Colorado reintroduces P3 bill

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Colorado reintroduces P3 bill

Senate Bill 172 introduced in the Colorado State Senate calls for additional oversight of transportation public private partnerships (PPPs).

The bill, which has been sponsored by State Sen. Matt Jones, would force appointees to the High-Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) board to be approved by the Senate for a four-year term and would add the executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as a non-voting member to the board.

The bill would also increase community participation, public notice and legislative oversight of PPPs and would provide the terms of PPP deals to the legislature and public after agreements are complete.

The bill does not include language John Hickenlooper and several business groups found objectionable. Hickenlooper wrote in mid 2014 in a letter to the Colorado Senate:

We firmly believe that government should always strive to be transparent and accountable. We support SB 14-197's provisions that improve transparency, accountability, and openness in public-private partnerships.

Unfortunately, SB 14-197 is not just a transparency bill - it also inappropriately constrains the business terms of future P3 agreements. These constraints on business terms would create a chilling component on future transactions, making investors unlikely or unwilling to bid on Colorado projects due to the increased risks this process would generate.

Last year Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on June 4th vetoed the Senate Bill 14-197  "Transportation Enterprise Transparency Act" and signed an Executive Order that will improve transparency, accountability and openness relating to CDOT HPTE.

In April 2014 we reported that Bill 117 was introduced in the legislature aiming to open toll roads to greater public review in the state of Colorado (USA). The bill, spearheaded by state Sen. Matt Jones, a Louisville Democrat, was also largely in response to the controversial U.S. 36 Managed Lanes project .

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