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 posted 5.23.18 Back room Deals on K-12 P3's

The General Assembly has returned to Raleigh and is intent on wrapping up their short session in a hurry. The annual budget tweaking process has been condensed into a sprint that will wrap up within the next couple of days. Legislators will not be holding any public hearings on the bill and will insert non-budget related matters into the special provisions section of the measure.

We have learned that the Senate is proposing to insert a special provision that establishes a brand new statute to allow for capital leasing of privately developed K-12 public schools. If this sounds familiar, it is. There have been a number of bills in the past few years dealing with this issue, but most have not survived to get passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Last year AIA and AGC were involved in a negotiated effort to put this issue to rest and allow for adoption of K-12 P3s that meet the standards of good government, transparency and legitimate competition. HB 600 was the vehicle that was used and the bill was passed from the House, but the Senate decided not to take it up. This measure is still alive for passage during this current short session, but proponents of K-12 P3s have chosen to skirt this negotiated process and instead use a process that no one from the public will see.

Last year for our Legislative Day we produced a briefing paper on this very issue. It is still relevant today and the message of transparency and open competition is what's at stake with the language being included in the budget compromise. From what we have been able to see, the budget amendment will create a new law that allows for privately built public K-12 school leasing without any mechanism for a public procurement process. This would allow for sole source contracts that can be negotiated in back rooms without any public process.

There are two ways we are attempting to fix this, 1) pass HB 600 as is, or 2) require this new idea in the budget to follow the rules for P3 procurement in G.S. 143-128 passed in 2013.

 


  posted 5.1.18 Legislative Day


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