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State Advocacy

Public design-build projects can only happen if the process is authorized by law. When DBIA was founded in 1993, only three states authorized design-build on public projects. Within ten years design-build was authorized in some fashion in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Today, DBIA members can use design-build for public projects in some form in all fifty states, and a majority of states permit design-build for all agencies for all types of design and construction. ​For more maps, click on the general authorization map below: 
All State Maps

 What We're Doing Now


By raising the profile of design-build’s many benefits with legislators and key public officials, DBIA encourages owners in government agencies to take an active role in passing authorizing legislation, and gives them the knowledge to advocate for using design-build with other key decision-makers. When we visit elected officials and government representatives, we discuss the reasons design-build is now nearly 40 percent of the non-residential construction market, and encourage them to follow the trend and not fall behind their neighbors. ​

Pending Legislation

State Statute Report



Our advocacy efforts in 2016 have carried across geographical regions and have been moving quickly thus far in the legislative session. With legislation at every stage from a first committee to the Governor’s desk, DBIA’s legislative efforts this year have been engaged at the local, regional and national levels. Some of the notable bills are:

Kentucky: HB 309 was introduced with the support of Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and passed the legislature by sizeable majorities. This bill provides a framework for the state to utilize public-private-partnerships for capital projects and services by state government. This bill was signed by Governor Matt Bevin on April 8.

Alabama: Four bills have been introduced that expand design-build authority. H 313 and S287 would authorize design-build for prison construction and H 216 and S 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 introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to authorize design-build for localities. H 2376 and S789 have passed out of their respective committees and are awaiting final votes in their first chambers.

Virginia: HB 501 and SB 465 authorize the use of alternative technical concepts in design-build projects. SB 465 and HB 501 have been signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and became a state statute on March 1, 2016.

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 currently has no design-build authority for transportation and bills were supported by DBIA. The bills were signed by Governor Susana Martinez on March 9 and have become law.

Mississippi: Mississippi has introduced a number of design-build related bills this session including a bill (H 506) to reauthorize the design-build authority for the state port authority at Gulfport. The current sunset on design-build authority expires July 1, 2016 and the bill would extend this sunset until 2019. DBIA strongly supports extending or eliminating the sunset. H 506 has passed both chambers and may now be sent to the Governor.

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 and it passed out of committee on a 3-2 vote.

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

Utah: HB 318 was introduced to eliminate the sunset on municipal transportation design-build projects. DBIA opposes sunset laws and supported this bill. The bill was enacted into law with the signature of Governor Gary Herbert on March 22.

California: A bill was introduced (AB 2a) extending the sunset on Transportation P3s (which sunsets this year) to 2030 and authorizes the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to use P3s.DBIA supports extending or eliminating the sunset. The bill has passed out of committee and awaits a floor vote.

Iowa: Legislation has been introduced that would force 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 H 2390 passed the House and moved to the Senate. We successfully blocked the bill in committee and it is dead for the session.

Illinois: Two bills (H 5813 and S 2140) have been authorized which would authorize design-build and CMGC. DBIA supports these bills. Neither bill has had a public hearing yet.

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

New Hampshire: SB 549 was introduced to authorize P3s on transportation projects. This legislation which is supported by DBIA has passed the Senate and has a hearing set up for April 5.

New York: Several design-build related bills have been introduced bills expanding design-build authority. The most notable bills were the Governor’s budget bills which would grant design-build authority for the New York State Urban Development Corporation and the New York Convention Center Development Corporation. DBIA strongly supports extending or eliminating design-build sunsets. These bills have both passed the Legislature and are awaiting the Governor’s signature.



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.


  • 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.


  • 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.




To inquire further about our maps, please email Andrew Ausel, Manager, Legislative and Public Affairs at