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“American Subcontractors Association of Metro Washington promotes the rights and interests of subcontractors and suppliers by building strength in community through education, legislation, networking and professional growth."
Lien Waiver Legislation in Virginia - the Whole Story
by Ike Casey, Executive Director
At a meeting of the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of ASA that I attended in Oct. of 2014, I raised the question, “What do we need to do in the Virginia Legislature to improve your business?” One member replied that he had just signed a contract with a well-known company in our area that stated, in effect, that by signing this subcontract he was waiving his lien rights on the project.
I said, “A general contractor is not able to do that in Maryland and several other states in the area, so we should be able to get this passed in Virginia.”
I floated this idea at a meeting of ACE – the Alliance for Construction Excellence that ASA supports along with seven other associations including NECA, SMACNA, MCAA and the Iron Workers Employers. They agreed that we should see how we can progress with this. That is when Fred Codding, the Executive Director of the Iron Workers Employers Association and David Bailey, ACE’s lobbyist with David Bailey Associates went to work. They found that Senator Chap Petersen, a Democrat in Fairfax not only understood the issue, but also was passionate about getting it passed.
Sen. Petersen was able to get the bill, now Senate Bill 891, through a Senate Committee and to the Senate floor where it passed by a vote of 25 – 13. ASAMW’s President, Patty Peterson and I attend the Senate Committee hearing where we were surprised to hear Senator Mark Obenshain speak against the bill. Senator Obenshain is from the Shenandoah Valley and our members know him personally. In fact his firm at one time represented the chapter. We thought we had the connections to get this passed, and we did, even though Sen. Obenshain opposed it all the way.
So next we went to the House, where it went before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Courts of Justice. The Associated General Contractors testified that they would like to be included on the bill. We said, “Sure, the problem is usually when an owner requires a lien waiver and the GC passes it on to the Subs, so you are welcome to be covered by this legislation.”
Then the Virginia Bar got involved. I think all proposed legislation is sent to them before it goes to the final body, so they suggested some changes to where the bill was located in the Virginia Code and a few tweaks to the language, but we still had what we wanted. But. . .
The Land Title people decided that the new language left them out if they wanted to require a lien waiver of a General Contractor or Owner. Either we all had to agree, or we fight it out with the Bankers and Title companies in the House. If the GCs are left out, all subcontractors will have to be aware if a title insurance company requires a lien waiver of the GC or Owner – that means they do not have confidence in the financial wherewithal of the GC or Owner – a major red flag for any subcontractor.
Our Lobbyist, David Bailey tried to compromise with the Title companies, but in the end they were not willing and tried to kill the bill. After going back and forth for days trying to reach a reasonable compromise, Sen. Petersen decided to stick with our original bill that left the GCs out. AGC and ABC agreed to this since they have a lot of subcontractor members as well. We will all work together to include the GCs in 2016.
But in the meantime it passed the House on Feb. 25th by a vote of 96 – 0 and we expect the Governor to sign it – Victory!
NATIONAL GENERAL CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
EMERGING GENERAL CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
GENERAL CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR FOR TENANT INTERIOR BUILD OUT
GENERAL CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR FOR RENOVATION & RESTORATION
ARCHITECT/ENGINEER/DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR
PROJECT MANAGER OF THE YEAR
SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR
VENDOR OF THE YEAR
ARTHUR C. MEUSHAW SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT
SUBCONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
GENERAL CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR IN OVERALL JOBSITE SAFETY
ASA Metro Washington is the only association that advocates exclusively for the rights and interests of subcontractors and suppliers
ASAMW provides education relevant to the Subcontracting community designed to improve performance, thus allowing members to better compete in the ever-changing construction environment.
ASAMW is your advocate for Federal, state and local levels, giving you a voice and fighting for your rights as a subcontractor.
Advocates exclusively for subcontractors and suppliers
ASAMW believes in the power of building business relationships by sharing best practices, ideas, leads and introductions.
Subcontractors Information Exchange – (formerly known as BPIE)
Provides a private forum for member subcontractors and suppliers to share first hand information to enable better business decisions
The Industry Education Support Group represent the general contractors in the DC area who support ASA’s mission of Better Construction through Fair Construction.
ASAMW would like to recognize Member Companies for their years of
50 years, Since 1964
John H. Hampshire, Inc.
Schnabel Foundation Company
Truland Systems Corporation
40 Years, Since 1974
Superior Iron Works, Inc.
25 Years, Since 1989
Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell
Panel Systems, Inc.
Southland Insulators, Inc.
10 Years, Since 2004
Busy Service, Inc.
Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP
EEC Group, Inc.
Power Services, Inc.
WG Welch & Associates, Inc.
5 Years, Since 2009
PCC Construction Components, Inc.
Alpine Services, Inc.
Telligent Masonry, LLC
Briglia McLaughlin, PLLC
KG Sheet Metal
The Clevenger Corporation
Smith, Currie & Hancock
The Interface Financial Group