A recent report by The Brookings Institution noted that the infrastructure in the U.S. has over the years failed to receive an adequate investment to maintain national growth and economic health. Because of stringent regulatory processes, inadequate public financial resources and the complexity of infrastructure development, construction and maintenance, the public sector is looking increasingly to the delivery of infrastructure projects through public/private partnerships.[1] The U.S. Department of Transportation describes P3s as a contractual arrangement between a public authority and a private entity in connection with the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of an asset that will be used by or is otherwise valuable to the public.[2]

Connecticut has joined a list of at least eleven states that have introduced legislation this year related to the use of P3s for public infrastructure and facility projects. There are 33 states that have enacted some form of legislation to allow for P3s as a public project delivery system. Proposed Connecticut Bill Nos. HB5352 and HB6097 would reenact legislation authorizing the use of P3s for public facility and transportation projects which expired January 1, 2015. The legislation would also remove the current limitation on the number of P3 projects allowed and give priority to financially self-sufficient projects that do not require state funding. Finally, the proposed legislation would establish a separate bi-partisan commission to review and approve P3 projects. Based upon the Governor’s recent budget address proposing a 5 year transportation investment ramp-up plan, public-private partnerships are likely on the rise in Connecticut.

[1] Patrick Sobal and Robert Puentes, Brookings, December 17, 2014, The Brookings Institution

[2] United States Department of Transportation, Modeled Public/Private Partnerships Core Toll Concessions Contract Guide, September 2014