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Introduced Version House Bill 2027 History

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hb2027 intr
H. B. 2027


(By Delegate Frederick)

[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]





A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-2D-1, §17-2D-2, §17-2D-3, §17-2D-4, §17-2D-5 and §17-2D-6, all relating to creating the West Virginia transportation oversight committee; legislative findings; division of State into five transportation districts; selection of members from each district; compensation and expenses of members; funding for part-time support staff person; powers and duties of commission; meetings of the commission; annual report to Governor and Legislature.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-2D-1, §17-2D-2, §17-2D-3, §17-2D-4, §17-2D-5 and §17-2D-6, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2D. WEST VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT COMMISSION.

§17-2D-1. Legislative findings.

The Legislature finds:

(a) That modern, well-constructed and properly maintained roads, highways and transportation projects are of great importance to the economic and industrial growth and development and well-being of the State and to the health, education, welfare and prosperity of its citizens;

(b) Therefore, that the citizens of the State have a very real interest in transportation matters because decisions affecting roads, highways, mass transit and the construction of these projects affect their quality of life, and the future of their children;

(c) That the current decision-making process relating to transportation matters allows very little citizen input, other than public hearings, and that the public hearings are often held after the decisions have already been made, leading to citizen frustration with and distrust of the decision-making process;

(d) That in order to encourage and foster citizen input into this important decision-making process, the Legislature hereby creates a transportation oversight commission.

§17-2D-2. West Virginia Transportation Oversight Commission created; composition.
The West Virginia Transportation Oversight Commission is hereby created. The Commission shall consist of twenty-five members, three from each of the five designated transportation districts; two from each of the three congressional districts and four at-large members. The members are to be private citizens and selected as follows:
(a) Six members, two from each of the three congressional districts, are to be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate;
(b) Four at-large members from any part of the State, are to be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate;
(c) Fifteen members, three from each of the five transportation districts, as designated in section three of this article, are to be elected by the State legislative delegations from each of those districts.
§17-2D-3. Designation of five transportation districts; election of members by legislative delegations from each district; senatorial districts crossing district lines; meeting for election of members; quorum definition; issuance of commission by Governor; terms of members.
(a) Five transportation districts are created, so divided to contain similar population numbers, consisting of the following counties:
(1) District One: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Pleasants, Monongalia, Marion, Taylor, Ritchie and Doddridge;
(2) District Two: Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Barbour, Mason, Jackson, Roane, Clay, Braxton, Upshur, Nicholas and Webster;
(3) District Three: Putnam, Kanawha, Boone and Raleigh;
(4) District Four: Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo, Logan, McDowell, Wyoming and Mercer;
(5) District Five: Fayette, Summers, Monroe, Greenbrier, Pocohontas, Randolph, Pendleton, Tucker, Preston, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson.
(b) Each legislative delegation, consisting of the senators and delegates from each of the five transportation districts created by this section, shall elect three members to the transportation oversight commission. For purposes of this article, a senatorial district which may be contained in two or more transportation districts shall be considered in the transportation district which contains the largest number of residents from that transportation district.
(c) Legislators residing in the transportation district shall meet upon a written call of the majority of the members of the delegation of each transportation district at a time and place to be designated in the call for the purpose of electing commissioners to represent the transportation district. A majority present, either in person or by written proxy, of the delegation from a given transportation district constitute a quorum for the purpose of electing commissioners.
(d) No person who fails to receive a majority vote of the members of the delegation may be elected commissioner. Only a resident of the transportation district at the time of his or her appointment is eligible to serve as a commission member, except that the at-large members may be appointed from any county in the State, regardless of whether another commissioner is serving from that county.
(e) Upon election, the Governor shall issue a commission to the person, and pending issuance of the commission, the certificate of election is sufficient warrant to the person to perform all of the duties and functions of his or her office as commissioner. Each commissioner shall serve until his or her successor is elected and qualified.
(f) Each commissioner shall serve a four-year term, beginning the first day of July, two thousand five, except that for the first terms beginning in said year, the terms are as follows:
(1) Commission members appointed from transportation districts one, three and five: Two years;
(2) Commission members appointed from transportation districts two and four: Three years;
(3) Commission members appointed from each of the three congressional districts: Four years;
(4) At-large members shall serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor.
§17-2D-4. Compensation and expenses of commission members; compensation for commission support staff person; expenses of commission.
(a) For each commission meeting attended, members of the commission shall be paid a per diem sum commensurate with that paid to legislators for attending interim meetings and shall be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses actually incurred in connection with the performance of their duties as members of the commission.
(b) Expenses of the commission shall include moneys set aside for the salary and benefits of a half-time commission staff support person, whose duties and responsibilities include transcribing tape recordings of all district commission meetings, distributing district commission meeting minutes to all commission members, attending State commission meetings, and other secretarial duties as directed by the chairperson of the commission.
(c) Reimbursement of per diem and expenses provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be paid from legislative appropriations to a special account in the State Department of Highways budget, designated "Transportation Oversight Commission."
§17-2D-5. Meetings of the commission; election of chairperson; quorum defined.
(a) The commission shall meet quarterly, at a time and place to be decided by the membership. At the first meeting, the commission shall elect a chairperson who shall be responsible for coordinating meeting times and acting as a liaison with the support staff, and any governmental entities. The chairperson shall serve a four-year term, and may be elected for successive terms.
(b) For purposes of this section, a quorum consists of a majority of the commission membership. No commission business may be conducted in the absence of a quorum.
§17-2D-6. Powers and duties of commission.
The commission has the following powers and duties:
(a) To study current and proposed transportation plans for the State, including, but not limited to, construction and design of transportation systems, preservation and revitalization of existing transportation systems, construction and design of local and statewide mass transit systems;
(b) To develop local and statewide strategic highway proposals;
(c) To develop local and statewide mass transit proposals;
(d) To develop local and statewide transportation system proposals;
(e) To deliver an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature, on or before the first day of January of each year, beginning on or before the first day of January, two thousand five.
(f) To attend public meetings and hearings on proposed transportation projects to give the views of the commission.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the West Virginia transportation oversight committee.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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