The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 972 as amended on Tuesday, June 29. Thanks to strong coalition efforts and your grassroots action, the author of SB 972 took amendments that removed CSDA’s opposition.

Furthermore, the author has asked that CSDA participate in ongoing conversations with stakeholders regarding this policy issue.

Prior to amendments, SB 972 would have replaced a freely negotiated contract process with a one-size-fits-all scheme that would have shifted liability from design professionals to the public. These provisions were deleted from the legislation and replaced with language that alleviated some concerns within the design community that a recent court decision may have affected protections secured in 2006. Under current law, indemnity agreements, including the duty to defend, must be related to the work of the design professional; SB 972 now clarifies that requirement.

CSDA will be updating the Grassroots Action Center with the amended SB 972 language and an updated sample letter for districts seeking to update their position with the author’s office. It is important that special districts remain engaged on this legislation. Previous versions of the bill would have resulted in significant increased litigation and costs for public agencies. We must ensure that taxpayers and ratepayers are protected should any further amendments be considered throughout the remainder of the legislative process.

CSDA testified on SB 972 in committee on June 29 and has already engaged in good-faith conversations with the author’s office as stakeholders continue to discuss concerns surrounding indemnity agreements and the duty to defend.