By Ed Green
P3 Kentucky Editor
Amid all the discussion around Kentucky’s pension reform, state budget and tax reform efforts, Kentucky legislators easily passed and Gov. Matt Bevin signed P3 legislation this week that is expected to simplify the way public-private partnerships are approved in the state.
“This should significantly increase P3 activity in Kentucky,” one expert recently told P3 Bulletin, our editorial partner.
SB 203 is an amendment to Kentucky P3 legislation that removed the requirement for agencies to receive full legislative approval for all P3 projects with a value of at least $25 million. P3 advocates had sought the change due to agencies’ inability to move forward significant projects that are proposed between legislative sessions.
Under the state’s original P3 law, P3 opportunities that arose when the Kentucky General Assembly wasn’t in session could not begin the RFP process until they were presented and approved in a bill in the legislature.
Under the the new legislation, potential P3 arrangements valued at more than $25 million — such as the five Kentucky tourism projects included in the state’s budget bill — won’t be submitted to the full legislature for approval. Instead, the agencies will be required to submit RFPs and final contracts to the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee.
The new provision is scheduled to sunset July 1, 2020, unless the legislature adopts the new process permanently.
Kentucky Sen. Max Wise, the bill’s sponsor, said he is optimistic the newly signed legislation will improve the climate for public-private partnerships across the Commonwealth.
“I believe the passage of SB203 will open up countless opportunities for P3 projects to move forward which had been held up due to the $25 million cap threshold. I am excited about the possibilities that the Commonwealth can now move forward on with this bill’s passage.”