The American Subcontractors Association of Baltimore, Inc., in an effort to enhance subcontractors rights, supports an active legislative agenda each year. Since 1994, ASA of Baltimore has been instrumental in having seven pieces of legislation passed that has improved mechanic's lien laws, reduced the scope of "pay if paid" clauses and reduced retainage for public work in Maryland to a maximum of 5%.
Beginning in 2005, ASA of Baltimore undertook the monumental effort to reduce retainage on private projects in Maryland. The legislature is extremely reluctant to become involved in private contractural matters. However, our attempts were so well received in the House (almost unanimously) that we continued our efforts despite meeting stiff resistance in the Senate.
In the 2008 General Assembly, our bill was passed through the Senate committee for the first time and sent to the full Senate for a vote. The bill was amended by the full Senate but was passed. And on May 13, 2008 Governor O'Malley signed this groundbreaking bill making it a law effective October 1, 2008.
Finally, in 2013, ASA gained an even larger victory. Assisted by its lobbyist, Bruce Bereano, the legislature has passed a bill to become effective on July 1, 2013 which limits retention from contractors and subcontractors on all public projects in the State to a maximum of 5%.
Retainage is the holding of a percentage of progress payments due contractors and subcontractors on a construction contract until after completion of the entire contract. Retainage on most public projects which heretofore was 10% until the first 50% of the project was completed has punished contractors and subcontractors who properly and timely perform. Retainage has been particularly unfair to early finishing trades like excavators and site work contractors who sometime have to wait for years for final payment on public projects. The Little Miller Act of Maryland which controls all public projects in the State has at long last been amended to limit retainage to 5% throughout the course of any project. This new law will be a great financial benefit to constructors of all public building in Maryland because it will increase the necessary cash flow to permit on-going operations.
The passage of this bill demonstrates that when working together, subcontractors have the ability to shape public policy and improve their rights in ways previously thought impossible.
|By becoming a member of the American Subcontractors Association you are supporting the only association that works for the sole benefit of subcontractors! At ASA, our focus is to help enhance subcontractor rights and enhance their business knowledge. Our legislative efforts are designed to help you compete fairly in the business world. After all, just because you are a subcontractor does not mean that you are subordinate! Join ASA and help change laws to "level the playing field".
On March 2, 2018, ASA of Baltimore was named "ASA Chapter of the Year", at its annual national convention, SUBExcel, in Tempe, Ariz.
"ASA of Baltimore chapter celebrated in style, its 50th anniversary. A tremendous achievement for any chapter, but an especially amazing one for a chapter that had just triumphed over huge debt, large loss of members, and financially struggling events. With new found enthusiasm from their President and Vice President, as well as their New Executive director, ASA of Baltimore is the place subcontractors really want to be."