Senate Transportation Committee Passes Innovative Infrastructure Development Act

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

June 5, 2012

Legislation Would Help New York State Create Jobs, Promote Economic Development and Repair Transportation Infrastructure Through Public-Private Partnerships

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, today announced that the Committee has approved legislation to better enable New York State to utilize public-private partnerships to create jobs, promote economic development, and address its transportation infrastructure crisis.

     The Innovative Infrastructure Development Act (S5445, Senator Fuschillo) would give the DOT, New York State Bridge Authority, and New York State Thruway Authority greater flexibility to enter into public-private partnership (P3) agreements to finance and deliver transportation infrastructure projects.

     “Governments throughout the world are utilizing public-private partnerships to improve their infrastructure. With New York State facing its own infrastructure crisis, which current funding sources alone cannot solve, it’s critical that we have the flexibility to utilize public-private partnerships. P3s could help get project moving, create jobs, and generate economic development, all of which are greatly needed. I’m pleased that the Committee has approved this legislation,” said Senator Fuschillo.

     Public-private partnerships enable governments and the private sector to partner in the design, construction, financing, and delivery of transportation projects. Given the private sector’s vested financial interest in completing projects on time and under-budget, P3s often perform more efficiently than their counterparts.

     P3s would enable New York State to take advantage of private sector capital and creativity, helping to generate economic development, reduce the risk and financial burden to the State, and stretch current funding farther to get more projects off the ground. Transportation infrastructure projects are also proven job creation tools; the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 25,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion spent on transportation infrastructure projects.

     Additionally, the committee also approved legislation which would:

     • Prohibit the use of dashboard computers in a motor vehicle (S1000, Senator Marcellino);

     • Reduce congestion on roadways by requiring drivers involved in accidents to move their vehicles out of the travel lane to a safe location on the roadside if the vehicle is operable and can be moved safely. The law would not apply if the accident involves injury or death (S1350, Senator Dilan);

     • Enable the Department of Motor Vehicles to interface with the New York State Police Information Network, so that individuals engaging in DMV transactions can be checked for open criminal warrants (S4787, Senator McDonald);

     • Allow veterans to request that their driver’s licenses denote that they are a “US Veteran” (S6453, Senator Johnson);

     • Require drivers’ whose learner’s permit or junior license is suspended or revoked to complete a defensive driving course before their license or permit can be reinstated. The course would not count towards a point reduction or insurance premium reduction (S7518, Senator Fuschillo).