One of the Chamber’s top priorities, House Bill 443, which authorizes public-private partnerships (P3), passed out of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday morning.
HB 443 would provide an explicit framework for the use public-private partnerships as an alternative method of procurement, construction, or financing of capital projects and services by state government. 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.
Sponsor Representative Leslie Combs testified in support of the bill, and stated that she is hopeful that local governments will be included in the legislation before the end of the legislative session. Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock testified in support of HB 443 and stated that P3s are a necessary tool in the toolbox for transportation projects, both large and small.
Rep. Arnold Simpson proposed an amendment that would prohibit tolls from the Brent Spence Bridge. Rep. Combs voiced her opposition to the amendment and after a roll call vote, the amendment was defeated.
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.
Please contact your legislator and let them know that you support a comprehensive P3 bill.