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More states privatizing their infrastructure. Are they making a mistake?

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Say you're a state politician. Your local roads, bridges, and transit systems are all in dire need of upgrades. But there's not much money left. Budgets are crunched. No one wants to raise taxes. And Congress is throttling back on transportation funding. So what's left? Privatization, of course.

Maryland is the latest state looking to join the fray. At the moment, its legislature is mulling a bill that would encourage the government to seek out private companies to build, operate, and maintain the state's roads, bridges, and public buildings. Virginia adopted this approach nearly a decade ago. And a growing number of states -- from California to Florida -- have been bringing in private capital to bankroll their transportation needs. But is privatizing infrastructure really such a good idea?

There are two main ways for a state to bring in private money for transportation...

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