Maryland OKs bill for public-private partnerships

      ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to better facilitate public-private partnerships in Maryland has cleared the General Assembly.

      The bill, which received final approval on Monday, was proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration.

      The legislation creates a streamlined process for the private sector to take part in building public roads or buildings, so participants would have a better understanding of what to expect.

      Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says the measure will enhance private-sector investment in the state.

      Maryland already has a public-private partnership at the Port of Baltimore. The state also has one to operate travel plazas along Interstate 95.

      State estimates have projected additional public-private partnerships could contribute up to 6 to 10 percent of Maryland's $3.1 billion annual capital budget and create as many as 4,000 new jobs.