The 2003 Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 772 to establish the Oregon Innovative Partnerships Program within the Oregon Department of Transportation. SB 772 gives ODOT broad authority to enter into contractual relationships in the form of partnerships with private sector firms and units of government. This legislation removes barriers to formation of public-private partnerships for Oregon transportation projects and provides numerous tools to encourage partnerships formation.
Oregon has traditionally relied on taxes, fees and federal grants to fund transportation projects, but these sources are no longer meeting infrastructure needs. The Oregon Transportation Commission in 2002 appointed the Innovative Finance Advisory Committee to study the issue. The committee presented the Public-Private Partnerships for Oregon Transportation Projects to the 72nd Legislative Assembly of the Oregon State Legislature in February 2003.
The committee recommended that the 2003 Oregon Legislature act boldly to encourage the private sector to work as a partner with the public sector to bring innovative solutions to desperately needed transportation projects in Oregon.