Lt. Governor Brown Convenes "Maryland Forward" Forum on Public-Private Partnerships and Investment in Public Infrastructure
Initial Estimates Show Public-Private Infrastructure Projects Could Contribute Up To $315 Million, Create 4,000 Jobs
BALTIMORE, Md. (November 4, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Chair of the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), brought together Maryland officials, private sector representatives, and policy experts from across the region for a “Maryland Forward” policy forum on encouraging public-private partnerships to address Maryland’s infrastructure needs.
Initial estimates by Maryland departments overseeing capital projects have found that additional utilization of public-private partnerships could contribute between six percent and ten percent, or $205 million and $315 million respectively, of Maryland’s $3.1 billion annual capital budget while creating as many as 4,000 jobs. This includes an estimated $160 million to $240 million annually that could be invested in Maryland transportation projects through public-private partnerships.
“Governor O’Malley and I are focused on creating jobs in Maryland, and increasing investment in infrastructure projects will help put Marylanders back to work while injecting dollars into the economy and laying the foundation for sustainable economic recovery and growth,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “In these difficult times, it’s critical that we explore innovative tools for funding these projects. Encouraging private investment in public infrastructure has the potential to contribute millions of dollars and create thousands of jobs throughout Maryland.”
Today’s forum, sponsored by Baltimore City Community College and the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships, provided an opportunity for approximately 200 attendees from the labor, business, transportation, construction, and other infrastructure-related communities to discuss how Maryland can better utilize public-private partnerships to maintain, improve and expand Maryland’s infrastructure.
The forum included breakout sessions moderated by experts on the use of public-private partnerships in the key infrastructure sectors of transportation, utilities, and social infrastructure such as schools and courthouses. Those serving as expert moderators included Sue Gander, Division Director Environment, Energy & Transportation Division, National Governors Association; Alina Gorokhovsky, Chief Strategy Officer, McKenna Long & Aldridge; Joung Lee, Associate Director for Finance and Business Development, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Laurie Mahon, CEO, Laurie Mahon Inc.; and Rick Norment, Executive Director, National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.
“Public-private partnerships are a useful tool for states to consider as they work to develop new models for enhancing vital infrastructure,” said Sue Gander, director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Environment, Energy & Transportation Division. “When properly designed and implemented, they can offer improved performance and risk sharing and lower lifetime costs.”
“In the current environment of limited public funds, PPPs are increasingly attractive to state and local governments for a wide range of infrastructure needs,” said Rick Norment, Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. “In part, this growth in the use of PPPs is the direct result of the positive experience seen across the country and globally.”
The forum was a continuation of Governor Martin O’Malley’s “Maryland Forward” local policy forums focused on specific policy areas that will help Maryland be a winner in the new economy, protect our neighborhoods, and create jobs.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s economic development portfolio. In his role as Chair of the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships, the Lt. Governor has held four hearings in recent weeks to evaluate the State’s framework for public-private partnerships in order to increase the potential for private investment in public infrastructure projects. Additionally, Lt. Governor Brown chairs Maryland’s FastTrack initiative – part of Maryland Made Easy (www.easy.maryland.gov) – to streamline the state permitting process for businesses and developers and serves as Chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure.