House, Senate Pass Opposite Alternative Bidding Bills

A legislative showdown is brewing as the House and Senate passed seemingly opposite bills. The Senate passed SSB 5760 allowing UW and WSU to create any alternative contracting procedure they choose if project funding is not state appropriated. The House passed HB 1690 to limit the universities authority to create alternative procedures.

AGC opposes SSB 5760. In his testimony against the bill AGC Legislative Counsel Van Collins noted that much of the construction that would be undertaken by the universities with this new authority would be funded in part by funds that are not directly state appropriated but are public funds nonetheless. For example while revenues from the UW Medical Center are not state-appropriated they are still public funds and therefore projects built with these funds should abide by the same rules as any other public project.

In addition the bill further authorizes the use of prequalification of contractors and the limiting of the number of proposers on a project.

Meanwhile AGC supports the House-passed legislation HB 1690 to limit the Universities authority to create alternative procurement procedures outside of RCW 39.10 which includes the current available options of design-build GC/CM and Job Order Contracting.

AGC has posted an action alert on its website about this topic encouraging members to contact their Legislators via the AGC Grassroots Action Network (click here). Even if members recently used the network to comment on the measure they are asked to do so again as the bills have progressed and therefore a different group of legislators is targeted.

For further information contact AGC Legislative Counsel Van Collins 360-352-5000.

The House voted unanimously in favor of HB 1690. The Senate vote on SSB 5760 is as follows:

Voting Yea: Senators Becker Berkey Brandland Brown Eide Franklin Fraser Hargrove Hatfield Haugen Hobbs Holmquist Jacobsen Kastama Kauffman Keiser Kilmer King Kline Kohl-Welles Marr McAuliffe McDermott Morton Murray Oemig Pflug Prentice Pridemore Ranker Regala Roach Rockefeller Schoesler Swecker Tom and Zarelli
Voting Nay: Senators Carrell Honeyford McCaslin Sheldon and Stevens
Absent: Senator Fairley
Excused: Senators Benton Delvin Hewitt Jarrett Parlette and Shin