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Testimony of Judge Barbara M. Quinn, Chief Court Administrator
Government Administration and Elections Committee - March 23, 2009

Senate Bill 1145, An Act Concerning Repairs, Additions and Alterations to State-Owned Buildings

Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of Senate Bill 1145, An Act Concerning Repairs, Additions and Alterations to State-Owned Buildings.

The Judicial Branch strongly supports this proposal, which would increase the dollar threshold for “agency administered” construction projects from $500,000 to $2,000,000, for the following reasons:

  • It will benefit both the Judicial Branch and the Department of Public Works, as well as the other agencies affected;
  • Redefining the "formal" project threshold will appropriately shorten the administrative procedure for projects, thus allowing much needed repair and renovation projects to be initiated and completed more efficiently;
  • The $500,000 limit has been in place for ten years and has not kept pace with the sharp rise in construction costs during that time. This has resulted in an increase in the number and type of projects for which the Department of Public Works is responsible;
  • The Judicial Branch has the administrative capacity to take on projects of greater value; this proposal would allow us to expedite more projects;
  • A high percentage of the projects that would fall under the $2 million threshold are repair projects. The Judicial Branch is in the best position to administer these projects, as we are familiar with the systems and conditions of our buildings.

In addition, the Judicial Branch would respectfully request that the Committee amend this bill to provide for an increase in the threshold specified in section 2 for repairs, alterations or additions to buildings or premises under the supervision of the Office of the Chief Court Administrator from $100,000 to $2,000,000. This statutory provision is necessary in order to implement the changes contemplated by this bill. I have attached hereto, for the Committee’s consideration, a suggested amendment that would accomplish this purpose, and I would urge the Committee to incorporate the language into the bill.

Thank you for your consideration.


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