H. B. 2047
(By Delegate Frederick)
[Introduced January 8, 2003; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation 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-d, 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-d, to read as
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
(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
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, 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
(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 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
(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
(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
(f) Each commissioner shall serve a four-year term, beginning
the first day of July, two thousand three, 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
§17-2D-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 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 Oversight Commission."
§17-2D-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 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
(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, two thousand four.
(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.