Leslie Combs house94FRANKFORT, Ky. (2/12/16) — State Rep. Leslie Combs, a long-time advocate for bringing Kentucky in line with most other states that have taken advantage of public-private partnerships, said she was very pleased to see the Kentucky House put its support behind her legislation on Thursday.

"With support from both sides of the aisle, and with the backing of organizations like the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, I am increasingly confident that we can make this a reality here in the commonwealth," said Rep. Combs of Pikeville. "This is an invaluable economic development tool that governments can use either to take on projects they realistically could not build themselves or to outsource services like utilities that they think the private sector can do more efficiently. At the same time, my bill establishes strong safeguards to make sure this process is done fairly and with considerable transparency and public input."

House Bill 309, which the House approved by a vote of 83-11, would provide the regulatory framework that the state and local governments would follow under these contracts. For the state, there would be required public postings, hearings, and legislative oversight, and no project costing $25 million or more could be done without the General Assembly's authority. Local governments would largely mirror the same process.

More than 30 states, including the seven surrounding Kentucky, are using the P3 model.

Rep. Combs has spoken twice at a national workshop focused on using this legislation for transportation projects. "As chair of the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation, I know all too well how effective P3 could be for our own roads," she said. "Projects we can only dream about now would suddenly be within reach. The sooner we enact this, the sooner we can get these projects to the drawing board and put people to work. Outside of the budget, no other bill we pass this year could do more for our citizens and economy."

SurfKY News
Information provided by Brian Wilkerson

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