Colorado Legislative Council Staff



No State General Fund Impact

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 98-104

Rep. Pankey

Sen. Mutzebaugh


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

February 3, 1998

House Transportation

Scott Nachtrieb (866-4752)



Summary of Legislation


FY 1998/99

FY 1999/2000

State Revenues

General Fund

Other Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund

State Highway Fund

Potential Risk to State Assets

FTE Position Change



Local Government Impact — Local participation in public-private agreements for road and bridge construction

            The bill would require the Board of the Public Employees' Retirement Association, the Administrator of a Deferred Compensation Plan, the Board of Directors of the Fire and Police Pension Association, the Board of Trustees of the Old Hire Firefighters' Pension Fund, the Board of Trustees of the Volunteer Firefighter Pension Fund, the Board of Directors of a Cooperative Electric Association, and a Railroad Corporation to consider investing in certain transportation system projects and public-private initiatives for such projects. The board may give preference to investments if consistent with sound investment policy.

            The Public Utilities Commission may approve a petition from a public utility that proposes an investment in certain transportation system projects and public-private initiatives if the commission determines that such investments are consistent with the public interest or if it is not otherwise inconsistent with the statutory provisions related to public utility securities.

            The Board of County Commissioners would be allowed to enter public-private initiatives, contracts, or agreements for county highways and bridges to privatize such highways and bridges, or to charge a toll therefor. County boards would be allowed to charge a toll for any county highway or bridge for the purpose of constructing, operating, or maintaining such bridge or highway.

            The Department of Transportation (DOT) would be able to engage in a public-private initiative agreement so that a private entity may pledge a transportation system project or the right-of-way involved in the transportation system project if such a pledge is in the public interest. The DOT would be able to transfer ownership of a transportation system project or the right-of-way involved if the department determines that such a transfer is in the public interest. The bill would become effective upon voter approval of a HCR 98-1005 at the 1998 General Election.

Department of Transportation Impact

            This bill would expand the entities that may invest money into public-private transportation initiatives with the Department of Transportation. The pool of pension fund money this bill would make available for this purpose may be quite large. However, the amount of money that a pension fund may invest under sound investment strategies in public-private transportation initiatives has not been determined.

            Upon approval of HCR 1005 at the 1998 General Election, the bill would allow the state to pledge state funded or purchased transportation projects or right-of-way to be used for financing of construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation projects. The number of state projects that would be pledged and the amount of funding that would be involved has not been estimated. However, allowing the Department of Transportation to pledge property would increase the amount of private funds invested in transportation projects. The amount of increased private funding for transportation projects has not been estimated. The more privately financed projects that are undertaken would shorten the number of state funded transportation projects that need to be built. This would mean State Highway Funds would be available for other projects.

            The Attorney General’s Office has indicated that pledging state assets for the financing of transportation projects may place state assets at risk. Pledging state property or right-of-way for the purpose of financing a transportation projects would place the property or right-of-way at risk should the private entity fail to repay the financing backed by the state asset. The number of times this may happen has not been estimated.

Local Government Impact

            The bill also would allow a county’s Board of County Commissioners to enter into public private initiatives for county highways and bridges. The Commissioners would be authorized to enter agreements to privatize any county highway or bridge for constructing the highway or bridge. This may increase the amount of private investment in county roads and bridges and allow more county roads and bridges to be built.

Spending Authority

            This fiscal note implies no additional spending authority would be required for FY 1997-98 to implement this bill.

Departments Contacted