On March 2, the New Mexico House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 213, which would allow public agencies to enter into P3 agreements to facilitate public infrastructure and broadband projects. The public infrastructure component covers the construction or improvement of public transportation facilities or public transportation other than toll roads. The bill sets out required steps that public agencies must take before entering a P3 agreement, such as conducting a public hearing for the proposed P3 project and undertaking a cost-benefit analysis on using a P3 in comparison with traditional public partner-managed projects. The bill also creates a public-private partnership board, consisting of six senior state officials and five members of the public appointed by the New Mexico legislature to review and approve P3 projects costing over $10 million. Many of the bill’s requirements mirror those associated with obtaining federal funding under programs like the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). The bill currently sits with the New Mexico Senate Judicial Committee for further consideration.

If passed, New Mexico will join 36 other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted some type of enabling legislation to authorize and regulate P3s, with many more considering similar measures. The scope of P3 legislation varies widely among states, with some authorizing specific types of projects or granting authority to particular agencies, while others take a more broad-based approach. As P3 legislation continues to evolve, we expect states will look to expand existing legislation or to introduce new bills to cover additional sections and address emerging challenges, such as climate change and cybersecurity.

P3s offer the potential for innovative solutions to complex infrastructure challenges, particularly in the face of increasing budget constraints and a growing need for sustainable infrastructure. Troutman Pepper’s interdisciplinary team of attorneys help companies and public entities at every step of the P3 process. Please contact us if you have any questions.