President Obama’s promised economic stimulus package could not come at a better time for the cash-strapped state of California, though a bailout of a massive projected budget deficit appears unlikely. With a Feb. 1 deadline that state controller John Chiang says would pretty much dry up the state’s cash flow, the budget deficit—estimated at $42 billion through June 2010—will mean more important infrastructure construction projects are likely to be halted or even cancelled. Related Links: Proposal in House Fires Up Debate Does Massive Spending Help or Hurt in Long Run? Modest Program Favors Jump-Start Fix-up Effort Highway Aid Has Some
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.