2018 Legislative Session Winding Down

The 2018 legislative session has hit its final sprint and will adjourn exactly one week from today at midnight on March 8th. It has been a “spectator” session with a little scandal and intrigue with no shortage of controversy over the issues. The most pressing issues for the Utah State Legislature’s 2018 session centered around Education, Transportation, Air Quality, Affordable Housing, Economic Development, and even a few whispers of State Tax Reform. While those are all important issues, there have been a host that have a direct impact on the construction industry and the UMCA has been actively engaged in protecting the interests of our members. You can find a detailed list of the bills we are watching here.

NUMBERTITLESPONSORSUMMARYSTATUSUMCA POSITION
HB 32, 3rd SubstituteUniform Construction Code AmendmentsSchultzThis bill:
• adds the definition of an "injection well" to the International Plumbing Code;
• adds a section regarding the prohibition of motor vehicle waste disposal wells to the International Plumbing Code;
• amends the International Residential Code;
• incorporates by reference the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code;
• amends incorporated provisions of the National Electrical Code; and
• makes technical changes.
PassedSupport
HB 37, 1st SubstituteOccupational and Professional Licensing AmendmentsDunniganThis Bill:
• modifies DOPL's authority to share certain licensee information;
• modifies provisions related to unlawful and unprofessional conduct by making “a person subject to any of the unlawful and unprofessional conduct provisions ...strictly liable for each violation”.
• modifies certain exemption from contractor licensing requirements for handyman by making the exemption subject to unlawful conduct provisions of sections 501 and 502; and 58-1-401 re: disciplinary proceedings.
• makes technical changes.
PassedSupport
HB 117Hourly Wage IncreaseHemingwayThis bill:
• defines the term "minor" as used in the Utah Minimum Wage Act;
• increases the minimum wage for a private or public employee within the state as follows: from 7/1/2018 to 7/1/2022--$10.25 per hour; After 7/1/2022 --$12.00 per hour.
• provides for future increases of the minimum wage obligation;
• contains various exemptions but none for Construction trades;
• limits the Labor Commission's oversight of the minimum wage; and
• makes technical and conforming changes.
House Bus. & Labor Comm. 2/16/18 Nor ConsideredOppose
HB 173Occupational Licensing Requirement AmendmentsMaloyThis Bill:
• modifies the authority of DOPL to issue licenses to persons who have been previously licensed in another state, district, or territory of the United States as follows: after being licensed outside of this state, the person has at least one year of experience in the state, district, or territory of the United States where the license was issued, and the division determines the person has the education, experience, and skills necessary to demonstrate competency in the occupation or profession for which licensure is sought.
PassedSupport
HB 192Professional Licensing Board AmendmentsWebbThis bill:
• permits occupational and professional licensing boards to make a recommendation to the Legislature concerning proposed amendments to licensing acts
PassedSupport
HB 279
1st Sub
Design Professionals Liability AmendmentsChristofferson• Bill amended to apply only to government projects
• prohibits a provision in a design professional
services contract that requires a design
professional to indemnify, hold harmless, or
reimburse a person for attorney fees or other
costs, except in the case of:
• the design professional's breach of contract, negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct; or
• the design professional's subconsultant's
negligence;
• prohibits a provision in a design professional services contract that requires a design professional to defend a person against a claim alleging liability for damages;
• establishes a standard of care for design professionals; and
• prohibits a person from establishing a different standard of care for a design professional in a design professional services contract.
PassedSupport
HB 280Occupational Licensing AmendmentsThurstonThis bill:
• requires certain state agencies to provide a report reviewing occupational and professional licenses administered by each agency to the Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Committee;
• describes the contents of the report;
• provides a sunset date; and
• makes technical changes.
FailedNeutral
HB 283Workplace Protection AmendmentsEdwardsThis bill:
• amends the definition of employer;
• requires certain claims involving employers with fewer than 15 employees to proceed to an evidentiary hearing without a division investigation;
• provides additional state remedies for claims involving employers with fewer than 15 employees; and
• makes technical changes.
FailedOppose
HB 288Workers' Compensation Claims AmendmentsIvoryThis bill:
• makes it unlawful for a person to interfere with an employee's ability to seek workers' compensation benefits; or
• retaliate against an employee for seeking workers' compensation benefits; and
• provides penalties for violating a provision of this bill.

PassedSupport
HB 310Professional Licensing AmendmentsSchultzThis bill:
• repeals the Residence Lien Restriction and Lien Recovery Fund Act and related provisions;
• modifies provisions related to the Building Inspector and Factory Built Housing Licensing Act; and
• makes technical changes
PassedNeutral
HB 445Design and Construction AmendmentsMcKellThis bill:
sets up an overall method for allocation of damages/fault in design and construction cases. It provides:
(b) "Damages" means costs, expenses, or other financial or economic losses, including:
(i) lost profit;
(ii) lost opportunity costs;
(iii) delay;
(iv) acceleration or disruption costs;
(v) liquidated damages;
(vi) loss of bonding capacity;
(vii) diminution in value;
(viii) remediation or repair costs; or
(ix) other additional or unexpected design, construction, maintenance, repair, testing.

The Bill provides for comparative fauIt allocation as follows:
(a) A participant or other party to an action may not be held liable for damages in an
amount in excess of the percentage or proportion of damages caused by:
(i) the participant or party; or
(ii) another person for whose conduct or actions the participant or party is contractually or legally responsible, including an employee, subcontractor, consultant, or supplier of the participant or party, regardless of tier.

But, the bill limits its application by providing that:
(3) This section does not create a cause of action.
(4) This section does not apply to an action:
(a) for death or bodily injury;
(b) for physical damage to property other than the improvement to real property; or
________________________________________
(c) involving an improvement to real property as to which one or more participants
have contracted with each other before May 8, 2018.
FailedOppose
SB 40Workers' Compensation Dependent Benefit AmendmentsMayneThis bill:
• Modifies the calculation of benefits paid to one or more dependents of an employee with a disability under the Workers' Compensation Act by increasing the benefit from $5 per week to $20 per week for spouses and for dependent Children.
PassedSupport
SB 53Workers' Compensation Coordination of Benefits AmendmentsMayneThis bill:
• Eliminates language that provides for a repeal of provisions related to the coordination between workers' compensation benefits and health benefit plans.
FailedNeutral
SB 75Workers’ Compensation Penalty AmendmentsHemmertThis bill:
• provides the circumstances under which the Division of Industrial Accidents may waive or reduce a penalty against an employer for conducting business without securing workers' compensation benefits for the employer's employees for first noncompliance period of less than 180 days, where employer current in compliance with no pending reported injury to employees; and
• makes technical and conforming changes.
PassedOppose
SB 92Procurement Code AmendmentsMayneThis bill:
• provides that to the extent allowed by court rule, an employee may be awarded reasonable attorney fees in an adjudication of a medical benefits claim; and
• deletes provisions for awarding attorney fees for reexamination of total disability finding; and
• makes technical and conforming changes.
PassedSupport
SB 103Strategic Workforce InvestmentsMillnerThis bill:
• defines terms;
• amends the definition of an eligible partnership to include a statewide partnership;
• requires the Governor's Office of Economic Development to report to the Legislature, the State Board of Regents, and the Utah System of Technical Colleges Board of Trustees;
• amends provisions related to a proposal for strategic workforce investment funding;
• places restrictions on the use of an appropriation for strategic workforce investment.
PassedSupport
SB 133Design and Build AmendmentsMayneThis bill:
amends the definition of a design-build project; and
• makes technical and conforming changes.
PassedSupport
SB 231State Building Code AmendmentsMayneThis bill:
• amends a provision of the International Building Code to provide that an individual who performs fireproof coating may obtain certain certification;
• amends a provision of the International Residential Code regarding when a drainage system is not required; and
• makes technical and conforming changes.
PassedSupport
SB 243Construction Trades Licensing AmendmentsMayneThis bill:
• defines terms;
• creates new trade license classifications and requirements for: an automatic fire sprinkler contractor; a journeyman automatic sprinkler contractor; and An automatic fire sprinkler apprentice;
• creates an Automatic Fire Sprinkler Licensing Board; and
• makes technical changes.
FailedNeutral

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