The Barbour Group Plays Instrumental Role In Landmark Individual Surety Legislation

May 3, 2006 - Westminster, MD

Individual Surety Law to Take Effect October 1, 2006

The Barbour Group, a full-service insurance agency specializing in surety bonding and business insurance located in Westminster, MD, played an instrumental role in the recent passage of the Individual Surety Law by the Maryland Legislature.

The Individual Surety Law allows, for the first time in Maryland History, construction contractors to submit individual surety bonds when competing on government funded projects in Maryland. Prior to the new law, smaller construction companies could only apply for bonding from corporate sureties.

Karen Barbour, President of The Barbour Group, LLC, originally pushed for the law after discovering the difficulty small and minority contractors, in particular, face when seeking corporate surety bonding.

On October 1, 2006, when the law takes effect and as smaller, more minority-owned construction firms are granted financing, there will be an increase in competition for contracts.

Late last summer, Karen Barbour and Christopher Smith of The Barbour Group, LLC met with Delegate Dan Morhaim (D-District 11), who took to heart the idea of an alternate bonding solution for contractors. Delegate Morhaim painstakingly researched how the idea could be drafted to later become known as House Bill 169 (HB169). With the support of many key players, most notably Senator Larry Haines (R–District 5), Senator Joan Carter Conway (D-District 43), and Delegate Tanya Shewell (R-District 5A), HB 169 passed the legislature with no dissenting votes. It was signed into law by the Governor on May 2, 2006.

"The intent of the individual surety program is not to challenge the corporate sureties, but to work with them to groom contractors for corporate surety credit. The law will enable the State of Maryland to move closer to meeting its MBE goal of awarding 25 percent of its state contracts to qualified minority businesses," said Barbour.

Looking toward the future, The Barbour Group will play a key role in the implementation of the law. For more information about Maryland’s Individual Surety Law, please call The Barbour Group at (410) 876-9610.

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