Stambaugh bill ensuring timely pay for subcontractors receives Senate approval

In a 34-15 vote Wednesday, the state Senate approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Melanie Stambaugh to expedite payments to subcontractors working on public projects. House Bill 1538 would allow subcontractors to request that general contractors bond for their portion of the retainage. Under the bill, general contractors would be required to comply with the request within 30 days.

Currently, public entities are required to withhold up to 5 percent of the value of a public works contract until the project is mostly complete. This is known as retainage. To avoid such withholding, general contractors can bond the 5 percent retainage. When general contractors choose not to bond for the retainage, subcontractors do not receive that 5 percent when they complete their work.

Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, says her bill would modify that to ensure subcontractors are paid in a timely manner.

“The retainage that’s withheld from smaller subcontractors often represents the profit margin, payroll, and capital they need to bid on new projects,” said Stambaugh. “This bill aims to increase their ability to receive the 5 percent retainage, enabling them to stay in business and pay their employees in a timely manner.”

House Bill 1538 now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

The 2017 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications