ANNAPOLIS, Md. (February 24, 2012) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown testified before the House Environmental Matters Committee and members of the Appropriations Committee in support of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s Public-Private Partnerships legislation (SB358/HB576), which will help create jobs by enhancing the State’s framework for public-private partnerships (P3s) for infrastructure projects.
“Governor O’Malley and I are focused on putting more Marylanders back to work, and by advancing critical infrastructure projects through well-structured public-private partnerships, we have the potential to create thousands of jobs laying the foundation for long-term economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Our legislation builds on input from numerous stakeholders to establish a predictable, accountable, transparent and streamlined process for future public-private partnerships.”
The Administration’s bill stems from a series of recommendations developed by the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships, chaired by Lt. Governor Brown. The fifteen member Commission was established in 2010 under HB 1370/SB 979 to evaluate and improve the State’s framework for and oversight of public-private partnerships. The recommendations were developed after input from various stakeholders at the Commission’s six public meetings, as well as a Maryland Forward policy forum attended by over 200 representatives from the labor, business, transportation, construction, and other infrastructure-related communities. Specifically, the legislation will clarify the State’s definition of a P3, strengthen and increase transparency for the P3 review process, and lay the foundation for improved coordination among State agencies.
Based on these recommendations, the Administration’s P3 legislation addresses over 20 policy issues and includes language promoting Maryland’s current workforce protections and policy objectives, such as prevailing and livable wage, green buildings, environmental protection, and minority and women-owned business participation.
In addition to Lt. Governor Brown, today’s hearing included testimony from various experts in infrastructure issues. Testimony was delivered by Richard Norment, Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships; Chris Lloyd, Infrastructure and Development, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC; and Samara Barend, Vice President and Strategic Development Director for Public-Private Partnerships, AECOM.
Initial estimates by Maryland departments overseeing capital projects have found that additional utilization of public-private partnerships could contribute between six percent and ten percent, or $205 million and $315 million respectively, of Maryland’s $3.1 billion annual capital budget while creating as many as 4,000 jobs. This includes an estimated $160 million to $240 million annually that could be invested in Maryland transportation projects through public-private partnerships.
The 2011 Maryland Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding found that the State needs an additional $870 million annually in new transportation revenues to address current needs. One of the recommendations in the Commission’s final report was to consider legislation to facilitate partnerships with the private sector in order to enhance transportation funding.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s economic development portfolio. In addition to his role as Chair of the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships, the Lt. Governor chairs Maryland’s FastTrack initiative – part of Maryland Made Easy (www.easy.maryland.gov) – to streamline the state permitting process for businesses and developers and serves as Chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure.