Is a Florida Public/Private Partnership Statute Imminent?
Seeing the potential of public/private partnerships (“P3”) as the preferred means for funding and building public projects now and in the future, Governor Rick Scott has pushed a P3 statute near the top of his agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Since the last session, he led a trip to Spain to court some of the biggest P3 financiers and builders in the world, espousing the vast potential for P3 jobs in Florida. Legislators have already been tapped to sponsor P3 bills in the House and Senate and bill drafting is currently underway. As a result of the current crisis in public university funding, the Florida Board of Governors appointed a task force on facilities funding that is looking into possible legislation, including P3 legislation, with a charge to report its findings by November 7, 2012, in time to seek a legislative cure.
P3 legislation is not just a pipe dream. A comprehensive bill (some would say too comprehensive) passed the Florida House in the last week of this past legislative session, but without enough time for the Senate to vote on it, especially in light of other legislative priorities such as budgets and reapportionment. However, that was the furthest a non-DOT P3 bill had traveled in the legislature, suggesting increased momentum for P3 legislation. This year, with gubernatorial support and a wellspring of concern about the need for public funds for construction, infrastructure and maintenance, we expect to see the much-needed statutory framework for P3 this year.
If any of you are interested or participating in the drafting or support of P3 legislation, please contact me so we can coordinate efforts. You can reach me at Lee Weintraub, phone number (954) 985 – 4147, email firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (954) 985-4176.
Together we can kick start this new era of public construction and jobs growth in Florida.