issue over the next year.

HB 1996 (Murphy) allows localities to include in the Invitation to Bid criteria that may be used in determining whether any bidder, not just any bidder who is not prequalified by the Virginia Department of Transportation as under current law, is a responsible bidder. This bill passed the House by a vote of 55-46.

HB 2237 (McQuinn) and SB 1419 (Marsden) provide in the event a public body chooses to require a contractor for a specific highway, bridge, or road construction project to enter into a project labor agreement for that project, the public body must make a written determination that requiring such advances the public’s interest based on objective criteria such as cost, efficiency, quality, etc. In the House, this bill was referred to the General Laws Committee but not scheduled for a subcommittee hearing this week and, in the Senate, the bill was referred to the Commerce and Labor Committee and is not scheduled for hearing this week. The bills appear to be done for the session.

SB 1384 (Surovell) permits a locality to require bidders or offerors on any contract above $10,000 to disclose information as to whether they use mandatory arbitration agreements in their employment or consumer contracts and allows the public body to consider those policies in making the award. SB 1384 reported from the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on a vote of 8-7. The bill is on the Senate floor for action.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE

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