CSAC Sponsors Two Public Works Bills
February 23, 2023
The deadline for legislators to introduce proposed legislation during the first year of the 2022-23 legislative session was last week. CSAC is currently sponsoring two public works bills, including AB 400 (Rubio) and SB 706 (Caballero).
AB 400 would permanently allow local governments to utilize existing state law which allows them to use the Design-Build (DB) procurement process for qualifying public works projects. This bill achieves this by eliminating the existing January 1, 2025 sunset date on the statutory DB authority. SB 706 would allow counties, cities and special districts to use the Progressive Design-Build (PDB) project delivery method for construction contracts. We expect these to be heard in committees in mid-March or in April. Additional details on these bills are available below.
Existing statute enacts more uniform provisions authorizing most local agencies, counties included, to use the DB procurement process for specified public works projects within Public Contract Codes Sections 22160-22169, which excludes roads but includes buildings, utility improvements associated with buildings, flood control, underground utility improvements, and bridges.
The DB method is an approach to delivering public works projects in which both the design and construction of a project are procured from a single entity. Under design-build, the owner contracts with a single entity to both design and construct a project at a fixed price. Simultaneously, contractors are provided with more flexibility over project design, materials and construction methods. This promotes project design and construction innovation, which can result in higher quality, as well as cost savings. The approach also reduces the county and local agencies risk and results in fewer litigation claims for all parties involved.
CSAC strongly encourages counties to submit letters in support of the bill and provide a copy to CSAC staff (Kristina Gallagher at Kgallagher@counties.org).
SB 706 (Caballero): Public contracts: progressive design-build
SB 706 would allow counties, cities and special districts to use the Progressive Design-Build (PDB) project delivery method for construction contracts.
PDB allows public agencies to complete public works projects more quickly and at a lower cost, allowing public dollars to provide greater benefits to the public—especially federal dollars with strict use-it-or-lose-it timelines—without sacrificing important protections the public expects. PDB entails use of a two-part award system allowing for confirmation of full scope of work, with fewer ambiguities, less time and cost in procurement, and more competitive pricing from trades. This bill will allow local agencies throughout the state to attract more proposers for their projects by significantly reducing the cost of responding to RFPs compared to alternative contracting methods. In addition to offering the advantage of a reduced project schedule and cost, it also increases partnering between the agency and contractor through the design process during the initial phase.
CSAC encourages counties to consider this bill, submit letters in support of the bill and provide a copy to CSAC staff (Kristina Gallagher at Kgallagher@counties.org).