February 11, 2015

New Public Private Partnership Infrastructure Bonds Proposed

By Zak Tomlinson

The Obama administration recently proposed the creation of a new class of public-private partnership (“PPP”) bonds (so-called “Qualified Public Intrastructure Bonds”,  or “QPIBs”).  The program is intended to extend the traditional municipal bond program, and spur private investment in a select group of infrastructure projects, including airports, mass commuting facilities, water and sewer facilities and highway projects.

We note that Washington state has a statute authorizing the use of PPP on select transportation projects, found at RCW 47.29.  Despite this authority, the State has made limited use of PPP, and it is unclear whether this new QPIB funding mechanism (which would require legislative approval on the federal level) would spur additional PPP development.