Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Public-private partnerships bill in peril in Kentucky Senate

Concerns about tolls on a proposed Ohio River bridge in northern Kentucky are threatening to once again derail legislation that would let the state partner with private developers on transportation projects.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said Monday the public-private partnerships bill is in trouble in the Republican-led Senate. The measure passed the Democratic-run House last month.

Thayer says one problem for the bill is the lack of sufficient protection from tolling as part of the proposed Brent Spence Bridge project. The proposed new span would connect northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

Anti-tolling language was attached to last year's public-private partnerships bill. That prompted a veto by Gov. Steve Beshear, who is a strong advocate for the partnerships.

Beshear said Monday he's trying to help jump-start the bill in the Senate.