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Aug. 16, 2022
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Minutes for SB116 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Decreasing the Eisenhower legacy transportation program alternate delivery project threshold, authorizing usage of federal stimulus funds and KDOT bonding authority.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 16, 2021

Chairperson Petersen called the meeting to order and opened the hearing on SB116.

Assistant Revisor Adam Siebers briefed the Committee on the bill (Attachment 1).  Commenting on each of the five sections of the bill, he explained that the bill decreases the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE) alternative delivery project cost threshold, authorizes usage of federal stimulus funds for highway projects under the IKE program, and modifies the calculation of projected state highway fund revenues related to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) bonding authority. 

Julie Lorenz, Secretary, KDOT, testified as a proponent for the bill (Attachment 2).  She reported on the progress in implementing IKE and outlined the three goals of the bill.  She noted the current minimum is $100 million before any project is allowed to use an alternative delivery approach.  Dropping the minimum to $10 million will give KDOT more flexibility in awarding contracts.  She also explained that currently the agency is required to give first priority to a T-Works project before authorizing an IKE project.  The bill will remove this requirement and, by doing so, may make available federal stimulus funds.  Finally, Ms. Lorenz commented that project bonding authority is limited to18% of gross revenue in the State Highway Fund. The bill will change the calculation to 18% of net revenue.

Responding to a question, Lindsey Douglas, Deputy Secretary, KDOT, replied that the change will make the bonding calculation consistent with the current bond rating.

Mike Taylor, Public Relations Director, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, spoke in support of the bill's modification in the alternative delivery provision; he cited the Turner Diagonal Project as an example to show significant savings by using the design-build/construction manager technique.  He reported that, by using design-build, the project was completed ahead of schedule, realized significant saving of taxpayer dollar, and opened up 300 acres for development.  He also suggested consideration of a separate bill to allow local units of government independence in using the design-build approach (Attachment 3).

Michael White, Executive Director, Kansas Contractors Association, provided support for the bill (Attachment 4).  He noted that collaboration with principals affected by the bill had resulted in a helpful compromise in addressing the alternative delivery limitations.

Written-only testimony is support of the bill was submitted by:

  • Whitney Damron, Kansas Good Roads, Inc. (Attachment 5)
  • Deborah Barnes, Staff Attorney, League of Kansas Municipalities (Attachment 6);
  • Jason Watkins, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce (Attachment 7); and
  • Brett Letkowski, Senior Vice President, TransSystems, and Chairman, South Central Kansas Transportation Coalition (Attachment 8) and (Attachment 9).

The hearing on SB116 was closed.

The Chairperson announced that the Committee will plan to work SB95, SB99, and SB116 at a later meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 a.m.  The next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, February 17, 2021.