Eager to get its share of the billions of dollars looking for infrastructure investments in the United States, Florida is set to be the next state to enact new public-private partnership legislation. Florida House bill 85 authorizes expanded opportunities for public-private partnerships to develop projects that have traditionally been public-sector only.

After clearing the Florida House by a wide margin, HB 85 received unanimous approval from the Florida Senate. This leaves the matter to Governor Scott, who has already voiced his support for the measure. Unless Scott vetoes the bill, it will become effective on July 1, 2013.

HB 85 promotes the private construction, financing, and/or operation of green or brown field projects that satisfy traditionally public sector obligations. The bill establishes procedures for those developments by the state and authorizes counties to use public-private partnerships to develop county assets. This latter aspect is a force-multiplier for the State, by vastly expanding the number and nature of viable projects that can be undertaken.

Those familiar with Florida's key infrastructure needs believe that HB 85 could be a boost for those interested in the further development of the I-4 corridor (linking Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach) and even offer a break-through in the discussions about a the renovation to Sun Life Stadium.