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March07

Construction option elimination bill headed to Gov

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will have final review of the elimination of a cost-saving construction option for school districts and other public entities.

 

House Bill 1112, which revises certain provisions related to construction managers on certain public improvement projects, passed the Senate on a 21-13 vote. The bill reached the floor after the rare recommendation by the Senate Judiciary committee to send it to the floor without a recommendation following three stalemate votes by the committee to pass, defer and table the bill.

 

HB 1112 would disallow a school district – or other public entities – from hiring a construction manager to fill the additional roles of architect or engineer, which, for those districts who utilize this option, would increase costs.

 

ASBSD is opposed to the bill.

 

“(Schools) are using it and saving significant sums of money,” ASBSD Lobbyist Dick Tieszen testified. “There’s not conflict here.”

 

Proponents of the bill said it was needed to protect the schools and taxpayers.

 

“We need some checks and balances,” Rep. John Mills said. “Let’s protect our schools, our citizens.”

 

Tieszen said current law provides legal protection to all parties involved.

 

“Construction manager at risk is perfectly legal and proper when they are acting as the architect. Their duties are the same,” Tieszen said. “You’re eliminating an opportunity for school districts.”

 

Sen. Arthur Rusch did not agree with removing the option from the local board.

 

“I think we need to leave this up to local people,” Sen. Rusch said.

 

 

The bill now awaits the governor’s decision. Check the ASBSD BlogTwitter feed and Bill Tracker for updates.

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