Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 7138

Public Act No. 17-192

AN ACT CONCERNING LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT OF MAJOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS AND PLANNING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2017) (a) There is established a Transportation Policy Advisory Council, which shall be part of the Executive Department.

(b) The council shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;

(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives;

(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(7) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee;

(8) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or the commissioner's designee;

(9) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, or the commissioner's designee;

(10) The Commissioner of Housing, or the commissioner's designee;

(11) The State Treasurer, or the Treasurer's designee; and

(12) Two appointed by the Governor.

(c) The council shall consist of the following ex-officio, nonvoting members: (1) The Commissioner of Transportation, or the commissioner's designee, and (2) the chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation.

(d) Any member of the council appointed under subdivisions (1) to (6), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section may be a member of the General Assembly.

(e) All initial appointments to the council shall be made not later than December 1, 2017.

(f) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, shall serve as the chairperson of the council. Such chairperson shall schedule the first meeting of the council, which shall be held not later than February 1, 2018.

(g) The council shall be within the Office of Policy and Management for administrative purposes only.

(h) The terms of the appointed members of the council shall be coterminous with the terms of the appointing authority for each member and subject to the provisions of section 4-1a of the general statutes. Any vacancy on the council shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(i) Three-fourths of the voting members of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.

(j) The members of the council shall serve without compensation, but shall, within available appropriations, be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties.

(k) The council shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To develop and recommend policies for improving transportation planning and the selection of transportation projects;

(2) To review the five-year transportation capital plan for the state developed annually by the Department of Transportation, examine the impact of such plan on the present and future transportation needs of the state and evaluate whether such plan assures the development and maintenance of an adequate, safe and efficient transportation system;

(3) To conduct a public hearing annually on the five-year transportation capital plan for the state and seek testimony from metropolitan planning organizations, as defined in 23 USC 134, as amended from time to time, regarding transportation projects to be conducted or being conducted within the boundaries of their respective metropolitan planning areas;

(4) To advise the Commissioner of Transportation on policies and procedures to promote economic development, transit-oriented development, housing development, access to employment, environmental protection and the specific needs of geographic areas of the state;

(5) To review the assessment of transportation projects prepared and submitted pursuant to subsection (e) of section 2 of this act;

(6) To obtain from any executive department, board, commission or other agency of the state such assistance and data as necessary and available to carry out the purposes of this section; and

(7) To perform such other acts as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out the duties described in this section.

(l) The council may establish committees at any time to advise the council in carrying out its duties. Each committee shall be composed of transportation professionals, advocates and other interested stakeholders.

(m) Not later than January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the council shall submit, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, a report on its activities to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation and finance, revenue and bonding.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) For the purposes of this section, "transportation project" means any transportation planning or capital project undertaken by the state on or after July 1, 2018, that expands capacity on a limited access highway, transit or railroad system or parking facility or is estimated to cost one hundred fifty million dollars or more.

(b) The Commissioner of Transportation, in consultation with the Commissioners of Economic and Community Development, Housing and Energy and Environmental Protection, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation and finance, revenue and bonding, shall develop a method to assess each transportation project to determine the impact of such transportation project on economic development, transit-oriented development, housing development, access to employment, the environment, traffic congestion and public safety.

(c) On or before February 1, 2018, the commissioner shall submit, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, such assessment method to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation. Not later than sixty days after the receipt of such assessment method, said committee shall meet to approve or reject such assessment method and advise the commissioner of said committee's approval or rejection. If said committee fails to approve or reject such assessment method within sixty days of such receipt, such assessment method shall be deemed approved. Such assessment method shall become effective when approved by an affirmative vote of said committee or deemed approved. In the event that such assessment method is rejected, such assessment method shall be returned to the commissioner for revisions and resubmitted to said committee not later than thirty days after such rejection.

(d) On and after July 1, 2018, the commissioner shall assess each transportation project using the assessment method approved pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. The commissioner shall not include a transportation project in the Department of Transportation's five-year transportation capital plan for the state unless the assessment of such transportation project is completed.

(e) The commissioner shall submit the assessment of each transportation project to the Transportation Policy Advisory Council established pursuant to section 1 of this act and post such assessments on the Department of Transportation's Internet web site.

(f) The Department of Transportation shall not submit a request for appropriations or authorization of bonds for a transportation project to the General Assembly unless the commissioner has submitted the assessment of such transportation project pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to a transportation project undertaken by the department provided the commissioner finds such project is necessary to maintain the state's transportation infrastructure in good repair and such project does not add capacity to a limited access highway, transit or railroad system or parking facility and is estimated to cost less than one hundred fifty million dollars.

(g) On or before January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation and finance, revenue and bonding, on the assessments of transportation projects completed in the previous calendar year.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 4-9a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) The Governor shall appoint the chairperson and executive director, if any, of all boards and commissions within the Executive Department, except the State Properties Review Board, the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, [and] the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board and the Transportation Policy Advisory Council.

Approved July 11, 2017