2007 Session

Budget Bill - HB1650 (Chapter 847)

Secretary of Transportation

Item 427

Item 427

First Year - FY2007Second Year - FY2008
Administrative and Support Services (79900)$685,500$685,500
General Management and Direction (79901)FY2007 $685,500FY2008 $685,500
Fund Sources:  
Commonwealth TransportationFY2007 $685,500FY2008 $685,500

Authority: Title 2.2, Chapter 2, Article 10, § 2.2-201, and Titles 33, 46, and 58, Code of Virginia.

A. The transportation policy goals enumerated in this Act shall be implemented by the Secretary of Transportation, including the Secretary acting as Chairman of the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

1. The maintenance of existing transportation assets to ensure the safety of the public shall be the first priority in budgeting, allocation, and spending. The highway share of the Transportation Trust Fund shall be used for highway maintenance and operation purposes prior to its availability for new development, acquisition, and construction.

2. The efficient and cost-effective movement of people and goods will consider the needs in, and connectivity of, all modes of transportation, including bicycling, walking, public transportation, highways, freight and passenger rail, ports, and airports. The planning, development, construction, and operations of Virginia's transportation facilities will reflect this goal.

3. Stewardship of the environment will be a priority in the allocation of resources and the planning and evaluation of projects and activities by transportation agencies.

4. To the greatest extent possible, the appropriation of transportation revenues shall reflect planned spending of such revenues by agency and by program. The maximization of all federal transportation funds available to the Commonwealth shall be paramount in the budgetary, spending, and allocation processes. The Secretary is hereby authorized to take all actions necessary to ensure that federal transportation funds are allocated and utilized for the maximum benefit of the Commonwealth, whether such funds are authorized under P.L. 109-59 of the 109th Congress, or any successor or related federal transportation legislation.

B.1. New or increased revenues designated by the General Assembly as regional or local transportation dollars shall be used exclusively for transportation projects and services within that region or localities.  The Commonwealth shall not use the revenues for any other purpose.

2.  Those localities receiving increased local revenues from actions taken by the General Assembly in calendar year 2006 shall not have reductions of state funding provided for maintenance, construction or transit below the amounts provided in fiscal year 2006.

C.1. The Secretary shall ensure that the allocation of transportation funds apportioned and for which obligation authority is expected to be available under federal law shall be in accordance with such laws and in support of the transportation policy goals enumerated in this act. Furthermore, the Secretary is authorized to take all actions necessary to allocate the required match for federal highway funds to ensure their appropriate and timely obligation and expenditure within the fiscal constraints of state transportation revenues.  By June 1 of each year, the Secretary, as Chairman of the Board, shall report to the Governor and General Assembly on the allocation of such federal transportation funds and the actions taken to provide the required match.

2.  Federal funds included in the highway funds distributed pursuant to § 33.1-23.1 B, Code of Virginia, will be distributed to the greatest extent possible to the primary system of state highways and then to the other highway systems taking into consideration the federal eligibility requirements in order to maximize the benefit of the federal funds to the Commonwealth.  Such distribution will not change the total amount of funds available to be provided pursuant to § 33.1-23.1.

3. Projects funded, in whole or part, from federal funds referred to as congestion mitigation and air quality improvement, shall be selected as directed by the Board.  Such funds shall be federally obligated within 24 months of their allocation by the Board and expended within 48 months of such obligation. If the requirements included in this paragraph are not met by such agency or recipient, then the Board shall use such federal funds for any other project eligible under 23 USC 149.

4. Funds apportioned under federal law for the Surface Transportation Program shall be distributed and administered in accordance with federal requirements, including that seven percent  that is required to be allocated for public transportation purposes. 

5. Funds apportioned under federal law for the Equity Bonus program shall be allocated as required by federal law, including that thirteen percent  that is required to be allocated for public transportation purposes. Funds for contract fees paid by the Virginia Railway Express for access to the rights-of-way of CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation shall be allocated from the public transportation's portion of federal Equity Bonus program funds. 

6. Notwithstanding paragraph B of this Item, the required matching funds for enhancement projects in addition to Congressionally-designated projects included in any federal appropriation bill are to be provided by the mode, system or recipient of the federal-aid funding.

7.a. Federal funds provided to the National Highway System, Surface Transportation Program, Equity Bonus Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality categories as well as the required State matching funds may be allocated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board for transit purposes under the same rules and conditions authorized by federal law. The Commonwealth Transportation Board, in consultation with the appropriate local and regional entities, may allocate to local and regional public transit operators, for operating and/or capital purposes, state revenues designated by formula for primary, urban, and secondary highways.

b. Federal funds apportioned as the Highway Bridge Program shall be allocated and obligated as required by federal law to eligible projects across the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Transportation Board shall consider the sufficiency and deficiency ratings of such eligible projects in making their allocations.

8. If a regional area (or areas) of the Commonwealth is determined to be not in compliance with Clean Air Act rules regarding conformity and as a result federal and/or state allocations, apportionments or obligations cannot be used to fund or support transportation projects or programs in that area, such funds may be used to finance demand management, conformity, and congestion mitigation projects to the extent allowed by federal law. Any remaining amount of such allocations, apportionments, or obligations shall be set aside to the extent possible under law for use in that regional area.

9.  Appropriations in this act related to federal revenues outlined in this section may be adjusted by the Director, Department of Planning and Budget, upon request from the Secretary of Transportation, as needed to utilize and allocate additional federal funds that may become available.

D.1. The Secretary may ensure that appropriate action is taken to maintain a minimum cash balance and/or cash reserve in the Highway Maintenance and Operating fund.

2. Out of the amounts provided to the Priority Transportation Fund pursuant to § 33.1-23:03:8, Code of Virginia, related to fiscal year 2006, amounts equaling the formula share of the Transportation Trust Fund revenue reductions identified in the November 2006 official forecast related to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation will be provided to the respective agencies in the first year.  

E.1. The Commonwealth Transportation Board is hereby authorized to apply for, execute, and/or endorse applications submitted by private entities to obtain federal credit assistance for one or more qualifying transportation infrastructure projects or facilities to be developed pursuant to the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995, as amended. Any such application, agreement and/or endorsement shall not financially obligate the Commonwealth or be construed to implicate the credit of the Commonwealth as security for any such federal credit assistance.

2. The Commonwealth Transportation Board is hereby authorized to pursue or otherwise apply for, and execute, an agreement to obtain financing using a federal credit instrument for project financings otherwise authorized by this Act or other Acts of Assembly.  

F.1.  The Virginia Department of Transportation, with the approval of the Governor and in a form approved by the Attorney General, is hereby authorized to exchange five acres, more or less, of the property commonly known as the Fulton Bottom property, including all buildings, structures, and appurtenances attached thereto, on the north side of Route 5 in Henrico County, to the Lehigh Cement Company, in exchange for a parcel of land estimated at two acres, more or less, on the south side of Route 5 in the City of Richmond, to be used as a trail head facility for the Virginia Capital Trail.

2.  The appropriate offices of the Commonwealth are hereby authorized to prepare, execute, and deliver such deed and other documents as may be necessary to accomplish the exchange. 

3. Included in this effort shall be a review of potential environmental and other liability issues.  Prior to the conveyance of the properties, the Commonwealth shall prepare a plan to address any potential liability issues associated with the property owned by Lehigh Cement Company.

G.  The Virginia Department of Transportation, with the approval of the Governor and in a form approved by the Attorney General, is hereby authorized to transfer surplus property owned by the Department of Transportation on Route 604 in New Kent County to the County for its purposes.

H.  The Secretary of Transportation shall initiate a study to determine the interest of affected states in the construction of a new Interstate highway (I-99) with terminus points in Wilmington, Delaware and Charleston, South Carolina, and traversing the Delmarva Peninsula, and the eastern portions of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the states of North Carolina and South Carolina.  The Secretary shall report his findings by November 30, 2006, to the Chairmen of the Senate Committees on Transportation and Finance and to the Chairmen of the House Committees on Transportation and Appropriations.

I.1.  The Intermodal Office shall coordinate the efforts of the Departments of Transportation, and Rail and Public Transportation to work with local governments to develop specific performance measures and criteria by which to measure the success of transportation projects funded with any revenues derived from legislation enacted by the General Assembly to provide local governments or regional authorities with dedicated transportation revenues.  Such criteria shall measure performance, including but not limited to, improvements related to safety, connectivity, economic development, improved air quality, and traffic mitigation. 

2. As part of this effort, the Intermodal Office shall work with the relevant state agencies and representatives of local government to develop a standard cost/ benefit methodology to analyze projects.