Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Better comply with the feds if you want federal bucks

Commercial drivers, the State Patrol and small contractors can breathe a little easier now that Governor Chris Gregoire has signed a couple of Rep. Luis Moscoso’s bills into law to make sure Washington meets some very specific federal requirements.

All 50 states have been warned they have until 2012 to comply with new rules for driver’s certifications, or else… But never fear, Moscoso’s House Bill 1229 ensures we don’t lose much-needed federal dollars for not walking the line.

If the Mountlake Terrace lawmaker hadn’t sponsored it and the governor hadn’t signed it, there’d be consequences:
• Our commercial drivers would not be allowed to operate in interstate commerce.
• Our state could lose up to $17 million of federal highway funds for the first year of noncompliance, and up to $34 million for subsequent years.
• Our State Patrol would not be able to apply for an $8 million grant for its commercial-vehicle division because it has to certify that Washington is in compliance with the new certification rules as part of its grant application.

Also to comply with new federal rules, Moscoso sponsored House Bill 1384, which will help small contractors on transportation projects get their payments more quickly, as required by the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise regulations.

“The federal rule says prime contractors must pay subcontractors no later than 30 days after the work is satisfactorily completed,” Moscoso said. “In our current economy, this is great news for Washington’s small contractors that need relief because they don’t have as much of a buffer as larger companies.”

For more information on these bills, go here.

To read this blog post in Spanish, go here.