H. B. 3163
(By Delegates White, Reynolds, Canterbury, Walters, Phillips, L.
Storch, Gearheart, Perdue, Anderson)
(Originating in the Committee on Finance)
[March 29, 2013]
A BILL to amend and reenact §17-16A-4, §17-16A-10 and §17-16A-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to requiring all debt obligations of the West Virginia parkways authority to be satisfied by February 1, 2020; eliminating tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike after debt obligations are satisfied; directing the Governor to issue a proclamation that all obligations are satisfied and transfer of assets; providing that certain materials, equipment, assets and employees of the parkways authority be transferred to the Division of Highways; providing for employees of the parkways authority whose positions are eliminated as result of the transfer; requiring certain moneys be used for operation and maintenance of West Virginia Turnpike; providing that all obligations and responsibilities of the parkways authority for the West Virginia Turnpike cease on January 1, 2035; prohibiting new bonds from being issued; providing an exception; and requiring the Division of Highways to accept ownership of the West Virginia Turnpike when the bonds secured by toll revenues have been paid
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17-16A-4, §17-16A-10 and §17-16A-18 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 16A. WEST VIRGINIA PARKWAYS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM AUTHORITY.
§17-16A-4. Transfer of powers, duties, functions, assets and liabilities of turnpike commission to Parkways Authority.
(a) The duties, powers and functions of the West Virginia turnpike commission are hereby transferred to the Parkways Authority.
(b) All obligations, indebtedness and other liabilities of, and all rights, assets and other property owned by or used in the administration of, the West Virginia Turnpike Commission as of June 1, 1989, and all personnel of said Turnpike Commission as of said date are hereby assumed by and transferred to the Parkways Authority, which is hereby constituted the successor in interest to said commission in all respects.
(c) All books, papers, maps, charts, plans, literature and other records in the possession of the West Virginia Turnpike Commission as of June 1, 1989, shall be delivered or turned over to the Parkways Authority.
(d) The unexpended balance of appropriations or other funds available for use of the West Virginia Turnpike Commission as of June 1, 1989, is hereby transferred to the Parkways Authority for the use of the Parkways Authority.
(e) On or before February 1, 2020, all debt obligations held by the Parkways Authority shall be satisfied.
(f) Upon the full satisfaction of the bond debt of the Parkways Authority and the completion and affirmative finding of a highway condition assessment measuring compliance with quality standards promulgated by the Division of Highways, the Governor shall issue a proclamation finding that the bond debt of the authority is fully satisfied and that the West Virginia Turnpike has been maintained at or above Division of Highways standards and directing the immediate conveyance of the West Virginia Turnpike, buildings and land dedicated exclusively to its maintenance, current and future use, except for the travel plaza buildings, roads and parking facilities and lease properties, all records, maps, charts, schedules and plans relating to the West Virginia Turnpike and all maintenance material and equipment assets not specifically dedicated to the maintenance of travel plazas to the Division of Highways.
(g) Upon the issuance of the proclamation provided in subsection (f):
(1) All obligations, indebtedness and other liabilities pertaining exclusively to the West Virginia Turnpike and other assets expressly described under subsection (f) of this section, as of the date of the proclamation, are hereby assumed by and transferred to the Division of Highways.
(2) The Parkways Authority shall first liquidate all publicly traded securities in its holdings and convey all of its monetary assets in excess of $5 million to the Division of Highways to be deposited in the "Turnpike Transition Fund."
(3) All the Parkways Authority employees dedicated to highway maintenance and upkeep shall be transferred to employment by the West Virginia Division of Highways.
(4) All employees of the Parkways Authority dedicated to toll collection and toll collection operations shall remain employees of the Parkways Authority until the cessation of tolling as provided by section eighteen of this article.
(5) The Commissioner of the Division of Highways and Director of the Division of Personnel shall jointly provide for the evaluation of the skills, education, experience and qualifications of all full-time, permanent employees of the Parkways Authority dedicated to toll collection and toll collection operations prior to the cessation of tolling, as provided by section eighteen of this article. Any full-time, permanent employee that may be laid off by the Authority or Division of Highways at the time of or within six months following the date of the cessation of tolling as provided by section eighteen of this article is entitled to be placed on an appropriate reemployment list maintained by the Division of Personnel and to be allowed a preference on that list. The Division of Personnel shall maintain such an employee on the reemployment list indefinitely, or until the employee has declined three offers of employment at a paygrade substantially similar to that of his or her position at the time of the Governor’s proclamation, or until he or she is reemployed by the executive branch of state government, whichever occurs earlier. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the Parkways Authority shall, to the greatest extent practical, fill vacant toll collection and toll collection operations positions with temporary employees until the cessation of tolling on the West Virginia Turnpike.
(h) There is hereby established a special fund in the State Treasury known as the "Parkways Authority Future Trust Fund." The fund shall be administered by the Auditor and shall consist of twenty-five percent of all toll revenue received by the West Virginia Turnpike from the date of satisfaction of all bonded indebtedness until the date of the Governor’s proclamation as provided in subsection (f), at which time the Auditor shall disburse the entire balance to the Parkways Authority to provide for future operations. Balances in the fund shall not be expended and at the end of any fiscal year shall not expire, but shall be retained for the Parkways Authority until the Governor’s proclamation is made.
(i) There is hereby established a special fund in the State Treasury known as the "Turnpike Transition Fund." The fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of the Division of Highways and shall consist of monetary assets of the Parkways Authority to be received under subsection (g) of this section. The Parkways Authority shall also deposit fifty percent of all toll revenue received for the West Virginia Turnpike from the date of satisfaction of all bonded indebtedness until the date that tolling ceases in accordance with section eighteen of this article. The fund also consists of revenues provided for in subsection (j) and any other funds appropriated by the Legislature to assist the transition to the Division of Highways and the State Road Fund, and the interest or other earnings on the moneys in the fund. The Commissioner of the Division of Highways shall administer the fund to provide for the costs of all West Virginia Turnpike operations and maintenance within the Division of Highways. Balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall not expire, but shall be expended for those purposes in ensuing fiscal years pursuant to appropriation by the Legislature. Upon the depletion of funds in the account, the subject roadways shall be supported by the State Road Fund and any other funds available to the Division of Highways for general maintenance and support.
(j) The Parkways Authority shall transfer all remaining assets relating to the West Virginia Turnpike, including travel plazas and lease properties, to the Division of Highways on January 1, 2035. All excess revenue produced by these assets shall be deposited into the Turnpike Transition Fund.
(k) All obligations and responsibilities of the Parkways Authority for any part or portion of the West Virginia Turnpike shall cease on January 1, 2035.
(l) The Commissioner of the Division of Highways and the Director of the Division of Personnel shall jointly propose for promulgation rules pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as may be necessary to provide for the evaluation, transition, termination, and reemployment of Authority and Division of Highways employees during the transition and to otherwise carry out the purposes of this article as they relate to personnel matters.
(m) The Commissioner of the Division of Highways shall propose for promulgation rules pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article as they relate to all matters not concerning personnel.
§17-16A-10. Parkway revenue bonds generally.
(a) The Parkways Authority is authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of parkway revenue bonds of the state for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of one or more parkway projects: Provided, That this section shall not be construed as authorizing the issuance of parkway revenue bonds for the purpose of paying the cost of the West Virginia Turnpike, which parkway revenue bonds may be issued only as authorized under section eleven of this article: Provided, however, That no bonds may be issued following the reenactment of this section in the Legislative Regular Session of 2013, except as provided in subsection (i) or except as existing bond debt may be reissued to produce a financial savings or accelerate repayment: Provided, further, That in no such reissue may the amount of principal be increased or the final maturity be extended. The principal of and the interest on bonds shall be payable solely from the funds provided for payment.
(b) The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at a rate as may be determined by the Parkways Authority in its sole discretion, shall mature at a time not exceeding forty years from their date or of issue as may be determined by the Parkways Authority, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the Parkways Authority at a price and under the terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Parkways Authority prior to the issuance of the bonds.
(c) The Parkways Authority shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and shall fix the denomination of the bonds and the place of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or without the state.
(d) The bonds shall be executed by manual or facsimile signature by the chair of the Parkways Authority, and the official seal of the Parkways Authority shall be affixed to or printed on each bond, and attested, manually or by facsimile signature, by the secretary and treasurer of the Parkways Authority. Any coupons attached to any bond shall bear the manual or facsimile signature of the chair of the Parkways Authority.
(e) In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be an officer before the delivery of the bonds, the signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he or she had remained in office until delivery. In case the seal of the Parkways Authority has been changed after a facsimile has been imprinted on the bonds, then the facsimile seal will continue to be sufficient for all purposes.
(f) All bonds issued under the provisions of this article shall have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the negotiable instruments law of the state. The bonds may be issued in coupon or in registered form, or both, as the Parkways Authority may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, and for the recorders into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest.
(g) The Parkways Authority may sell the bonds at a public or private sale at a price it determines to be in the best interests of the state.
(h) The proceeds of the bonds of each issue shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of the parkway project or parkway projects for which the bonds were issued, and shall be disbursed in a manner consistent with the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or in the trust agreement securing the bonds.
(i) If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue, by error of estimates or otherwise, shall be less than the cost, then additional bonds may in like manner be issued to provide the amount of the deficit. Unless otherwise provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or in the trust agreement securing the bonds, the additional bonds shall be deemed to be of the same issue and shall be entitled to payment from the same fund without preference or priority of the bonds first issued. (j) If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue exceed the cost of the parkway project or parkway projects for which the bonds were issued, then the surplus shall be deposited to the credit of the sinking fund for the bonds.
(k) Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the Parkways Authority may, under like restrictions, issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when the bonds have been executed and are available for delivery. The Parkways Authority may also provide for the replacement of any bonds that become mutilated or are destroyed or lost.
(l) Bonds may be issued under the provisions of this article without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state in accordance with this article: Provided, That the Parkways Authority shall comply with the provisions of section twenty-eight, article one, chapter five of this code.
§17-16A-18. Cessation of tolls.
(a) Except as provided herein in this section, when all bonds issued under the provisions of this article in connection with any parkway project or projects and the interest thereon shall on those bonds secured by West Virginia Turnpike toll revenues have been paid or a sufficient amount for the payment of all such those bonds and the interest thereon on them to the their maturity thereof shall have has been set aside in trust for the benefit of the bondholders, such the project or projects, if then in good condition and repair to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of the State Division of Highways, shall be transferred to the State Division of Highways and shall thereafter be maintained by the State Division of Highways free of tolls.
(b) No later than February 1, 1990 On July 1 of the calendar year beginning after the date the bond indebtedness is satisfied, as provided in the provisions of section four of this article, the Division of Highways parkways authority shall discontinue, remove and not relocate all toll collection facilities on the West Virginia Turnpike as the same it existed on June 1, 1989, except for the three main toll barriers and collection facilities and, provided solely that the provisions of section eighteen-a are complied with, including the toll collection facilities at the intersection of U.S. Route 19 (Corridor "L") and said the turnpike: Provided, That the bonds secured by West Virginia Turnpike toll revenues have been paid as scheduled.
(c) The highway now known and designated as the West Virginia Turnpike shall continue to be maintained to the standards promulgated by the West Virginia Division of Highways, and shall be conveyed to the Division of Highways, as provided by section four of this article. The Division of Highways shall accept ownership of the highway at that time.