Gov. Phil Murphy put his name to a bill yesterday that could help ease New Jersey’s budget blues by expanding public-private partnerships — aka “P3s” in Trenton-speak.
The new law opens up a broad range of public projects to private investors, without burdening taxpayers. Up until now, P3s were limited to public colleges and universities.
“It could be a local library, highway construction, transit-related, the whole raft of infrastructure,” Murphy said.
“This bill is better than the last P3 bill that we did because it’s expanded into infrastructure,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “New Jersey is going to be the lead in this country in making investments to improve our infrastructure, our universities. It’s wonderful, but there’s just so much more we can do. We were just scratching the surface.”
The state treasurer will have to sign off on any investments attached to the projects. The Economic Development Authority will have oversight. The bill is a bipartisan upgrade to a previous law, with certain projects still under a different jurisdiction, like the long-anticipated Gateway Tunnel.
“This is a big deal, not just in New Jersey, moving the needle in the P3 world. But if you compare what we’re doing today in New Jersey, I think almost to any American state, we’re opening this up wide,” Murphy said.
on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.