The Kentucky Chamber applauded Rep. Leslie Combs for her hard work in crafting a P3 bill to advance private sector ingenuity and job growth to public projects and services, calling it a win-win for Kentucky businesses and taxpayers. Rep. Combs filed House Bill 443, a P3 bill for state agencies and transportation. HB 443 differs from the P3 bill vetoed by Gov. Beshear last year in that the local government component is currently not included in the bill. Though incomplete, it is a step in the right direction.
For weeks, Rep. Combs has been working with the Administration, legislators, business groups including the Kentucky Chamber and Associated General Contractors, Highway Contractors and representatives of local government. Each group negotiated to find the proper balance between a clear process authorizing P3 projects and transparency and accountability measures to protect taxpayers. Unfortunately, an agreement between local government groups and the administration has proven elusive; however, both parties appear to be working in good faith.
“I can’t say enough about the effort that Rep. Combs has put forth to bring the various parties together,” Chamber President Dave Adkisson said. “She has again demonstrated tremendous leadership. We hope the others see the value of partnerships and are willing to work to include local P3 opportunities.”
The Chamber, along with several business and civic groups, have built a strong coalition of supporters for a comprehensive P3 bill that makes it clear Kentucky is open for business at all levels of government. Without the local component of P3, the vast majority of business opportunities are taken off the table. There is currently no clear process for businesses to follow at the local level and a complete lack of clear guidelines and disclosure to protect taxpayers.
The Kentucky Chamber continues to urge the Administration and local governments to forge an agreement that sends a clear signal that Kentucky is open for business at all levels of government.