Release: May 6, 2004
Senator Harry Coates
Oklahoma Businesses/Families Win with Bill Signing
State Sen. Harry Coates applauded Gov. Brad
Henry for signing Senate Bill 1561 and said it will help
Oklahoma businesses and families alike. The Seminole Republican
is principal author of Senate Bill 1561, which creates the
“Fair Pay for Construction Act.” The bill ensures
contractors working with the state will be paid in a more
“The idea behind the bill is a simple one—define
standards for payment on public construction projects that
are over $25,000 so local contractors aren’t left
waiting for months and even years to be paid for the work
they do,” Coates said.
“When a contractor or subcontractor does a job for
a public entity, it may be the only project they’re
working on. If they don’t get paid, it doesn’t
just affect that contractor. It means they can’t pay
their employees. Those workers and their families are the
ones who really suffer,” said Coates. “This
will turn that situation around.”
Under SB 1561, the prime contractor must be paid by the
agency or entity they’re dealing with within 30 days
of submitting an invoice. The entity may reduce the amount
of pay requested by any amount that is reasonable to correct
current or past deficiencies, as long as the contractor
is informed in writing within 7 days of submitting the invoice.
The legislation also sets deadlines for the prime contractor
to pay sub-contractors.
“For far too many years, some contractors, sub-contractors
and suppliers have simply not been getting paid for work
when it’s completed. Sometimes they have literally
had to wait years to get paid,” Coates said. “We’ve
got a lot of qualified and capable contractors out there
that have stopped bidding on public projects because they
don’t want to subject themselves to financial abuse.
I’m hopeful now they’ll come back to the table”
Coates said ultimately, taxpayers will benefit from the
new law because of decreased constructions costs due to
“Our governor stood up for businesses and workers
all over the state. I felt from the start that my bill was
going to be good for Oklahoma. I’m pleased Gov. Henry
agrees,” Coates said.
The “Fair Pay for Construction Act” takes effect
November 1, 2004.
more information contact:
Communications Office - (405) 521-5774