Design-Build is Fast – Even Legislation Authorizing it

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Design-Build is Fast – Even Legislation Authorizing it

By Richard Thomas and Andrew Ausel  |  April 4, 2016

Monday morning quarterback is always the easiest position to take, but we kind of saw this coming. With state and federal infrastructure in dire need of improvements and a highway trust fund reauthorization issued by Congress in the fall of 2015, it’s no wonder design-build legislation has been so frequently considered this session. Not even half way through the legislative session and we’ve seen just over 100 bills introduced, but more importantly, we’ve seen a lot of these bills moving.

Although years past have seen higher design-build legislation volume, this year has been unique in that design-build is being discussed in committee hearings and on the floor of legislatures at a high rate. From Alabama and Nebraska where little to no design-build authority exists, to Utah and Virginia who maintain extensive authority, we’ve seen states embracing design-build and the importance of streamlined project delivery across geographic regions. Just take a look below at all the legislative movement we’ve seen thus far:

New Mexico: HB 206 and SB 215 expand design-build authority to federal-aid highways on projects over $50 million. These bills are a significant expansion of design-build authority for New Mexico that previously had no design-build authority for transportation. The bills were signed by Governor Susana Martinez on March 9 and have become law.

Iowa: Legislation had been introduced that would have forced the Board of Regents (BOR) and the DOT to use the same procurements methods as all other state agencies; effectively stripping design-build authority from the BOR. Despite opposition from DBIA, MBI and several labor unions, HB 2390 passed the House and moved to the Senate. Upon reaching its first committee in the Senate however, we successfully blocked the bill and it is dead for the session.

Alabama: Four bills have been introduced that expand design-build authority and they are all moving! HB 313 and SB 287 would authorize design-build for prison construction and HB 216 and SB 92 would authorize design-build for transportation projects. With no real design-build authorization in the state; passage of these bills would be historic. S 287, H 216 and S 92 have each passed out of their respective committees and are heading to the floors of their first chambers for a final vote.

Missouri: DBIA and its regional counterparts are working in support of a number of design-build bills currently moving through the Missouri Legislature. DBIA has worked to have legislation introduced in both the House and Senate to authorize design-build for localities including HB 2376 has passed out of its first committee and is awaiting a final vote in the House, while SB 781 has recently passed the Senate by a unanimous vote.

Virginia: HB 501 and SB 465 authorize the use of alternative technical concepts in design-build projects. Although Virginia is one of the largest users of design-build, this concept will drastically improve outcomes of design-build projects in the state. SB 465 and HB 501 were signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe on in March and have effectively become statute.

Mississippi: Mississippi has introduced a number of design-build related bills this session including a bill (HB 506) to reauthorize the design-build authority for the state port authority at Gulfport. The current expiration on design-build authority (often referred to as a “sunset”) is July 1, 2016 and the bill would extend this sunset until 2020. DBIA strongly supports extending or eliminating the sunset date. This bill recently passed both chambers and the amendments have been agreed to, making this bill eligible for the Governor’s consideration.

New Jersey: Introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, AB 1730 sets out procedures for the award of design-build contracts for contracting units in the state. DBIA testified in support of this bill in February and is pleased to report its passage from its first committee by a 3-2 vote.

Nebraska: The Transportation Innovation Act, LB 960 would increase funding for Nebraska transportation projects and authorize design-build, CMGC and P3s for transportation projects. DBIA testified in favor of the bill on February 16th before the Appropriations Committee. The bill passed out of the Appropriations Committee on a 9-0 vote and is awaiting a final vote in the Senate.

Utah: Legislation was introduced to eliminate the sunset on municipal transportation design-build projects. DBIA opposes sunset laws and supported the bill. The bill has passed both the House and Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature.

California: AB 2a was introduced to extend the sunset on Transportation P3s (which sunsets this year) to 2030 and authorizes the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to use P3s. We have come out in strong support of extending or eliminating this sunset. The bill has passed out of committee and awaits a floor vote in the first chamber.

Illinois: Two bills (HB 5813 and SB 2140) have been introduced that would authorize design-build and CMGC. DBIA supports these bills however; neither bill has received a public hearing yet.

Minnesota: Two bills were introduced which would require county consent on design-build projects. We opposed these bills and they are dead for this year.

New Hampshire: Legislation was introduced to authorize P3s on transportation projects. S 549 which is supported by DBIA has passed the Senate but has yet to receive a hearing in the House.

New York: Several design-build related bills have been introduced to expand design-build authority. The most notable bills are the Governor’s budget bills which would extend design-build authority for the several agencies. DBIA strongly supports extending or eliminating design-build sunsets. The state budget bills AB 9008 and SB 6408 authorize the New York State Urban Development Corporation, the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, and their subsidiaries to use design-build. These bills have passed both chambers and should be signed by the Governor soon.

Be sure to keep an eye out for announcements of legislative success on this site as well as on our DBIA.org state advocacy page.