Maryland PPP bill goes through

Following an oft-heated legislative session, the Maryland Senate passed a measure to help promote privatisation. The vote in favour was 26 to 20.

Maryland still might not have a solution to its budget. But it does now have a public-private partnership (PPP) law.

A contentious end to the legislative session did not deter the passing of a bill championed by Governor Martin O’Malley that would in effect foster PPPs for big-ticket infrastructure projects.

But the newly created PPP law came with a steep cost.

By the time midnight had approached, and the legislative session adjourned, the Old Line State had still failed to reach a consensus on how to pass a revenue plan.

Without a revamped budget, Maryland will in all likelihood be unable to stave off a potential $100 million budget reduction.

O’Malley, a Democrat, expressed his frustration on Tuesday, while the Democrat-controlled Senate is said to be urging O’Malley to convene a special session.

But a 26 to 20 vote approved a PPP bill that O’Malley had worked to establish. O’Malley in 2010 set up a PPP committee to explore privatisation. The group is led by Anthony Brown, who has stressed that a PPP programme would target job creation.

Meanwhile, State Transportation Secretary Beverly Swaim Staley pointed to the Seagirt Marine Terminal as a promising example of a well-executed PPP.

The Seagirt Marine Terminal project in Baltimore, led by Highstar Capital, was awarded the title of North American Infrastructure Deal of the Year in 2010 by Infrastructure Investor