Governor Vetoes Transportation Bill

On June 4 Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed SB 14-197 “Transportation Enterprise Transparency Act” and signed an Executive Order that will improve transparency, accountability and openness relating to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) High-performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE). “We firmly believe that government should always strive to be transparent and accountable,” Gov. Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to the Colorado Senate. “We support SB 14-197’s provisions that improve transparency, accountability, and openness in public-private partnerships. … Unfortunately, SB 14-197 is not just a transparency bill — it also inappropriately constrains the business terms of future P3 (public private partnership) agreements.”

“In committee, private sector representatives warned that the bill’s rushed process and lack of business community input could result in unintended consequences,” the governor’s letter says. “Those worries were shared by city and county officials concerned about limiting future P3s. We share those concerns. With legislation of this complexity, it is critical that all stakeholders and partners be actively engaged in a robust and thorough process to ensure good outcomes and good law; we fear that was not the case with SB 14-197.”

The order also calls for discussions between the Governor’s Office and General Assembly members to create a “Center of Excellence,” which would establish P3 best practices, including programs for ensuring transparency and openness. “This will help all of us be more deliberate about P3s moving forward, without sacrificing opportunities for economic development and investment,” the governor’s order says.

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