(Chicago) … The Metropolitan Planning Council commends Gov. Patrick Quinn for signing HB 1091, the Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation Act, which enables the Illinois Dept. of Transportation and Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to use public-private partnerships to finance new transportation infrastructure. The bill was successful due in great part to the leadership of sponsors Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines) and Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago).
“This law will keep Illinois economically competitive,” said MPC Vice President Peter Skosey. “The West Loop Transportation Center, a bus rapid transit network, the Elgin O’Hare Western Bypass: These projects represent just a sliver of the billions of dollars in transportation projects Illinois has put on the back burner because funds for building new infrastructure projects simply are not available. Gov. Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly deserve kudos for approving this landmark legislation, which will allow Illinois to partner with the private sector to maintain and expand its transportation network, create jobs and keep Illinois moving.”
With this enabling legislation on the books, the State of Illinois joins 30 other states, including Indiana, that already have the option of partnering with the private sector to build new infrastructure. Earlier this year, through public-private partnership (PPP) financing, the Texas Dept. of Transportation built a $2.5 billion expressway project in Fort Worth at just a $573 million cost to taxpayers, and Denver opened a transit line for $300 million less than originally projected. Both projects were top priorities for the local public that will get people where they need to go faster and create hundreds of jobs – and neither would have happened with public funds alone.
What does the PPP Act do?
The Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation Act will promote the sound development and operation of transportation facilities in Illinois, by authorizing PPPs for the construction of new transportation infrastructure projects and limiting the lease of existing infrastructure assets. PPPs are binding agreements between public and private parties that allow a private entity to assume significant duties for, and risk for, multiple elements of an infrastructure project. Authorizing PPPs will allow Illinois to seek new sources of investment capital and more efficiently deliver infrastructure enhancements, to improve our transportation system to better serve the needs of Illinois residents and businesses.
Specific provisions of the act include:
- The Illinois General Assembly must approve all potential PPP projects prior to issuing RFQs or RFPs.
- All projects considered for PPPs must be consistent with the corresponding region’s plan
- The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will conduct an independent review of all project proposals prior to final approval of a PPP to ensure it serves the public’s interest.
- Existing assets of the tollway cannot be leased for monetary gain.
- In cases where the project pertains to an existing transportation facility, the contractor will adhere to all existing employee contracts and obligations.
To learn more about PPPs, visit www.metroplanning.org/ppp.
HB 1091 supporters
American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois
Chicago Area LECET
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Construction & General Laborers’ District Council of Chicago & Vicinity
DuPage County Building & Construction Trades Council
Fox Valley Building & Construction Trades Council
Illinois State Chamber of Commerce
International Union of Operating Engineers: Local 150
Lake County Building & Construction Trades Council
Lake County Municipal Conference
Metropolitan Planning Council
Metro West Council of Government
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association
Southwest Conference of Mayors
Transportation for Illinois Coalition
United Transportation Union
West Central Municipal Conference
Will County Center for Economic Development
Will County Governmental League
Will & Grundy Building & Construction Trades Council