Lt. Governor Brown, Joint Committee on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships Submit Recommendations to Governor and General Assembly

 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (January 10, 2012) – Today, the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships, chaired by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, submitted to Governor Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly a series of recommendations for streamlining and enhancing the framework for establishing public-private infrastructure projects in Maryland.

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.

“Creating jobs and putting Marylanders back to work is our highest priority, and investing in infrastructure projects is one of the most effective ways to spur job creation and encourage economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Brown.  “Through well structured public-private partnerships we can increase investment in our infrastructure, ensure accountability, and create more jobs. I commend the members of the Commission for their hard work in bringing stakeholders together to develop these comprehensive recommendations.  I look forward to working with the Governor and General Assembly to encourage public-private partnerships that will strengthen Maryland’s infrastructure while retaining the State’s control of critical assets.”

The fifteen member Commission was established in 2010 under HB 1370/SB 979 to evaluate and improve the State’s framework for and oversight of public-private partnerships.  Under Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, the Commission held six public meetings, as well as a Maryland Forward policy forum attended by over 200 representatives from the labor, business, transportation, construction, and other infrastructure-related communities, in order to fulfill its responsibilities and increase the potential for private investment in public infrastructure projects.

As prescribed by law, other members of the Commission include Senator James E. DeGrange (D), District 32; Senator Richard F. Colburn (R), District 37; Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines (D), District 22; Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty (D), District 42; Nancy K. Kopp, State Treasurer; Alvin C. Collins, Secretary of General Services, Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, Secretary of Transportation; William E. Kirwan, Ph.D., Chancellor, University System of Maryland; Carolane Williams, Ph.D., President, Baltimore City Community College; David Wilson, Ed.D., President, Morgan State University; Joseph R. Urgo, Ph.D., President, St. Mary's College of Maryland; Robert C. Brennan, Executive Director, MEDCO; Michael J. Frenz, Executive Director, Maryland Stadium Authority; and Robert Brams, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP.

“Our experience with the Seagirt Marine Terminal project has demonstrated that public private partnerships can succeed in our state,” said Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley.  “These recommendations will help us build the foundation needed to broaden our scope and better utilize public private partnerships as another tool to address our infrastructure needs in the future.” 

“It has been a pleasure to work with Lt. Governor Brown and all the members of the Commission throughout these past months, and I believe the recommendations we have put forward will greatly improve the process for developing public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects in Maryland,” said Senator James E. DeGrange. “I look forward to working with the Administration and my General Assembly colleagues to put these recommendations into action.”

The recommendations made by the Commission addressed numerous issues, including the definition of a public-private partnership, the role of State financing, the use of proceeds and revenue sharing, workforce considerations, the process for legislative oversight of future public-private partnerships, and the process for identifying and evaluating potential public-private partnerships.  The Lt. Governor will lead legislative efforts during the 2012 Legislative Session to address the Commission’s recommendations. The full report from the Commission can be accessed at http://mlis.state.md.us/other/Public-PrivatePartnerships/index.htm.

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 numerous hearings, as well as a policy forum for over 200 attendees, 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.

 

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