Law

News July 13, 2017
U.S. House Republicans expect to introduce bills later this week that would bar states from setting their own rules for self-driving cars and take other steps to remove obstacles to putting such vehicles on the road.   Last month, a U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittee...
News July 12, 2017
A House panel approved legislation on Tuesday evening that would cut funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) by over half a billion dollars.   The House Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, housing and urban development advanced a spending bill to provide $17.8...
News July 10, 2017
Illinois road construction projects that were shut down by the budget impasse will get started again sometime next week, now that the legislature has passed a major income tax increase and spending plan.   Illinois had gone 736 days without a budget, and the state told road contractors it would not...
Article July 05, 2017
Highway departments use the term “incidental” to describe work that, while required, is not subject to separate payment and therefore must be accounted for in the price of other related work.   There are few court cases involving disputes over “incidental,” because the term is so widely used and to...
News July 03, 2017
Three states are going into varying levels of remission this holiday weekend, as disputes between Republican governors and Democratic-led state legislatures have forced the state governments of Maine and New Jersey into partial shut-downs and a long-standing budgetary impasse in Illinois is closing...
News July 03, 2017
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) informed state departments of transportation how much each is losing as of June 30 in certain categories of highway program contract authority, as Congress required in the fiscal 2017 government funding bill that it sent to President Trump on May 4.   The...
News June 27, 2017
Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a bill that allows the testing of self-driving cars on Texas roads and highways without a driver behind the wheel.   There was nothing in existing law that banned autonomous vehicles from Texas roads. Google has been testing them since 2015 in Austin, and Arlington...
News June 20, 2017
A U.S. House Republican proposal revealed last week would bar states from setting their own rules about the designing and testing of self-driving vehicles.   The proposal also would block federal regulators from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous-vehicle (AV) technology.   The draft...
News June 19, 2017
Visit our homepage and take this week's poll question, which discusses principles laid out for bipartisan legislation on self-driving vehicles.
News June 16, 2017
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will shut down roadwork statewide if lawmakers fail to pass a budget by the end of the month, officials announced Wednesday.   IDOT will notify contractors that all construction work is to shut down on June 30 if a budget does not pass by then. The...
News June 07, 2017
Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law Tuesday that prohibits texting while driving in Texas, ending a decade-long effort by safety advocates to reduce potentially deadly driver distractions on the road.   Texas will become one of the last states to adopt some kind of texting-while-driving ban...
Article June 06, 2017
I am often confronted with claims involving Variation in Estimated Quantity, or VEQ, clauses.   VEQ clauses are quite typical in unit-price highway contracts and provide monetary relief to either the contractor or the highway department if actual quantities vary significantly from the estimated...
News May 05, 2017
The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into Uber's use of a secret software that was used to evade authorities in places where its ride-hailing service was banned or restricted, according to a person familiar with the government's probe, the Washington Post reported.   The...

Image: 123rf:kittiyaporn10

News May 04, 2017
An Alabama State Senate committee this week approved a $1.8 billion 2018 General Fund budget—which for one northern Alabama lawmaker was an opportunity to a demand a change in favor of transportation infrastructure funding. The rub is that the change represents a cut of more than 3% to state...
Article May 02, 2017
It is universally accepted that a payment and performance bond surety’s liability is coextensive with that of its principal, the contractor.   A recent case in Georgia reinforces this view, but highlights how facts might nevertheless be construed more harshly against sureties than their principals...

Image source: Associated Press

News April 07, 2017
Trouble is brewing in Wisconsin, as GOP lawmakers removed a slew of provisions from the budget proposed by Governor Scott Walker—also a Republican—including the entire transportation planning portion.   The co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee, Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and...
Article April 03, 2017
Public entities require bid security to ensure bidders will honor their bids and enter into binding contracts. For the most part, a bidder will forfeit its bid security if it fails to honor the bid. However, a recent case in Michigan serves as a reminder to public entities that they must adhere...
News March 23, 2017
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, unveiled new legislation Wednesday that would raise the gas tax by approximately 1 cent per year, to generate about $500 billion for revitalizing U.S. roads, bridges and transit systems over the...
Article March 02, 2017
A case decided by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims serves as a good reminder to contractors bidding public projects of the risks they assume concerning fortuitous losses to the work or stored materials prior to final acceptance by the government.   On Sept. 20, 2000, the Army Corps of Engineers...
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