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Council to Support Bill Ensuring More Oversights on Private – Public Partnership Projects

At next week’s meeting, the College Park City Council will consider sending a letter in support of the House Bill HB 1424 – Public–Private Partnerships – Process and Oversight

HB 1424 would establish a Public-Private Partnership Oversight Review Board and require state agencies to submit pre-solicitation reports, the environmental impact statement, and other documents related to a proposed public-private partnerships (P3) exceeding $500 million to the Review Board and certain budget committees.

If passed, the bill would allow greater oversights on large capital projects, such as the I 495 beltway expansion projects using the Public-Private partnerships.

The Review Board would be comprised of appointees by Speaker of the House, the President of the Senator, the Governor, the Comptroller, and the Treasurer. It would review public-private partnership pre-solicitation reports and make recommendations to the budget committees and the Board of Public Works regarding the designation of a public infrastructure asset as a public-private partnership. If the Board of Public Works designates a project as a public-private partnership, the budget committees have one year to
review and comment on the designation.

HB 1424 would also require independent rating agencies to conduct a rating assessment for every contract under a large P3 agreement before the Board of Public Works can vote on it. Finally, the bill would expand the existing ‘no-compete’ requirements to ensure local governments can add roads, transit, and other options for commuters that may compete with P3 toll roads without having to pay a penalty or get the P3 company’s permission. Current law only affects state-funded transportation projects.

This bill is designed to ensure that more project information is available to the public before the Board of Public Works can vote to support a P3 project. The Governor has proposed large P3 transportation projects and members of the General Assembly and residents are concerned about the process.
[City of College Park]

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