P3 Infrastructure Delivery: Principles for State Legislatures


Executive Summary 

Cover of NCSL report P3 Infrastructure Delivery.Since 2010, the public debate over P3s has expanded from the transportation sector into other types of government-delivered infrastructure. An increasing number of states—led by Virginia, Texas, Florida, Indiana and Pennsylvania—began entering into P3 agreements to help alleviate shortfalls in critical resources for building, maintaining and operating public infrastructure projects.

As a response to growing state legislative interest and market activity, NCSL once again sought to discuss P3 best practices and challenges.

The 2016 NCSL Foundation Partnership on Multi-Sector Public-Private Partnerships established a strategic working group comprised of state legislators, legislative staff and private-sector stakeholders. Building from the groundwork of its 2010 predecessor, this initiative was designed to explore the use of P3s for non-transportation specific infrastructure. The initiative’s goal is to provide lawmakers and public stakeholders with the expertise and assistance needed to create and implement sound P3 policy.

This policy brief is designed as a supplement to existing National Conference of State Legislatures resources on public-private partnerships (P3s). Informed heavily by the NCSL Foundation Partnership on Multi-Sector Public-Private Partnerships, this report attempts to connect concepts from the NCSL P3 Toolkit with real-world examples and developments in P3 enabling statutes.

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Portions of the content within were originally published in the NCSL report, Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for Legislators (2010) and NCSL’s online document, Building Up: How States Utilize Public-Private Partnerships for Social & Vertical Infrastructure (2016).

Report cover for NCSl transportation report.


In 2010, NCSL released the P3 Toolkit for Legislators. This report was the final product of the NCSL Foundation’s P3 Partners Project, a multi-year initiative partnering state lawmakers with private sector stakeholders to examine P3s and the policy options available to states, with .

The P3 Partners Project was in response to increased awareness in Congress to the use of P3s and the desire to ensure protection of the public interest in such agreements.

To contribute a balanced, informed perspective that also would help protect states’ ability to use P3s as appropriate, NCSL formed a working group of state legislators, legislative staff and representatives of private sector entities to assemble reliable information and identify effective tools for considering P3s in the context of overall transportation funding decisions.

The key focus of NCSL’s P3 Toolkit is the formulation of nine principles to help state legislators as they consider and perhaps adopt a procurement and financing approach involving P3s. Roles and responsibilities of various policy actors—legislative branch, executive branch, private sector—also are described. The Toolkit’s emphasis is on surface transportation projects.


NCSL would like to thank the many people who assisted in the development and production of this report. A product of the NCSL Foundation Partnership for Multi-Sector Public-Private Partnerships (also known as the NCSL P3 Steering Committee), this document was informed by the meetings and discussions of the NCSL P3 Steering Committee.

NCSL greatly appreciates the support from the legislators who contributed to this project, the private-sector sponsors and the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures. This effort would not have been possible without your support, expertise and participation.

Steering Committee Co-Chairs

  • Representative Ed Soliday (R), Indiana
  • Senator D. Scott Dibble (DFL), Minnesota

Legislative Members

  • Representative Ryan Yamane (D), Hawaii
  • Representative Andrew McLean (D), Maine
  • Senator J. Stuart Adams (R), Utah
  • Representative Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert (R), New Mexico
  • Senator Max Wise (R), Kentucky
  • Representative John Raney (R), Texas
  • Eric Bugaile, Pennsylvania

Private-Sector Partner Members

  • Anne Law, American Institute of Architects
  • Aaron Castelo, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Cindy Willhite, Corvias Group
  • Richard Thomas, Design-Build Institute of America
  • Jay Lindgren and Lynnette Slater, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
  • Jeff Soth, The International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Jean Cantrell, Philips
  • Leonard Gilroy, The Reason Foundation
  • Christian Deschauer and Isabelle Beegle-Levin, Transurban
  • Deborah Brown, WSP

NCSL would also like to acknowledge Jaime Rall, James B. Reed and Nicholas J. Farber, the original authors of the NCSL "Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for Legislatures."

NCSL P3 Resources