A new bill, AB 851, was introduced in the California legislature on February 16 that would expand the scope of the design-build authority currently available to local agencies.  If adopted, AB 851 would amend Public Contract Code sections 22161 to expand the definition of special districts that can utilize the design-build authority under Public Contract Code section 22106-22169 to include special districts that provide or operate flood protection, habitat restoration or enhancement, groundwater recharge or storage, surface water storage, water treatment facilities, wastewater facilities, solid waste management facilities, water recycling facilities, and fire protection facilities.

As a proponent of design-build and other alternative project delivery methods for public agencies, this expansion of authority would be welcome, even though it is relatively modest.