Public Private Partnerships

After several failed attempts in previous years, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed AB 2 (Alejo) on September 22, 2015. (Stats. 2015, ch. 319.) AB 2 authorizes a new structure for tax increment financing—the planning and financing tool that redevelopment agencies (RDAs) had used to support revitalization projects until 2012, when California dissolved the sixty-year-long operation of RDAs.
Continue Reading Redevelopment Strikes Back

This article is part three of a series of three articles by the author regarding public-private partnerships.

By Edward B. Lozowicki 

In the United States, public contracts are generally subject to the competitive bidding process as a matter of public policy. This is considered the best way to serve the public interest, if for no other reason than to save the taxpayer money by securing construction services at the lowest possible cost. With the growth of P3s, however, local governments are more likely to apply alternative approaches for procurement, which in turn face criticism, and challenges in court.  


Continue Reading Public-Private Partnerships: P3s and Competitive Bidding Laws (Part III)

This article is part two of a series of three articles by the author regarding public-private partnerships.

By Edward B. Lozowicki 

The advent of public-private partnership agreements in turn gives rise to potential conflict with other statutes regulating procurement of public works projects. For example, is the P3 infrastructure project a "public work," and are "public funds" used to fund the project? If the answer to one or both of these questions is yes, then the private entity may incur liability if the design, construction and/or operation of the project would result in the violation of any local regulations pertaining to public works. For example, a "public work" could be subject to state prevailing wage laws, whereas a privately funded work would not.[1] Thus, the definition of "public work" and "public funds" as applied to P3s may lead to litigation if not addressed up front.


Continue Reading Public-Private Partnerships: Potential Conflicts With Prevailing Wage Laws (Part II)

This article is part one of a series of three articles by the author regarding public-private partnerships.

By Edward B. Lozowicki

At an increasing rate, state and local governments are considering public-private partnerships, or "P3s," to finance, design and build public infrastructure projects. A P3 refers to a contractual agreement between a public agency and a private entity, whereby the private entity provides the financing, design, development, construction, operation, and/or maintenance of a public infrastructure project. It could be said that the trend in the U.S. toward P3 financing structures began in 1989, when California enacted Assembly Bill 680, authorizing P3s for several transportation projects and leading to the construction of two toll roads in Southern California. Today more than half the states have P3-enabling legislation, and P3s are being considered for an increasing number of projects. Canada has likewise seen the growth of P3s in recent years, with 27 such projects reaching financial closing between 2004 and 2007. Indeed, Canada now has a federal P3 office, and P3 agencies in Quebec, Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.


Continue Reading Public-Private Partnerships: A Growing Trend (Part I)