On Thursday, September 15, the National Governors Association hosted a briefing on State Legal Considerations Related to Major Infrastructure Projects. The call was a joint briefing for Governors’ legal counsel and Governors’ infrastructure coordinators. The call provided an overview of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and state implementation, key legal issues related to major state/territory infrastructure projects and investments, and additional considerations for Governors undertaking infrastructure initiatives of all sizes.
Governors are responsible for investing billions of dollars into their local roads, bridges, transit, port, airport, water, sewer, and broadband systems. In addition to raising and investing local revenues, states and territories are the indispensable conduit for federal funds, including through the IIJA. With major state infrastructure projects and investments come a range of policy and legal challenges, including compliance with local/state/federal laws, navigating contracting and procurement challenges, establishing public-private partnerships, amongst others.
The briefing highlighted the critical role of project oversight following final project approval, and that the largest challenges often arise during the implementation phase of a project. The briefing also emphasized other key considerations for Governors as they continue to navigate ongoing and future projects in their states and territories. These considerations include building partnerships from the get-go, balancing diverse interests for the benefit of the project, agreeing on a shared definition of success, fostering open communication and stakeholder engagement, and the critical role of Governors’ offices in major project implementation and oversight.
For more information about NGA’s infrastructure work with states, please visit NGA’s Infrastructure Resource Page. For more information about NGA’s legal counsel network, please reach out to Lauren Dedon (Ldedon@nga.org).