Recently NJ Senate President Sweeney opined the viability of Public-Private Partnerships.
Political and legislative support is also growing in states that have already started implementing P3-friendly legislation as well as regulations to control the deliverability on partnership construction projects.
The recent Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act could be beneficial for the development of P3s, setting a positive trend in federal legislation.
A number of states have already taken steps to increase the possibilities for using public-private partnerships for transportation and construction projects.
In California, a recent transportation funding bill could set the stage for the Department of Transportation and regional transportation agencies to enter public-private partnerships for transportation projects beyond the current end date of Jan. 1, 2017. It also would allow the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to use P3s for transportation projects. Bill AB-2742 was held in committee in the Assembly in May.
Louisiana Senate Bill 195 is about to allow the Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter into transportation projects P3s. In June, the governor signed the bill.
In Missouri, Senate Bill 861 would change the existing legislation to allow P3s for construction of public buildings, water facilities, waterways, water supply facilities or pipelines, wastewater or wastewater treatment facilities, and vehicle parking facilities. It does not include highway, interstate or bridge construction, but current legislation already allows for using P3s for pipelines, ferries, river ports, airports, railroads and light rail. The bill was signed by the governor in July.
New Hampshire Senate Bill 549 is another piece of legislation joining the trend. It is bound to allow the Department of Transportation to use public-private partnerships for intermodal infrastructure and transportation projects. This bill was also signed by the governor in June.
In the case of New Hampshire and other states, the new legislation also stipulates the creation of a Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Oversight Commission. Its mission is to administer P3s, setting contract regulations and bidding criteria.
Thus far, it appears that most states are interested and willing to amend their legislation and to create a healthy environment for public-private partnerships. The trend of introducing regulatory changes is a natural step by state legislators to protect citizens from unsuccessful P3s.