By: Lucio, et al. S.B. No. 704
relating to the small contractor participation assistance program
for certain state construction projects.
       SECTION 1.  Section 2166.259, Government Code, is amended by
amending Subsections (a), (b), (d), and (e) and adding Subsections
(b-1), (b-2), and (b-3) to read as follows:
       (a)  This section applies only in relation to [a contract
for] a public works project that will involve a contract or
aggregated multiple contracts with [has] an estimated cost of more
than $1 [$20] million.
       (b)  The commission shall maintain a small contractor
participation assistance program to ensure full opportunity for
participation in public works projects by small contractors. The
program must include a:
             (1)  system for the centralized purchase of necessary
insurance coverage for the public works project that is required
under Subsection (c);
             (2)  public outreach plan to:
                   (A)  provide public information about the
program; and
                   (B)  encourage small contractors to participate
in the program;
             (3)  technical assistance plan to aid small contractors
in developing the skills necessary to participate in the program in
accordance with Subsection (d); [and]
             (4)  financing assistance plan to provide
administrative and other assistance to small contractors in
obtaining necessary financing arrangements to make the
participation of those contractors possible; and
             (5)  method developed with guidance from the Texas
Department of Insurance to assist small contractors in:
                   (A)  preparing bond application packages for
public works projects in a format acceptable to bond underwriters;
                   (B)  obtaining bonds required to participate in
public works projects.
       (b-1)  The commission shall designate a commission employee
to serve as small contractor participation assistance coordinator.
In addition to any other responsibilities, the coordinator shall:
             (1)  administer the small contractor participation
assistance program established under this section;
             (2)  with the assistance of the Texas Department of
Insurance, provide to small contractors technical assistance and
training related to preparing bond application packages and
obtaining bonds; and
             (3)  with the assistance of the facilities construction
and space management division of the commission, provide to small
contractors technical assistance related to participation in the
       (b-2)  The small contractor participation assistance
coordinator shall submit an annual report describing the activities
and progress of the program to the governor, the lieutenant
governor, and the speaker of the house of representatives.
       (b-3)  Funding appropriated to the commission for the small
contractor participation assistance program may only be used for
that program.
       (d)  A technical assistance plan adopted by the commission
must include information on and assistance in:
             (1)  bid estimation, the bidding process, scheduling,
and the understanding of bid documents;
             (2)  the reading of construction drawings and other
analogous documents;
             (3)  business accounting, bonds, and bond
             (4)  negotiation with general contractors; [and]
             (5)  other technical and administrative matters
considered appropriate and necessary given the complexity and scope
of the public works project; and
             (6)  small contractor safety training to ensure
compliance with federal jobsite safety standards.
       (e)  The commission shall [may] negotiate contracts with
persons or firms having expertise and any required license in the
areas that must be included in the commission's technical
assistance plan to provide the information and assistance.
       SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.