Indiana on Course to Build on Gov. Daniels' P3 Legacy
Nossaman Partner Corey Boock was quoted in the InfraAmericas article "Indiana on course to build on Gov. Daniels' P3 legacy" about Indiana's push to continue P3 projects despite the departure of P3 advocate and former governor, Mitch Daniels. The article notes that P3s have probably had no greater champion in the US than Daniels. Indiana is being closely watched by many in the P3 industry to see if new governor, Mike Pence, will continue Daniels' P3 legacy.
Mr. Boock is quoted as saying that Daniels' advocacy and support of P3s was a hallmark of the state's program. While other states might have a P3 advocate in their transportation or treasury departments, Mr. Boock said that it was clear in Indiana that support from the highest level of government, particularly Daniels and his office, was carrying the banner for P3s. By contrast, Mr. Boock noted that this is a major difference from many other states, where the philosophy is frequently "if a P3 happens, great, but it is otherwise not a priority for us."
Mr. Boock remarked that although it is early, one indicator that Indiana will continue with its robust P3 program, is that key personnel involved in the successful program and the East End Crossing project are staying on in Governor Pence's administration.
The article points out that transportation departments in other states may assign less experienced personnel to direct their P3 programs. Mr. Boock is quoted as saying that Indiana's team "has the resources, has core experience doing big projects, and is capable of making tough and timely decisions."
One Indiana project that has encountered some criticism is the 75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road (ITR). The article notes that it has not initially worked out as its private operators envisioned. However, Mr. Boock remarked that the reported problems should not be ammunition for P3 critics, as the lease has protected the public interest. He continued, saying it has allowed the state to invest proceeds from the upfront payment "in the financing of a lot of infrastructure that might not otherwise have been developed."
The article notes that sources report INDOT will continue to search for projects that can be procured as P3s. While saying that any legislation "can use some tweaks," Mr. Boock said that Indiana's P3 law did not slow down or have any adverse impacts on the East End Crossing P3, and characterized Indiana's P3 statutes as "fairly flexible" and "good."