Road bill transparency bill reintroduced in legislature, faces opposition

From The Denver Post:  A bill that calls for more public oversight of public-private road deals is being introduced after a similar measure was vetoed by Gov. John Hickenlooper last year.

State Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, is once again the sponsor, and he says this latest version — Senate Bill 172 — is missing the parts that Hickenlooper and several business groups found objectionable. That included legislative approval of contract terms of more than 35 years. “I removed the part of the bill cited in the veto,” Jones said. “Now everyone can get on board and we can make it law.”

Besides the veto, Hickenlooper issued an executive order to “improve transparency, accountability and openness” relating to the Colorado Department of Transportation High-Performance Transportation Enterprise, which oversees public-private partnerships for the state.

Jones says his bill would strengthen the executive order by ensuring that the public will see all terms of the agreement after a public-private partnership contract is signed.

Jones’ measure also requires CDOT to consider public suggestions and ideas at public meetings and provide public notice of any changes in the status of a high-occupancy vehicle lane.

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