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2019 Session

Budget Bill - HB1700 (Chapter 854)

Secretary of Transportation

Item 433

Item 433

First Year - FY2019Second Year - FY2020
Administrative and Support Services (79900)$916,840$916,840
General Management and Direction (79901)FY2019 $916,840FY2020 $916,840
Fund Sources: 
Commonwealth TransportationFY2019 $916,840FY2020 $916,840

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. It is in the interest of the Commonwealth to have an efficient and cost-effective transportation system that promotes economic development and all modes of transportation, intermodal connectivity, environmental quality, accessibility for people and freight, and transportation safety. The planning, development, construction, and operations of Virginia's transportation facilities will reflect this goal.


3. To the greatest extent possible, the appropriation of transportation revenues shall reflect planned spending of such revenues by agency and by program.


B. The maximization of all federal transportation funds available to the Commonwealth shall be paramount in the budgetary, spending, and allocation processes.


1. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the secretary and all agencies within the transportation secretariat are 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 actions or funds or both are authorized under P.L. 114-94 of the 114th Congress, or any successor or related federal transportation legislation, or regulation, rule, or guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation or any federal agency. The secretary and agencies within the transportation secretariat shall utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the flexibility provided in federal law, regulation, rule, or guidance to use federal funds in a manner consistent with the Code of Virginia. However, neither the Secretary nor an agency in the transportation secretariat may materially delay a project selected pursuant to § 33.2-214.1, Code of Virginia, under the authority in this paragraph.


2. 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 section A. of this Item. 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 and in support of the efforts addressed in B.1. 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.


3. The board shall only make allocations providing the required match for federal Regional Surface Transportation Block Grant Program funds to those Metropolitan Planning Organizations in urbanized areas greater than 200,000 that, in consultation with the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, have developed regional transportation and land use performance measures pursuant to Chapters 670 and 690 of the 2009 Acts of Assembly and have been approved by the board.


4. 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 12 months of their allocation by the board and expended within 36 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.


5. Funds apportioned under federal law for the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program shall be distributed and administered in accordance with federal requirements, including the 22 percent of the non-suballocated portion that is required to be allocated for public transportation purposes. The prioritization process developed under § 33.2-214.1, Code of Virginia, shall not apply to the 22 percent share of the non-suballocated portion allocated for public transportation purposes.


6. Funds made available to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations known as the Regional Surface Transportation Block Grant Program for urbanized areas greater than 200,000 shall be federally obligated within 12 months of their allocation by the board and expended within 36 months of such obligation. If the requirements included in this paragraph are not met by the recipient, then the board may rescind the required match for such federal funds.


7. Notwithstanding paragraph B.2. of this Item, the required matching funds for Transportation Alternatives projects are to be provided by the project sponsor of the federal-aid funding.


8. Federal transportation funds 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 in a manner consistent with the Code of Virginia. The Commonwealth Transportation Board, in consultation with the appropriate local and regional entities, may allocate state revenues to local and regional public transit operators, for operating and/or capital purposes.


9. 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.


10. 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.


11. The secretary shall ensure that any bonds issued pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 15 of Title 33.2 shall be programmed to eligible projects selected and funded through the High Priority Projects Program pursuant § 33.2-370 or the Construction District Grant Program pursuant to §33.2-371. In any year such bond proceeds are allocated to one or both of the programs, the secretary shall take all necessary action to ensure that each program is provided with the same overall amount of monies though the mix of bond proceeds, state revenues, and federal revenues provided to each program may vary as deemed appropriate by the secretary.


C. 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.


D.1. The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment shall recommend to the Commonwealth Transportation Board all allocations of funds made available in subsections A. and B. of Item 449. The planning and evaluation may be conducted or managed by the Department of Transportation, Department of Rail and Public Transportation, or another qualified entity selected and/or approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.


2. The office shall be responsible for implementing the statewide prioritization process pursuant to § 33.2-214.1 for the Commonwealth Transportation Board.


3. The office shall work directly with affected Metropolitan Planning Organizations to develop and implement quantifiable and achievable goals relating to congestion reduction and safety, transit and HOV usage, job/housing ratios, job and housing access to transit and pedestrian facilities, air quality, and/or per-capital vehicle miles traveled pursuant to Chapters 670 and 690 of the 2009 Acts of Assembly.


4. For allocation of funds under Paragraph 1, the office may give a higher priority for planning grants to (i) regional organizations to analyze various land development scenarios for their long range transportation plans, (ii) local governments to revise their comprehensive plans and other applicable local ordinances to designate urban development areas pursuant to Chapter 896 of the 2007 Acts of Assembly and incorporate the principles included in such act, and (iii) local governments, regional organizations, transit agencies and other appropriate entities to develop plans for transit oriented development and the expansion of transit service. Such analyses, plans, and ordinances shall be shared with the regional planning district commission or metropolitan planning organization and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.


E.1. The Commonwealth Transportation Board is hereby authorized to apply for, execute, and/or endorse applications submitted by private entities or political subdivision of the Commonwealth 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. Revenues generated pursuant to the provisions of § 58.1-3221.3, Code of Virginia, shall only be used to supplement, not supplant, any local funds provided for transportation programs within the localities authorized to impose the fees under the provisions of § 58.1-3221.3, Code of Virginia.


G. The Director, Department of Planning and Budget, is authorized to adjust the appropriation of transportation agencies in order to utilize proceeds from the sale of Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Capital Projects Revenue Bonds which were authorized in thea prior fiscal year but not issued, pursuant to Section 2 of Enactment Clause 2 of Chapter 896 of the 2007 General Assembly Session.


H. The Director, Department of Planning and Budget, is authorized to adjust the appropriation of transportation agencies in order to utilize proceeds from the sale of Commonwealth of Virginia Federal Transportation Grant Anticipation Revenue Notes.


I. In programming funds for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of structurally deficient bridges pursuant to § 33.2-358 C.(i), Code of Virginia, the Commonwealth Transportation Board shall consider both state and locally-owned bridges.


J. All revenues generated under Chapter 896 of the Acts of Assembly of 2007 (HB 3202) and Chapter 766 of the Acts of Assembly of 2013 (HB 2313) that were dedicated to transportation-related funds have been appropriated in conformity with the requirements of those respective chapters.


K. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the Secretary of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board shall direct the Virginia Department of Transportation to establish a working group which shall evaluate (i) the impact of increased fuel efficiency and increased use of hybrid and electric vehicles on transportation revenues, and (ii) potential options to provide a sustainable funding stream for transportation infrastructure. The working group shall include, at a minimum, representatives of local government associations, the regional transportation authorities, the trucking industry, the motor dealer industry and the motor fuels industries. The Secretary shall provide a report of the group's findings to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Transportation Committees and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees no later than December 10, 2019.


L. The Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) shall evaluate potential opportunities to mitigate the financial burden on the commuting public at the (i) Downtown Tunnel and (ii) Midtown Tunnel.  The Secretary shall report to the Governor, the House and Senate Committees on Transportation, the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Senate Committee on Finance on its findings no later than June 30, 2020.


M. Notwithstanding § 33.2-502, Code of Virginia, the high-occupancy requirement for a HOT lane facility that is constructed as a result of the Public-Private Transportation Act (§ 33.2-1800 et. seq.) with an initial construction cost in excess of $3 billion and whose operation, maintenance, or financing is not a result of the same comprehensive agreement that resulted in the facility’s construction shall be not less than two.