Public-Private Partnership (P3) bill clears first hurdle

Helping Kentuckians get back to work, creating additional levels of government transparency and helping tax dollars go farther are key elements of House Bill 407, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville). Kentucky Chamber President Dave Adkisson praised Combs  and the large bipartisan group of legislators as they reported the bill from the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee this morning.

Chamber member Warren Rogers testifies in support of HB 407 alongside Rep. Leslie Combs and Chamber President Dave Adkisson

Chamber member Warren Rogers of the W. Rogers Construction Co., presented the case for public private partnerships – so called P3s – as co-chair of the Chamber’s P3 coalition.

HB 407, a key priority of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, would enable the use of public-private partnerships – so called P3s – by state and local governments, creating a system in Kentucky that already exists in many states. A public-private partnership is a contract between a public entity, such as a state or local government, and a private business, under which the business builds a project or provides a service for the public. Any financial risk during the construction and/or operation of the project is assumed by the private business.

“The vote in today’s committee meeting is a great start towards a process that will give Kentucky money-saving alternatives to fund projects and services,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson. “The continuing pressures on the state budget require a new way forward. This legislation will allow Kentucky to accelerate its efforts to stretch limited resources by turning to the private sector to deliver services and build facilities that have been traditionally provided by government agencies.”

The Kentucky Chamber released its comprehensive P3 report last summer to educate policymakers and the public on the importance of allowing the private sector to help government on public projects. HB 407 mirrors closely the recommendations of the Chamber report. Among other things, the legislation would:

  • Encourage competition for innovative private sector investments in the Commonwealth;
  • Establish reliable procedures that encourage such private sector investments;
  • Allow for the use of public-private partnerships at a state and local level; and
  • Promote transparency and accountability in project delivery.

P3s have been used in over 30 states for decades, including all of Kentucky’s surrounding states. P3s aren’t limited to state projects; they can also save taxpayers money at the local level.

“We are very pleased with the bipartisan support HB 407 received in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee today,” said Adkisson. “The Kentucky Chamber and more than 20 business groups from across Kentucky support this legislation. We look forward to working with the full House and Senate to help pass comprehensive P3 legislation this session.”

To support the passage of P3 legislation, the Chamber is running a positive media campaign in support of HB 407. As part of this effort, the Chamber has launched a P3 Action Alert on their updated Public Affairs website to make it easy for the public to voice support for this important legislation.


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