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New Mexico Begins Study of P3s

Friday, September 06, 2013  

AIA state counsel attended the recent meeting of the New Mexico Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee. This is an interim study committee that is looking at the State’s infrastructure needs and sources of funding for them. At the August 28 meeting, the only item on the agenda was a presentation from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) on the NCSL’s Private-Public Partnerships (P3) Toolkit, available at http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/transport/public-private-partnerships-for-transportation.aspx. The NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves state legislators and staffs by providing research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the key state public policy issues. The NCSL Toolkit does not include any information about bonding P3s, and AIA’s state counsel reports that bonding was not discussed at this meeting.

At least one member of the Subcommittee was very supportive of the P3 concept. Questions and comments from other members, including the Chair, were more skeptical of this approach. In particular, concerns were raised regarding whether the Department of Transportation staff could negotiate with private investors to sufficiently protect the State’s interest. At the meeting, it was reported that the Governor was consider the P3 option for the 2014 legislative session but had not yet developed a position on P3s. The DOT was asked to provide an example comparing a PPP to traditional project delivery for the next meeting of the Subcommittee, which is on September 10. One of the items on the upcoming agenda is P3s—ideas for state legislative action. The local AGC is confirmed as a speaker and Kiewit Infrastructure Company has been invited to address the subcommittee on P3s.


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