HB 1887 (Jones) 02/04/2015

Posted on February 4, 2015 in: 2015 General AssemblyTransportation Funding and Allocation

Removes the Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority from the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) and makes the members of the CTB subject to removal by the Governor for malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence, misconduct, neglect of duty, absenteeism, conflicts of interest, failure to carry out the policies of the Commonwealth, or refusal to carry out a lawful directive of the Governor. Both provisions would become effective July 1, 2016.

The bill updates the annual report of the Commissioner of Highways made to the Governor and the General Assembly and adds that such report be submitted to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission and the CTB. The report must include the condition of existing transportation assets; the methodology used to determine maintenance and state of good repair needs; performance targets and outcomes; a listing of prioritized pavement and bridge projects based on the priority ranking system; VDOT strategies for improving the safety, security, and operations of highways; and a review of the VDOT’s collaboration with the private sector in delivering services.

The bill adds to transportation funding considerations the state of good repair purposes along with asset management practices and maintenance and requires the CTB to develop a priority ranking system for structurally deficient bridges and deteriorated pavements.

The bill establishes the high-priority projects program and the highway construction district grant program and replaces the $500 million annual allocation made by the CTB and the 40-30-30 allocation formula to the primary, secondary, and urban highways with a new 40-30-30 allocation of funds to state of good repair purposes, high-priority projects, and highway construction district grants.

The bill also reallocates the interest, dividends, and appreciation that currently accrue to the Transportation Trust Fund and Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund: two-thirds of such current accruals to the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank and one-third of such accruals to the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund. The bill also removes the definition of “grant” from the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank and excludes grants from other financing, thereby removing the ability of a governmental entity to apply for a grant. The bill also allows the CTB to make transfers from the Toll Facilities Revolving Account to the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

Further, the bill authorizes the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to enter into agreements not to exceed 20 years under the Public-Private Transportation Act to improve passenger rail service with private entities that finance improvements in return for annual payments.

02/04/15 House: VOTE: PASSAGE #2 [96-Y / 2-N]