Spending bills for the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1 are only inching along on Capitol Hill, making a stopgap “continuing resolution” or an omnibus appropriations package increasingly likely. If that happens, it will mean continued headaches for states and contractors trying to plan for the next construction season—let alone beyond then. As of July 13, none of the 12 appropriations bills for fiscal 2011 even had cleared committee in the House or Senate, although the Senate panel had scheduled July 15 votes on three of the measures. Five spending bills had moved through House subcommittees and further subcommittee action
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.