FRANKFORT – The recent passage of state Rep. Leslie Combs’ legislation authorizing public-private partnerships (P3) in Kentucky continues to draw national and international attention.
Several weeks after the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) named her to a steering committee that will promote the economic-development tool across the country, several other organizations have invited her to speak at their conferences throughout the summer.
“The P3 concept has been with us for quite some time, but we’re at the start of what I think is a new era that will make it an even more viable in the future,” said Rep. Combs of Pikeville. “Kentucky’s new law is a model in that regard, because it promotes transparency and accountability while maximizing taxpayer dollars and creating jobs. At the same time, my bill also addresses concerns some had, making it stronger as a result. I think it could be implemented in any state, which is why it’s drawing such wide attention.”
Under the new P3 law, the state and local governments will have a framework that will make it easier for them to partner with the private sector to carry out a public project or service. It could be used to build billion-dollar highway projects or to manage such things as a utility.
Rep. Combs began highlighting her legislation late last month, as part of an NCSL-sponsored web broadcast.
At the first of June, she will travel to Minnesota for the P3 Hub Midwest Conference and for the NCSL’s steering committee’s inaugural meeting, the first of several scheduled over the next year. Those include NCSL’s annual conference, which will be held in Chicago in August.
Between those meetings, she will also be taking part in the annual InfraAmericas’ US P3 Infrastructure Forum, which began a decade ago and now draws more than 500 people from government, investment firms and private-development companies around the world. Kentucky will be one of eight states highlighted at this year’s conference, which will be in New York City during mid-June.
During that same time, also in New York City, she will also appear before the board of the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) as part of its annual membership meeting.
In July, she will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s annual P3 conference. She will be part of a national panel with legislators from other states, a role she also played last year.
“There isn’t another law we have passed in recent years that is drawing as much attention outside of the commonwealth as this one,” she said. “That’s a good thing, and I’m proud I can highlight its progress and what we hope can be done with it. Kentucky is poised to be a national P3 leader for many years to come.”