The Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy seeks to actively address the economic policy, financial, demographic and other dimensions of public infrastructure development in California.
The Institute's purpose is the identification, research and dissemination of the most imaginative infrastructure strategies for the range of infrastructure challenges facing California as we enter the 21st century. Specifically:
We undertake research, outreach and educational activities to further understanding and awareness of infrastructure challenges.
We assist with policy prescriptions for public infrastructure development.
We compile, evaluate and disseminate data and research pertaining to California Infrastructure trends, mechanisms and implications for investment spending.
The Institute will focus on topics of transportation, water, power, environment and related municipal public works projects in the first years of operation and may be expanded at the discretion of the Institute's leadership.
Professor Lisa Schweitzer of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and a good friend of the Keston Institute, recently analyzed the equity of transportation user fees in "The Empirical Research on the Social Equity of Gas Taxes, Emissions Fees, and Congestion Charges."
This paper, commissioned by the Transportation Research Board, is available at: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/sr/sr303Schweitzer.pdf.
Professor Schweitzer may be reached for questions or comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Infrastructure is interconnected, interdependent, and complex"
Source: J. Peerenboom, R. Fisher, and R. Whitfield, 2001. “Recovering from Disruptions of Interdependent Critical Infrastructures” Presentation to the workshop on Mitigating the Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructure to Catastrophic Failures, September 10-11, 2001. World Institute on Disaster Risk Management, Alexandria, Va., 2001.
Tuesay, April 7, 2009
On March 24, the State of California sold $6.5 billion of general obligation (GO) bonds. This was the State’s first GO sale in more than nine months. Although the State usually sells GO bonds five to six times a year, budget problems and the delay in addressing them had kept the State out of the market. The enactment of the February 20 budget set the stage for the new bond issue, but the budget and the bond sale do not entirely resolve the circumstances that have created cash pressures on the State and forced the suspension of spending on thousands of capital projects.
Monday, January 26, 2009
In a report commissioned by America 2050, a national initiative to meet the infrastructure, economic development, and environmental challenges the nation will face by the year 2050, Keston Institute director Richard Little has proposed a novel approach to funding a comprehensive reinvestment in the infrastructure of the United States. The core idea of the proposal is to utilize a combination of public and institutional pension funds and individual retirement accounts together with Social Security Trust Funds, to provide equity and debt shares to fund public works projects.
More information about America 2050 may be found at: http://www.america2050.org
Schwarzenegger Asks Obama for Public Works Investment: KQED Radio News | KQED Public Media for Northern CA Guests: Richard Little, director of the Keston Institute for Public Finance at the University of Southern California http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R812021730
Negotiating and Implementing Private Participation in Infrastructure: What the U.S. Can Learn from the World Bank
Where is infrastructure in the United States headed?
With the Minnesota bridge collapse and other recent
infrastructure failures, the topic has been on the minds
of many Americans.
In this Podcast, we address this issue by taking a closer look at Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Dr. Richard Little, Editor of Public Works Management & Policy sits down with former treasurer of California, Kathleen Brown, to discuss her commentary on PPPs in Volume 12, Issue 1. Plus, an alternate view from Dr. John C. Morris of Old Dominion University in Virginia.
On Thursday, November 10, 2011, the Keston Institute co-sponsored
"Powering California: Assessing California's Energy Future" held at the USC Radisson Hotel.
Powering California Experts: (l to r)
The following are some of experts who served as faculty at the forum:
* Dr. Craig Smith, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
* Dr. Joe Nation, Stanford University and Former California State Legislator,
* Richard Little, Keston Institute (USC),
* Dr. Timothy Considine, University of Wyoming
* Dr. Nate Lewis, California Institute of Technology
Asset Monetization: Fad or the Future of Infrastructure?
WHEN: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 4:00 – 7:00 pm
WHERE: USC Radisson Midtown, 3540 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA
Hosted by: The Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy and Marsh
The International Project Finance Association (IPFA) is delighted to inform members of our latest meeting for Los Angeles, entitled: "Asset Monetization: Fad or the Future of Infrastructure?" As state and local governments struggle with falling tax revenues and budget shortfalls, they are looking to offset the costs of public assets. In exchange for a lump sum up-front payment to government, a private entity will take over the
operation of a revenue producing public asset, such as parking, toll roads, and water utilities. The private entity will collect revenues, operate and maintain the asset, and turn it back to the public sector at the end of the concession period (>25 years). The proceeds can be used to pay for infrastructure or offset other budget demands. A panel will examine recent examples from California and around the country and discuss the future of asset monetization in the US.
A networking reception hosted by Marsh will follow.
"What California Needs to Do to
Fix the Transportation System"
This meeting was organized by the USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy and the LAEDC Infrastructure Committee. Support of our sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Center Ballroom, Radisson Hotel
3540 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA
California’s transportation needs are so great that there has been little discernable progress in meeting them, either year-over-year or decade-over-decade. Rather than focusing on just a few critical priorities, the State spreads too few resources over too many programs with the result that new capacity is long-delayed if provided at all and the physical condition of California’s highways and bridges grows worse every year because of chronic underfunding of maintenance and repair. This untenable situation can and must be reversed.
The USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation invite you to join us as national and statewide experts discuss immediate actions the Brown Administration could take to leverage available revenues and support California’s Self Help counties to aggressively reverse the decline of California’s transportation system.
On September 30, 2010, the Keston Institute co-sponsored “The Forum on Funding and Financing Solutions for Surface Transportation in the Coming Decade” in Washington, DC with the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance and other partners. The conference report is intended to inform on-going Congressional deliberations on the next surface transportation reauthorization bill and illustrates that there is no shortage of options for supporting transportation investment. The report can serve as a reference platform for the national policy discussions on transportation funding and finance and help point the way towards realistic and implementable solutions.
The issues: Pricing and user charges for things like carbon and gasoline offer an effective means to achieve short-term gains in climate policy, air quality, congestion relief, and agency budgetary ills. At the same time, pricing and user charges also can cut low-income families out of publicly provided services.
But the jury is out—or it should be—on whether underpricing public services really benefits low-income families. Some public infrastructure and services, like roads and water, have significant external costs (like pollution or overconsumpution) that can also hurt low-income communities in the long term. If we fail to “pay as we go” with infrastructure, spending on infrastructure can also displace public funding needed for other services to low-income families, such as public schools. Finally, charging low prices to every user, not just the poor, limits the revenues to public agencies so that service quality can suffer. Those in poverty may be far less able to supplement lower-quality public services with private purchases the way higher income families can.
Welcome and introductory comments Richard Little, Director, USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and infrastructure Policy
November 4, 2009 The 2006 Infrastructure Bonds: Assessing Performance & Progress
On November 7, 2006 California voters approved over $42 Billion in General Obligation Bonds to fund transportation, flood control, school construction, housing, and water supply protection. During the ensuing three years, projects have been identified and prioritized, funds have been allocated, bonds have been sold, and some projects are under contract. This fourth forum in the series will bring together representatives of major program agencies to discuss how the bonds are being used and the impact of the current financial situation on debt-funded capital construction.
With an introductory speech by Michael Keston, the discussion of on-going work on the infrastructure bond program was continued by John Decker, Executive Director of the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission, Bimla Rhinehart, Executive Director of California Transportation Commission, Ron Gastelum,
Former General Manager, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Lynn Jacobs, Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and Carole D’Elia, Deputy Executive Director of the Little Hoover Commission. The Forum was moderated by Nicole Bullock of the Financial Times.
Pictured: Michael Keston, John Decker, Bimla Rhinehart
Carole D'elia, Ron Gastelum, Lynn Jacobs, Nicole Bullock
The 2006 Infrastructure Bonds: Assessing Performance & Progress
8:30AM - 12:00PM
The Board Room of USC's Davidson Center
FREE with RSVP
On November 7, 2006 California voters approved over $42 Billion in General Obligation Bonds to fund transportation, flood control, school construction, housing, and water supply protection. During the ensuing two years,projects have been identified and prioritized, funds have been allocated, bonds have been sold, and some projects are under contract. This forum will bring together representatives of major program agencies to discuss how the bonds are being used and the impact of the current financial situation on debt-funded capital construction.
Deputy State Treasurer Paul Rosenstiel will be joined by John Barna, Executive Director of California Transportation Commission; Lynn Jacobs, Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development; and Sue Sims, Chief Deputy Director of California Department of Water Resources as they discuss on-going work on the infrastructure bond program. Carole D’Elia, Deputy Executive Director of the Little Hoover Commission will discuss the Commission’s efforts to assess whether on-going oversight of the bond program is adequate and whether additional opportunities exist to improve oversight.
Lessons Learned from Public Private Partnerships for Infrastructure
A one day workshop, held at USC's Davidson Center, to examine Public Private Partnerships for infrastructure as a means of informing the structure of future case study research and process improvement.