HB379: Commonwealth Transportation Board; changes composition of membership.

HOUSE BILL NO. 379

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled January 3, 2014
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 33.1-1 and 33.1-2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to composition of the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
Patron-- Surovell

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 33.1-1 and 33.1-2 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 33.1-1. State Highway and Transportation Board continued as Commonwealth Transportation Board; number and terms of members; removal from office; Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner continued as Commissioner of Highways; vacancies.

The State Highway and Transportation Board, formerly known as the State Highway and Transportation Commission, is continued and shall hereafter be known as the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Wherever either "Commission" or "Board" is used in this title referring to the State Highway and Transportation Board or the State Highway and Transportation Commission, it shall mean the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

The Board shall consist of 18 members: the Secretary of Transportation, the Commissioner of Highways, the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority, and 14 citizen members. The citizen members shall be (i) appointed by the Governor as provided in § 33.1-2, (ii) subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, and (iii) removable from office during their respective terms by the Governor at his pleasure. Appointments of citizen members shall be for terms of four years commencing upon July 1, upon the expiration of the terms of the existing members, respectively. The initial terms of the members appointed in January, 1987, shall commence when appointed and shall be for terms ending June 30, 1988, June 30, 1989, and June 30, 1990, respectively. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term and shall be effective until 30 days after the next meeting of the ensuing General Assembly and, if confirmed, thereafter for the remainder of the term. No person shall be eligible to serve more than two successive terms of four years, other than the Secretary of Transportation, the Commissioner of Highways, the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and the Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. A person heretofore or hereafter appointed to fill a vacancy may serve two additional successive terms.

If the number of congressional districts is increased through redistricting, the Governor shall appoint a member to the Board from the newly created district. If a congressional district is lost through redistricting, the Governor shall remove the member from the lost congressional district. The addition or subtraction of the congressional member shall be from the membership of the at-large members. The effective date of revision in membership shall be July 1 of the year in which the district was created or lost.

The Secretary of Transportation shall serve as Chairman of the Board. The Secretary shall have voting privileges only in the event of a tie. The Commissioner of Highways shall serve as Vice-Chairman of the Board. The Commissioner shall have voting privileges only in the event of a tie when he is presiding during the absence of the Chairman. The Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority shall serve without a vote.

Whenever in this title and in the Code of Virginia "State Highway Commission" or "State Highway and Transportation Board" is used, it shall mean "Commonwealth Transportation Board"; "State Highway Commissioner" or "State Highway and Transportation Commissioner" or "Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner" shall mean Commissioner of Highways; and all references to "Department of Highways and Transportation" shall refer to the Department of Transportation.

§ 33.1-2. Residence requirements; statewide interest.

Of such Board, one member shall be a resident of the territory now included in the Bristol construction district, one in the Salem construction district, one in the Lynchburg construction district, one in the Staunton construction district, one in the Culpeper construction district, one in the Fredericksburg construction district, one in the Richmond construction district, one in the Hampton Roads construction district and one in the Northern Virginia construction each congressional district in the Commonwealth. Upon any redistricting, any member who no longer resides in his congressional district shall resign. The remaining five three members shall be appointed from the Commonwealth at large, but at least two shall reside in standard metropolitan statistical planning areas with populations greater than 200,000 and be designated as urban at-large members, and at least two one shall reside outside standard metropolitan statistical planning areas with populations greater than 200,000 and be designated as a rural at-large members member. The at-large members shall be appointed to represent rural and urban transportation needs and be mindful of the concerns of seaports and seaport users, airports and airport users, railways and railway users, and mass transit and mass transit users. Each member so appointed shall be mindful of the best interest of the Commonwealth at large primarily instead of those of the district from which chosen or of the transportation interest represented.

2. That nothing in this act shall affect the term of any member appointed to the Commonwealth Transportation Board prior to January 1, 2015, as long as such member is transitioned into a citizen member seat according to the congressional districts for the remainder of his term.

3. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2015.