HJ607: State highway, passenger rail, and mass transit programs; joint subcommittee to study financing.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 607
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 4, 2007
Establishing a joint subcommittee to study financing for state highway, passenger rail, and mass transit programs. Report.
Patron-- Caputo

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, an adequate, safe, and efficient transportation system is essential to Virginia's economic development, protection of the environment, and safeguarding the quality of life of its inhabitants; and

WHEREAS, whether for commuting to and from work or carrying out the other activities of daily living, Virginians require not only highways and bridges, but also passenger rail service and other mass transit programs as well; and

WHEREAS, construction, operation, and maintenance of highway, passenger rail, and mass transit facilities are dependent upon the availability of adequate and appropriate funding resources; and

WHEREAS, even though the 2006 Regular Session of the General Assembly established, through the passage of Senate Joint Resolution No. 60, a joint subcommittee to study the role of the Commonwealth and its agencies in meeting Virginia's future transportation needs, such subcommittee's charge does not include any consideration of transportation program funding; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That a joint subcommittee be established to study financing for state highway, passenger rail, and mass transit programs. Such study shall specifically include, but need not necessarily be confined to, the adequacy of dedicated revenues flowing to the Transportation Trust Fund. The joint subcommittee shall have a total membership of 10 members appointed as follows: six members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates and four members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among its membership.

Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.

The joint subcommittee shall be limited to four meetings for the 2007 interim, and the direct costs of this study shall not exceed $10,000. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk.  If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.

No recommendation of the joint subcommittee shall be adopted if a majority of the House members or a majority of the Senate members appointed to the joint subcommittee (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the joint subcommittee.

The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2007, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2008 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and the report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee.  The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings during the 2007 interim.