Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 17, 2009
Senator Harry Coates
Senate Committee Approves Bill to Help Contractors
The Senate Business and Labor Committee approved
a measure Monday to extend the same protection given to contractors
on public projects under the Fair Pay and Construction Act to
those working on private projects. Sen. Harry
Coates is the author of Senate Bills 1012 which would help
ensure contractors are paid in a timely manner for their work
“There is a serious problem, especially with the downturn
in the economy, where contractors are working on private construction
jobs and aren’t getting paid in a timely manner,”
said Coates, R-Seminole. “They invest their money in a project
only to find out that the developer doesn’t have all of
his finances in order. This is grossly unfair and needs to change.”
SB 1012, the Private Construction Progress Payment
Act, would require owners on any private construction contract
lasting over 60 days to make progress payments to the contractor.
The owner would have to designate the time period in which the
contractor could expect the progress payments into the general
specifications of the contract.
“Unlike public construction, there aren’t any rules
outlining payment and timelines in the private sector, but there
needs to be to protect those working on these jobs, and that’s
why I authored this bill,” said Coates. “It’s
unprofessional and disrespectful not to pay your workers, and
that’s exactly what’s happening to our private contractors.”
The bill also addresses subcontractors and material suppliers
stating that if they have performed their duties as outlined in
the contract, then they should be paid no later than seven days
after the contractor is paid.
Under SB 1012, if a progress payment is not properly issued, it
will be considered a material breach of a construction contract.
If payment is not received within 14 days of when it should have
been, a contractor or subcontractor can stop working or may terminate
a construction contract. In order to do this, the contractor would
have to provide the owner with a written notice at least three
days before any such intended suspension or termination, while
a subcontractor must give at least seven days notice.
“This bill will help ensure that these hard working men
and women don’t have to suffer financially because of the
irresponsibility of an owner,” said Coates. “These
men and women work hard to ensure that their clients get the best
construction possible, and they shouldn’t have to stress
about when they’re going to get paid. Just like the owners,
they have bills to pay and families to support.”
Coates, who is the chairman of the Business and Labor Committee,
said his bill would not apply to contracts for single, two, three,
or four family dwellings. It would also only apply to contracts
entered into on or after November 1, 2009.
SB 1012 will next go before the full Senate for further consideration.
For more information contact:
Sen. Coates' Office: 405-521-5547