H. B. 4275
(By Delegates Frederick, Osborne and Flanigan)
[Introduced February 5, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter seventeen of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article two-c, 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 chapter seventeen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article two-c, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2C. WEST VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT COMMISSION.
§17-2C-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
(c) That the current decision-making process relating to
transportation matters allows very little citizen input, other
than public hearings, and that such public hearings are often
held after the decisions have already been made, leading to
citizen frustration with and distrust of the decision-making
(d) That in order to encourage and foster citizen input into
this important decision-making process, the Legislature hereby
creates a transportation oversight commission.
§17-2C-2. West Virginia transportation oversight commission
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
(c) Fifteen members, five 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.
§17-2C-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
(1) District One: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel,
Tyler, Pleasants, Monongalia, Marion, Taylor, Ritchie and
(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 five 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 deemed to 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 may be elected commissioner who fails to
receive a majority vote of the members of the delegation. No
person is eligible to serve as a commission member who is not a
resident of that transportation district at the time of his or
her appointment, 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, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-eight, 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
§17-2C-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
(c) Reimbursement of per diem and expenses provided for 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
§17-2C-5. Meetings of the commission; election of chairperson;
(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
(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.
§17-2C-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
(c) To develop local and statewide mass transit proposals;
(d) To develop local and statewide transportation system
(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, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-nine.
(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.