Enabling Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation in California
Publication Date: September 2006
Publisher(s): Reason Foundation
Author(s): George Passantino
A growing number of other fast-growing states (as well as urban areas in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, and others) have developed effective means of tapping the private capital markets and drawing on the project-delivery skills of the private sector to make major improvements to their transportation systems. California needs to do likewise. Most recent legislative efforts to authorize public-private partnerships in California (including AB 1467) focus on modifying California Streets & Highways Code Section 143, the statute established by Assembly Bill 680 in 1989. While it is reasonable to create statutory authorization in this code section, as written, the statute fails to draw upon the best practices developed over the past 17 years in other states. If California is to authorize a true 21st Century authorizing statute in this code section, a complete rewrite will be required. Yet, while the authority created in AB 1467 may be severely limited, it seems reasonable to at least offer the opportunity for this statute to be used before it is completely overwritten.