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State Advocacy




DBIA's team of advocacy professionals are working in many states including Minnesota, South Carolina, New Mexico and Iowa, but the following is a list of some of the most recent developments this year.

  • With the passage of HB 5997, the Washington Department of Transportation was authorized and encouraged to use design-build for projects over $2 million, reducing the price threshold after which design-build may be used from its previous limit of projects exceeding $10 million. The bill was introduced by Representative Curtis King who serves as Chair of the House Transportation Committee. The passage of this bill expands the opportunity for design-build to demonstrate how well it can work for smaller-sized projects.
  • Baton Rouge saw two design-build bills enacted this session to expand and extend design-build authority for regional transit authorities and ports within the state. With the sunset date for ports to utilize design-build set to expire in 2015, enacting an extension was a top legislative priority for DBIA this year. This goal was fulfilled by the passage of SB 66, extending the ports’ authority until 2020. The second bill, SB 159, authorized any regional transit authority to let a design-build contract for new ferries on the Mississippi River.
  • Passage of HB 1 and HB 20 in Texas remove the sunset date for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)'s design-build authorization. Together, the bills allow TxDOT to more easily plan for the future, and continue to successfully use the design-build project delivery method. Design-build has been a valuable tool for TxDOT to meet the growing transportation needs in Texas. Failure to reauthorize design-build legislation would have been a major setback for an agency that has had a very successful design-build program.

New York
  • DBIA worked with coalition partners, particularly the NYC DOT, to expand design-build authority for another two years. New York State first approved design-build authority in 2011, and has entered into dozens of design-build contracts since then, including one for the multi-billion dollar Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.
  • Passage of SB 785 culminates the longtime industry effort to standardize design-build laws in California, and it is the eighth bill passed in California in the past year expanding design-build authority. SB 785 streamlines California design-build laws and provides clarity and increased opportunity for project owners and practitioners.

 2014 Success

  • In Illinois, we supported efforts to pass SB 492, which extends the State Building Commission’s design-build authority until 2018. We were involved in this effort early and were proud to watch it pass and be signed into law in January.
  • In Utah, we worked to pass SB 190, revising contract types and definitions for rulemaking that made design-build even easier to use.
  • In the state of Washington, we helped pass two significant bills that were both signed by the Governor in March. HB 2555 keeps proposals submitted for design-build projects exempt from public disclosure until the highest scoring finalist has been named or the selection process has been terminated. This is essential to ensuring companies’ bids, methods and advantages remain confidential, increasing the competitiveness of the process. We also helped pass SB 6001 which provides funding for two design-build projects: the I-405 Kirkland Stage 2 widening project and the SR 167 Puyallup Bridge Replacement. The two projects are high-profile in the state, so the fact that the legislation mandates use of design-build is a testament to how reliably design-build delivers high-quality infrastructure. 
  • In Minnesota, we were successful in gaining passage of HB 677, a bill funding a new state legislative office building that specifically calls for using design-build to deliver the project. Following passage, however, there were nearly ten bills calling for new onerous requirements on design-build projects and repeal of HB 677. Thus far, we have worked to successfully block all of these bills or have the unnecessary requirements stripped out of the bill.

 2013 Success

  • DBIA had major victories in West Virginia and Arkansas, two states which had State Department of Transportation (DOT) pilot programs with strict limits on the number of allowed design-build projects. The bill passed in West Virginia (SB 553) would eliminate an expiration (or "sunset") and the limitation on the number of design-build projects transforming the pilot program to a permanent program. Up to $50 million per year could go towards design-build projects and any unused portions could be rolled over to another year up to $150 million. Similarly, the Arkansas bill (HB 1702) eliminates the requirement that design-build could only be used on projects in excess of $50 million and ended  limits on the number of design-build projects.
  • In a significant victory for DBIA, North Carolina passed HB 857 authorizing all local governments to use design-build and P3s including QBS (read the press release here). North Carolina has been the epicenter of local Qualification Based Selection (QBS) legislation. Before DBIA helped pass this law, North Carolina local governments had to receive legislative approval on a case-by-case basis to use design-build. The passage of HB 857 makes North Carolina one of the best states to do design-build projects. 
  • Three states - Georgia, Kentucky and Illinois - were states with limited DOT design-build authority, only using design-build on a “low bid” basis. In Georgia’s case, its DOT had been very aggressive in its use of design-build but felt the low bid only option had its limitations. The newly enacted “best value” law, SB 70, will allow GDOT to take its design-build program to the next level, and choose design-build teams based on qualifications. Kentucky and Illinois took a more conservative approach: they introduced legislation calling for pilot programs allowing best value. The Kentucky bill (HB 445) was recently enacted and the Illinois bill is still pending.
  • Indiana passed legislation giving airports authority to use design-build.




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