Governors back P3 to fix US infra
7 January 2015 National Governors Association (NGA) has called on the federal government to use P3 to fix the nation’s infrastructure.
In their State of the States Address to National Press Club in Washington, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Utah Governor Gary Herbert illustrated how P3 has been used successfully and called on the federal government to support its use to fix transportation and water infrastructure.
NGA Chair Hickenlooper said that P3 has made sense in many states to deliver new public roads, bridges, ports and tunnels at a lower cost and more quickly. He noted that Colorado, Maryland, Illinois and North Carolina are collaborating "to think through these new opportunities, including how to identify the savings and structure the projects to make them work".
Utah Governor Gary Herbert, NGA Vice Chair, said that if Congress does not act early this year, federal reimbursements from the Highway Trust Fund for state spending on contracted transportation projects are at risk as soon as this spring. He said that a multi-year authorization should include flexibility for states to maintain innovative financing options, such as P3.
Herbert also conceded that P3 cannot replace federal investment alone, illustrating how ending or capping the federal exclusion from income for municipal bond interest would increase the cost of financing infrastructure projects, slow future projects, and require state and local governments to find alternative revenue sources.
The Utah governor also underlined governors' support for implementing the Water Resources Reform and Development Bill and said they are committed to ensuring that key provisions, such as the public-private partnerships for Corps of Engineers project selection and finance, are developed with input from the states.
The NGA leadership also discussed infrastructure investment with President Barack Obama at the White House. Obama said infrastructure will feature in his upcoming State of the Union address.