Current funding levels for public infrastructure in the United States are inadequate. Existing infrastructure is crumbling due to long-deferred maintenance and new infrastructure needed by the public is not being built. Public-private partnerships (“P3s”) cannot completely bridge the wide gap between our increasing infrastructure needs and our limited public resources, but they should be part of the mix. Part I of this two-part article explores P3s and “best practices” for addressing California’s infrastructure needs through private funding. In Part I, the definition of P3s and various forms of P3s are initially examined. The focus then shifts to the enabling legislation for the use of P3s by California’s local government agencies. Part II of this article, which will appear in the next edition of the Journal, will drill down further on P3s, examining the pros and cons of developing infrastructure projects on a P3 basis, a recent P3 success story, and the “best practices” for establishing and implementing P3 programs.
Originally published in the California Public Law Journal, a quarterly publication of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California.
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