Maryland Legislature 2018 Summary for Contractors

General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages

An employee of subcontractors or sub-subcontractor can sue the general contractors for unpaid wages. The general contractor is now responsible for ensuring that subcontractors are paying employees. The subcontractor must indemnify the general contractor for unpaid wages.

Procurement – Architectural Services and Engineering Services – Reciprocal Preference

The legislation restores a reciprocal preference for resident firms in the procurement of architectural and engineering services that was in place until fiscal year 2018.

In general, the preference for a resident firm applied by a State procurement officer must be the same as the preference applied by another state and must not conflict with any federal law or grant affecting the contract.

Condominium Construction and Development

Precludes language in a declaration, by-laws or contracts for the initial sale of a condo unit that shortens the statute of limitations, or waives certain types of claims (i.e., construction defect).

Permitting for School Construction

Requires counties to expedite the issuance of permits for school construction to the extent “practicable.”

School Construction Incentive Program

Additional state funding for schools in Harford County, PG County, and Washington County. Construction must meet requirements for Smart Growth, MBE Prevailing Wage, and Environmental concerns.

Surety Bonds

Board of Public Works to adopt regulations to establish surety bond forms for both fixed price and multi-year contracts. For multi-year contracts, BPW shall provide for annual and renewable contracts.

Wireless Security Systems

Local Governments cannot require a person, who provides or operates a wireless security system to pull an electrical permit or require an electrical license. Must be a low voltage system and must not require a fire protection plan for code compliance.

Prevailing Wage Requirements

Extends application of the State’s prevailing wage requirements to projects located in TIF districts created on or after July 1, 2018 and built using proceeds from local government bonds authorized by statute.

Architectural and Engineering Services

Reciprocal Preferences – If a Non-resident firm is the “responsible offeror” and determined to be the most qualified, Maryland will apply a preference to a Maryland entity if the resident firm is “responsible” and certifies that it is a residential firm and the non-resident firm comes from a State that has a preference that favors an offeror or from that State to the disadvantage of an offeror from Maryland.

Elimination of Liquidated Damages for Failure to Meet MBE Requirements on Certain

A State agency cannot assess liquidated damages against a contractor for an indefinite-delivery or indefinite performance contract where an MBE was named in the schedule but the State did not requisition the services performed by the MBE.

For further information, contact Matthew G. Hjortsberg at 410-583-2400 or at