It was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis who wrote that U.S. states serve as “laboratories of democracy” where new approaches to public policy are debated, adopted and tested. It turns out that states also serve as laboratories for formulating the best ways to employ public-private partnership (P3) transactions. In a country of tinkerers, inventors and dreamers, the prospect of building a better P3 model is leading to innovation but also frustration, and anyone entering the market needs to understand this dynamic.
John Schmidt, a partner with Mayer Brown LLP and a leading national voice on P3 infrastructure investment, says that active infrastructure investors, especially those from countries with more developed P3 markets, now know that approaching infrastructure opportunities in the United States as one market is a fundamental mistake. “[The market for P3 deals in] California is completely different from Florida or Texas,” Schmidt says. “Infrastructure is