Yesterday I mentioned the idea -- voiced by Dan Borut at the National League of Cities, but supported by several others -- that the era of large-scale sell-offs of public assets, like roadways, might be over. Borut said he thought it was "highly unlikely" that we'd see any more sell-offs along the lines of the Chicago Skyway.
Today, Scott Pattison, the executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, voiced a different opinion. "The question is whether you're going to see these really explode...and I think there's a real possibility they will."
Pattison was quick to point out that he doesn't think the current economic climate would support such massive deals. "The market has really died down for that recently, both in the willingness of governments to get into them and in the availability of private capital."
But once the downturn is over, Pattison said it's very possible these large-scale public-private partnerships could return. "I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see a lot of interest in this as states start to recover over the next three to five years and beyond," he said.