Relates to establishing a state high speed rail planning board and providing for the expiration thereof.
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Aubertine, Bonacic, Breslin, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Farley, Flanagan, Foley, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Johnson O, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Padavan, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky, Volker, Winner, Young
Excused (1): Morahan
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the transportation law, in relation to the state high speed rail planning board, and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE OF BILL:
This bill would create a temporary High Speed Rail Planning Board within the Department of Transportation (DOT) to advise the Department on the implementation of a high speed rail system for the State and develop a plan for financing such a system and for the organizational structure that should oversee and operate it.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would add a new Transportation Law Article 23 to create an eleven-member High Speed Rail Planning Board within DOT. New Transportation Law § 490 would:
Establish the new Board, which would consist of the Commissioner of DOT, the President of the Metro North Railroad, and seven members appointed by the Governor, with two on recommendation of the Temporary President of the Senate, two on recommendation of the Speaker of the Assembly, and one each on recommendation of the minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly;
Establish the qualifications for members of the Board and require that members be appointed within 30 days;
Require the Board to meet publicly at least quarterly; and
Provide that the Governor shall designate an Executive Director to assist the Board.
New Transportation Law § 491 would provide the Board's powers and duties, which would include:
Providing DOT with input on environmental impact studies necessary for planning for a high speed rail system and development of a rail transportation investment program;
Soliciting and receiving stakeholder and public opinions, including a requirement to hold at least six public hearings in regionally diverse areas of the State;
Evaluating all available high speed rail systems and making recommendations on an appropriate system for the State;
Researching options with respect to agreements with private entities necessary to permit high speed trains and providing DOT with recommendations on the form such agreements should take;
Advising DOT on funding sources for the development and operation of a high speed rail system; and
Reporting to the Governor and the Legislature, within two years, on a fully developed and consensus plan for financing of high speed rail and the organizational entity that should oversee the State's high speed rail program.
Section 2 of the bill would make this Act take effect immediately and expire in three years.
Under Transportation Law § 14-c, DOT is responsible for coordinating intercity passenger rail systems within the State.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
A modern, efficient passenger rail system is critical to promoting economic development throughout the State, while at the same time reducing motorists' dependence on foreign oil and the impact of car travel on our environment. The federal government has made it a goal to achieve national high speed rail service, and has awarded New York funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help implement a high speed passenger rail system in New York.
The High Speed Rail Planning Board established by this bill is the next, necessary step to achieving this goal. It would create a bipartisan entity that could bring together experts, stakeholders and the public to address the critical issues necessary to design, finance, build, operate and maintain a high speed rail system. The Board will also serve as an advisor to DOT in identifying additional funding that may help to finance the State's high speed rail system. At the end of its review and investigation of options for implementing such a system, the Board will issue a report setting forth a fully developed and consensus plan for financing of high speed rail and the organizational entity that should oversee the State's high speed rail program.
This bill would have no State fiscal impact, because it would be continuing the work that is now being undertaken in the DOT.
This bill would take effect immediately and would expire in three years.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 8357 IN SENATE June 25, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sens. SMITH, VALESKY, DILAN, ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the transportation law, in relation to the state high speed rail planning board, and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The transportation law is amended by adding a new article 23 to read as follows: ARTICLE 23 STATE HIGH SPEED RAIL PLANNING BOARD SECTION 490. STATE HIGH SPEED RAIL PLANNING BOARD. 491. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD. 492. ASSISTANCE OF OTHER AGENCIES. S 490. STATE HIGH SPEED RAIL PLANNING BOARD. 1. THERE IS HEREBY CREATED IN THE DEPARTMENT A BOARD, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE HIGH SPEED RAIL PLANNING BOARD. SUCH BOARD SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PLANNING AND ADVISING THE DEPARTMENT ON FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE STATE'S RAIL SYSTEMS THAT ARE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT HIGH SPEED RAIL SERVICE IN THE STATE, INCLUDING MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE BEST GOVERNMENTAL STRUC- TURE TO DESIGN, BUILD, OPERATE, MAINTAIN AND FINANCE A HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM. THE BOARD SHALL ALSO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWING THE NEW YORK STATE RAIL PLAN PUT FORTH BY THE DEPARTMENT IN TWO THOUSAND NINE AND THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION'S HIGH SPEED RAIL INTERCITY PASSENGER RAIL PROGRAM OF TWO THOUSAND NINE, AND SHALL USE SUCH RECOMMENDATIONS AS GUIDELINES FOR FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS, ENHANCEMENTS AND ADDITIONS TO RAIL SERVICE IN THE STATE. 2. SUCH BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF THE COMMISSIONER, THE PRESIDENT OF THE METRO-NORTH RAILROAD AND NINE OTHER MEMBERS. THE GOVERNOR SHALL APPOINT TWO MEMBERS OF THE BOARD UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND TWO UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEM- BLY. THE GOVERNOR SHALL APPOINT ONE MEMBER UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE AND ONE UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE MINORI-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD17854-01-0 S. 8357 2
TY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY. THE REMAINING THREE MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION. ANY MEMBER APPOINTED TO A TERM ON THE BOARD SHALL HAVE EXPERIENCE IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF EXPERTISE: TRANSPORTATION AND RAILROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, FINANCING OF INFRASTRUCTURE, ENGINEER- ING, LAW, LAND USE, URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING, MANAGEMENT OF LARGE CAPITAL PROJECTS, LABOR RELATIONS, OR HAVE EXPERIENCE IN SOME OTHER AREA OF ACTIVITY CENTRAL TO THE MISSION OF THE BOARD. THE GOVERNOR SHALL SELECT A CHAIR FROM AMONG THE MEMBERS. 3. BOARD MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT AFTER THE EXPI- RATION OF THE THIRTY DAY PERIOD, A MAJORITY OF THE APPOINTED MEMBERS SHALL CONSTITUTE A QUORUM. 4. EXCEPT FOR THE COMMISSIONER AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE METRO-NORTH RAILROAD, THE TERM OF OFFICE OF EACH SUCH MEMBER SHALL BE THREE YEARS. ANY MEMBER APPOINTED TO FILL A VACANCY OCCURRING OTHERWISE THAN BY EXPI- RATION OF A TERM SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE UNEXPIRED TERM IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT. 5. THE BOARD SHALL MEET PUBLICLY AT LEAST QUARTERLY AT THE TIMES AND PLACES IN THE STATE THAT THE CHAIR DESIGNATES UNTIL THE FINAL REPORT IS SUBMITTED. 6. MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, EXCEPT THE COMMISSIONER, SHALL BE ALLOWED THE NECESSARY AND ACTUAL EXPENSES WHICH HE OR SHE SHALL INCUR IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE. 7. THE GOVERNOR SHALL DESIGNATE AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO RENDER ASSISTANCE AND SERVICE TO THE BOARD. S 491. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD. THE BOARD SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING POWERS AND DUTIES: 1. TO PROVIDE THE DEPARTMENT WITH INPUT ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDIES NECESSARY FOR PLANNING FOR A HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A RAIL TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT PROGRAM; 2. TO SOLICIT AND RECEIVE PUBLIC AND STAKEHOLDER INPUT ON OPINIONS AND PROPOSALS FOR BUILDING, DESIGNING, MAINTAINING, OPERATING AND FINANCING A HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM FOR THE STATE, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE A PROCESS FOR SOLICITING AND RECEIVING TESTIMONY FROM INTERESTED PARTIES, A PROC- ESS FOR RECEIVING PUBLIC COMMENTS, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE AT LEAST SIX PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD IN REGIONALLY DIVERSE AREAS OF THE STATE AS DESIG- NATED BY THE CHAIR, AND A PROCESS FOR PROVIDING PERIODIC PUBLIC REPORTS AND UPDATES; 3. TO EVALUATE ALL AVAILABLE HIGH SPEED RAIL TECHNOLOGIES, SYSTEMS AND OPERATORS, AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON AN APPROPRIATE HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM; 4. TO RESEARCH OPTIONS, IN COORDINATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT, WITH RESPECT TO AGREEMENTS WITH PRIVATE ENTITIES NECESSARY TO PERMIT HIGH SPEED TRAINS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO AGREEMENTS RELATING TO TRACK IMPROVEMENTS AND AGREEMENTS TO OPERATE A HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM, AND TO PROVIDE THE DEPARTMENT WITH RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE FORM ANY SUCH AGREE- MENTS SHOULD TAKE; 5. TO ADVISE AND WORK WITH THE DEPARTMENT ON MAKING APPLICATION FOR ANY ADDITIONAL FUNDING THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION OF A HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM IN THE STATE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO SUCH FUNDING THAT REQUIRES A STATE MATCH OF FUNDS MAY BE SOUGHT EXCEPT ON APPROVAL OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF THE BUDGET; 6. TO MAKE A REPORT, WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE, TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE THAT WILL INCLUDE BUT NOTS. 8357 3
BE LIMITED TO A FULLY DEVELOPED AND CONSENSUS PLAN FOR THE FINANCING OF HIGH SPEED RAIL AND THE ORGANIZATIONAL ENTITY WHICH SHOULD OVERSEE AND OPERATE NEW YORK STATE'S HIGH SPEED RAIL PROGRAM. S 492. ASSISTANCE OF OTHER AGENCIES. TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE BOARD MAY REQUEST AND SHALL RECEIVE FROM ANY DEPART- MENT, DIVISION, BOARD, BUREAU, COMMISSION OR OTHER AGENCY OF THE STATE OR ANY STATE PUBLIC AUTHORITY SUCH ASSISTANCE, INFORMATION AND DATA AS WILL ENABLE THE BOARD PROPERLY TO CARRY OUT ITS POWERS AND DUTIES HERE- UNDER. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed three years after such effective date.