This bill would provide state agencies and authorities with increased flexibility in the contracting and financing of transportation infrastructure projects. It would allow a wider variety of arrangements with the private sector than available under current law. The Business Council supports enactment of this legislation.
- Public-Private Partnerships continue to garner more national attention as a means of financing and addressing the state’s growing infrastructure deficit. Their growing use for transportation and other projects in the United States and across the globe demonstrates a sensible alternative to traditional funding and procurement. Carefully crafted agreements would help to avoid additional taxes, reduce the State’s reliance on borrowing, green the environment, adapt to a changing global economy and create jobs.
- Private sector companies are waiting to invest in transportation infrastructure projects. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal noted that as much as $400 billion is available world-wide from investor groups for PPP transportation projects.
- Much background research has already been done in New York State. The NYS Commission on State Asset Maximization’s June 2009 Final Report of Recommendations on public-private partnerships in New York State was very supportive of advancing public-private partnerships in the state. This legislation will now take us to the implementation step.
- The public-private partnership process by its nature works best when there is a strong and trusted relationship among the public and private partners who advance the process together. An open and collaborative process between the public and private sectors helps to ensure that PPP projects go well and provides an atmosphere that encourages innovation and creativity. This legislation creates an Innovative Infrastructure Development Board whose mission should include creation of a consistent process clarifying objectives from the outset and providing the necessary transparency to cement ongoing strong and trusted relationships.
- The establishment of a consistent process will also attract the strongest group of investors to the table to compete for projects by providing certainty to investors that the project has a realistic chance of occurring and that there is a transparent process through which it will be screened.
- Finally, public-private partnerships should go well beyond transportation needs. Many worthwhile services provided by state and municipal agencies can no longer be met through existing resources and those needs should be evaluated through a PPP lens. The Business Council looks forward to moving beyond transportation infrastructure projects, as public-private partnerships prove their value in New York State.
For these reasons, The Business Council urges enactment of this legislation.