CBIA recently testified in favor of two bills designed to expand the duty and authority of the state Department of Transportation and the Connecticut Port Authority.

SB 292 amends current public-private partnership laws to enhance the DOT's ability to use these agreements for design, development, finance, construction, operation, or maintenance.

It also expands the definition of a project for the purposes of a public-private partnership to include any education facility, building that meets public purpose, improvements to enhance public safety, utility and telecommunications, technology infrastructure, a recreational facility, state-owned real estate, or a solid-waste management facility.

CBIA's John Blair testified March 4 before the Transportation Committee in favor of SB 292, saying public-private partnerships are needed to spur economic development in Connecticut.

"Allowing government to partner with the private sector is necessary," Blair said.

"Government is not always in a position to take on projects of this large scale. The ability to tap into private partnerships allows government to complete projects that otherwise would not happen."

Port Authority Role Expansion

Blair also testified in favor of HB 5309, which expands the role of the Connecticut Port Authority, a quasi-public agency created in 2014 that markets and coordinates development of the state's ports and maritime economy.

Specifically, the authority coordinates port development with a focus on private and public investments, pursues funding for dredging and infrastructure improvements, and maintains the navigability of ports and harbors.

The authority also works with state, local, and private entities to maximize the economic potential of the ports and harbors, support and enhance the development of maritime commerce and industries, coordinate maritime policy, and advise the governor.

The ability to tap into private partnerships allows government to complete projects that otherwise would not happen.
HB 5309 allows the authority to:

  • Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary to conduct business
  • Enter into joint ventures, invest in and participate with any person or entity
  • Receive and accept from any source, aid, or contributions, including money, property labor, and other things of value
  • Award grants and subsidies, make loans, and provide other forms of financial assistance
  • Charge reasonable fees for its services

"CBIA supports these newly expanded duties and powers granted to the authority as they will enhance its ability to develop the state’s ports and maritime economy," Blair said.

"The authority plays a vital role in economic development in Connecticut and the region."

For more information, contact CBIA's John Blair (860.280.4059).