Senate and House Committees Vote Down Safety Plan Legislation

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee voted down their respective bills, SB 279 / HB 404, which would have required a prospective bidder or offeror for a public works project over $100,000 to submit a public safety plan and an attestation that the plan meets certain requirements as part of the procurement process. The bill also requires the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) to develop a safety and health calculation worksheet and rating system, and enforce the bills’ many new requirements.

MACo supported the bills with amendments to increase the threshold to $1 million to better target higher risk projects and lessen the effect on smaller contractors, remove a requirement that a safety plan be submitted to a procurement official as part of the selection process, clarify that the completion of the safety questionnaire and additional safety measures do not impede work on a project; and protect local jurisdictions from any deficiencies in safety plans or safety-related issues that may occur at a worksite.

A Finance Committee workgroup was appointed to work through concerns and amendments offered on the bill, and MACo’s amendments were accepted. However, members still had reservations.

The Finance Committee voted the bill unfavorable 6 – 3, with 2 members excused.

The Economic Matters Committee unanimously voted the bill unfavorable.