Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 363

    February Session, 2018

Substitute House Bill No. 5314

House of Representatives, April 10, 2018

The Committee on Transportation reported through REP. GUERRERA of the 29th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

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

Section 1. Section 13a-175j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Any balance of appropriations in excess of that required to be distributed to the towns, under the formulas set forth in sections 13a-175a to 13a-175d, inclusive, as of June 30, 1977, and annually thereafter, may be made available by the Governor, upon application of the selectman or other authority having charge of highways in any town, to be used to defray, in whole or part, the cost of repairs, improvements, alteration or replacement of roads, bridges and dams in such town which, in the opinion of the Governor, with the advice of the Commissioner of Transportation, in the case of roads or bridges, and the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, in the case of dams, constitute a threat to public safety as a result of damage resulting from a natural disaster. [Any] On or after June 30, 2018, any such balance shall [not] lapse [but shall continue to be available] to the resources of the Special Transportation Fund and shall not be transferred to the General Fund.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 13b-17 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 establishing reasonable fees for any application submitted to the Department of Transportation or the Office of the State Traffic Administration for (1) a state highway right-of-way encroachment permit, or (2) a certificate of operation for an open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic pursuant to section 14-311, provided the fees so established shall not exceed one hundred twenty-five per cent of the estimated administrative costs related to such applications. The commissioner may exempt municipalities from any fees imposed pursuant to this subsection.

Sec. 3. Section 13b-34 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The commissioner shall have power, in order to aid or promote the operation, whether temporary or permanent, of any transportation service operating to, from or in the state, to contract in the name of the state with any person, including but not limited to any common carrier, any transit district formed under chapter 103a or any special act, or any political subdivision or entity, or with the United States or any other state, or any agency, instrumentality, subdivision, department or officer thereof, for purposes of initiating, continuing, developing, providing or improving any such transportation service. Such contracts may include provision for arbitration of disputed issues. If the commissioner deems it to be in the best interest of the state, the commissioner may include in any such contract with a common carrier or any transit district formed under chapter 103a or any special act, a provision for the state to indemnify and hold harmless said entity and for such purpose to provide for the state to purchase insurance with a deductible clause. The commissioner, in order to aid or promote the operation of any transportation service operating outside the state, may contract in the name of the state with any person, including, but not limited to, any common carrier, or with the United States or any other state, or any agency, instrumentality, subdivision, department or officer thereof, for purposes of providing any transportation service in the event such assistance is required in the case of an emergency or a special event. The state, acting by and through the commissioner, may, by itself or in concert with others, provide all or a portion of any such service, share in the costs of or provide funds for such service, or furnish equipment or facilities for use in such service upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner may deem necessary or advisable, and any such contracts may include, without limitation thereto, arrangements under which the state shall so provide service, share costs, provide funds or furnish equipment or facilities. To these ends, the commissioner may in the name of the state acquire or obtain the use of facilities and equipment employed in providing any such service by gift, purchase, lease or other arrangements and may own and operate any such facilities and equipment and establish, charge and collect such fares and other charges or arrange for such collection for the use or services thereof as he may deem necessary, convenient or desirable. The commissioner or any fare inspector, as defined in section 13b-2, shall have the authority to issue citations for any violation of section 13b-38i. The commissioner may also acquire title in fee simple to, or any lesser estate, interest or right in, any rights-of-way, properties or facilities, including properties used on or before October 1, 1969, for rail or other forms of transportation services. The commissioner may hold such properties for future use by the state and may enter into agreements for interim use of such properties for other purposes. Any person contracting with the state pursuant to this section for the provision of any transportation service shall not be considered an arm or agent of the state. Any damages caused by the operation of such transportation service by such person may be recovered in a civil action brought against such person in the superior court and such person may not assert the defense of sovereign immunity in such action.

(b) The commissioner shall, in the name of the state, have power to apply for and to receive and accept grants of property, money and services and other assistance offered or made available by any person, any transit district or political subdivision or entity, or any other agency, governmental or private, including the United States or any of its agencies and instrumentalities, which he may use to meet capital or operating expenses and for any other purpose in furtherance of his powers and duties under sections 13b-34 to 13b-36, inclusive, and 13b-38, and to negotiate for and contract regarding the same upon such terms and conditions as he may deem necessary or advisable.

(c) When necessary or desirable in the performance of his powers and duties under this section and sections [13b-35] 13b-36 to 13b-38, inclusive, the commissioner shall, in the name of the state, have power (1) to hire, lease, acquire and dispose of property to the extent necessary to carry out his powers and duties hereunder and (2) to contract to perform services for any person, any transit district or other political subdivision or entity, or with any other agency, governmental or private, and to accept compensation or reimbursement therefor.

(d) The commissioner may be assisted in the performance of his powers and duties under this section by the Connecticut Transportation Authority, and may delegate specific powers and duties to it.

(e) The commissioner shall have the power to aid and assist transit districts pursuant to section 13b-38.

(f) Repealed by P.A. 84-254, S. 61, 62.

(g) Repealed by P.A. 81-421, S. 8, 9.

(h) The commissioner, in the name of the state, shall have the power to enter into leases with respect to transportation equipment and facilities for the purpose of obtaining payments based on the tax benefits associated with the ownership or leasing of such equipment and facilities. In connection with any such lease, the commissioner, in the name of the state, shall have the power to sell, repurchase and sublease any such equipment or facilities, to place deposits or investments with financial institutions to defease rental or repurchase obligations and to enter into related agreements with parties selected by and on terms deemed reasonable by the commissioner. All net payments received by the state pursuant to any such lease or related agreement shall be credited to the Special Transportation Fund, the Infrastructure Improvement Fund, the Department of Transportation operating accounts, or to the Department of Transportation as required pursuant to United States Department of Transportation approval of the lease. Any such lease or related agreement may include provisions for the state, as lessee, to indemnify and hold harmless the lessors or other parties to any such lease or related agreement. Any such lease or related agreement may provide for the state to purchase insurance or surety bonds or to obtain letters of credit from financial institutions when deemed in the best interests of the state by the commissioner. Any such lessor or other party to any such related agreement may bring a civil action to recover damages arising directly from and subject to any such lease or related agreement. No such action shall be brought except within one year from the date the right of action accrues. Any such civil action shall be brought in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford. The jurisdiction conferred upon the Superior Court by this section includes any set-off, claim or demand whatever on the part of the state against any plaintiff commencing an action under this section. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury. All legal defenses except governmental immunity shall be reserved to the state. Any such lease or related agreement shall be subject to the approval of the Attorney General.

(i) If the commissioner deems it to be in the best interest of the state, the commissioner may include in any contract with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, provisions for the state to indemnify and hold harmless said corporation, and for such purpose to provide for the state to purchase insurance with a deductible clause, surety bonds or to obtain letters of credit from financial institutions. Said corporation may bring a civil action based on the contract to recover damages arising directly from and subject to any such contract. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52-576, no such action shall be brought except within one year from the date the right of action accrues. Any such civil action shall be brought in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford. The jurisdiction conferred on the Superior Court by this section includes any set-off, claim or demand on the part of the state against the said corporation commencing such action. Such action shall be tried to the court without a jury. All legal defenses except governmental immunity shall be reserved to the state.

(j) If the commissioner deems it to be in the best interest of the state, the commissioner may indemnify and hold harmless the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company for claims brought by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation or other third parties against the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company relative to the operation of M-8 rail cars on National Railroad Passenger Corporation property, provided such indemnification does not relieve the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company from liability for its wilful or negligent acts or omissions.

(k) The commissioner may indemnify and hold harmless any operator selected pursuant to section 13b-79u to operate on the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line if the commissioner finds that (1) it is in the best interest of the state to do so, and (2) the National Rail Passenger Corporation requires such operator to indemnify and hold harmless said corporation.

Sec. 4. Section 13b-36 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) The commissioner may purchase or take and, in the name of the state, may acquire title in fee simple to, or any lesser estate, interest or right in, any land, buildings, equipment or facilities which the commissioner finds necessary for the operation or improvement of transportation services. The determination by the commissioner that such purchase or taking is necessary shall be conclusive. Such taking shall be in the manner prescribed in subsection (b) of section 13a-73 for the taking of land for state highways.

(b) The commissioner may sell, lease, convey or enter into any other arrangement for the use of such property for the operation of transportation services, or for such other purposes as the commissioner determines to be consistent with the best interests of the state.

(c) Any company or corporation which conducts or has conducted rail operations in the state shall not, except as provided for in this subsection, sell, lease, transfer or otherwise dispose of any railroad properties and related facilities within the state that are abandoned, inactive or currently being used for railroad purposes to any party, without first offering such properties and facilities for sale to the Commissioner of Transportation. This provision shall not apply to any rail related facility that is to be replaced as a result of a rehabilitation program or emergency or routine maintenance programs. Such offer shall be made in writing and shall be sent by certified mail to the Commissioner of Transportation. Such offer shall include a map and description of the subject properties or facilities, the price, if available, for such properties or facilities, a description of the present or past railroad use of the subject property or facilities, and any other terms or conditions said company or corporation proposes to include as part of such sale. The commissioner, upon receipt of such offer, shall within forty-five days notify said company or corporation, in writing by certified mail, whether he is interested in acquiring the subject properties or facilities. Within one hundred thirty-five days of such written notice, the commissioner shall notify said company or corporation in writing by certified mail either that he has made an express finding [in accordance with section 13b-35] and shall acquire such properties or facilities or that he shall not accept such offer and shall not acquire such properties or facilities. In no event shall said company or corporation offer to sell any railroad properties or related facilities which were the subject of negotiations between the commissioner and said company or corporation to any other party on terms more favorable to said party than the final terms offered to the commissioner during negotiations. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a railroad company from transferring rail facilities within its own system or from selling, leasing or transferring or otherwise disposing of railroad properties or related facilities currently in use to another party provided that in no event shall the sale, lease, transfer or other disposition of such properties or facilities result in the discontinuance of existing rail service in the state. For the purposes of this section, the terms railroad properties and related facilities shall mean all the land, structures, buildings, rails, ties, ballast, signals and materials that have been or are used for rail transportation purposes and that are located either within the right-of-way as defined by railroad valuation maps or other suitable maps or abutting such right-of-way.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 13b-102 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Each person, association, limited liability company or corporation operating a motor vehicle by virtue of authorization issued by the [Federal Highway Administration] Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for charter and special operation shall register such authorization for interstate operation with the Department of Transportation if such person, association, limited liability company or corporation maintains a domicile or principal office in the state. Each person operating a motor vehicle by virtue of authorization issued by the [Federal Highway Administration] Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for charter and special operation shall, prior to such registration, submit to a state and national criminal history records check, conducted in accordance with section 29-17a, and provide the results of such records check to the Department of Transportation.

Sec. 6. Section 13b-109 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

A printed advertisement concerning a motor vehicle in livery service shall conspicuously state the number of the permit issued to the operator of such vehicle by the Department of Transportation pursuant to section 13b-103 and shall conspicuously state the number of any permit or registration issued to such operator by the [Federal Highway Administration] Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Sec. 7. Section 14-250 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) [The] Except as provided in subdivision (3) of subparagraph (b) of 49 CFR 392.10, the operator of each commercial motor vehicle transporting passengers, service bus or motor vehicle used for the transportation of school children and the operator of each commercial motor vehicle with a cargo tank or carrying hazardous materials, as defined in section 14-1, whether loaded or empty, before crossing at grade any track or tracks of a railroad, shall stop such vehicle not less than fifteen feet or more than fifty feet from the nearest rail of such track, and, while so stopped, shall listen and look in each direction along such track or tracks for approaching locomotives or trains before crossing such track or tracks; and such operator shall not, in any event, cross such track or tracks when warned by automatic signal, crossing gates, flagman, law enforcement officer or otherwise of the approach of a railroad locomotive or train.

(b) The operator of any commercial motor vehicle shall not attempt to cross a railroad grade crossing if such vehicle cannot be driven completely through such crossing, without shifting gears, on account of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

(c) The operator of any commercial motor vehicle shall not attempt to cross a railroad grade crossing if such vehicle does not have sufficient space to drive completely through such crossing and to clear the tracks without stopping.

[(d) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section, including exemptions for certain crossings and vehicles that are allowed by the provisions of 49 CFR 392.10.]

[(e)] (d) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars or more than two hundred fifty dollars. Violation of any provision of subsection (b) or (c) of this section shall be an infraction.

Sec. 8. Section 14-251 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

No vehicle shall be permitted to remain stationary within ten feet of any fire hydrant, or upon the traveled portion of any highway except upon the right-hand side of such highway in the direction in which such vehicle is headed; and, if such highway is curbed, such vehicle shall be so placed that its right-hand wheels, when stationary, shall, when safety will permit, be within a distance of twelve inches from the curb, except if a bikeway, as defined in section 13a-153f, or such bikeway's buffer area, as described in the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, is in place between the parking lane and the curb, such vehicle shall be so placed that its right-hand wheels, when stationary, shall, when safety will permit, be within a distance of twelve inches from the edge of such bikeway or buffer area. No vehicle shall be permitted to remain parked within twenty-five feet of an intersection or a marked crosswalk at such intersection, except within ten feet of such intersection if such intersection has a curb extension treatment with a width equal to or greater than the width of the parking lane and such intersection is located in and comprised entirely of highways under the jurisdiction of the city of New Haven, or within twenty-five feet of a stop sign caused to be erected by the traffic authority in accordance with the provisions of section 14-301, except where permitted by the traffic authority of the city of New Haven at the intersection of one-way streets located in and comprised entirely of highways under the jurisdiction of the city of New Haven. No vehicle shall be permitted to remain stationary upon the traveled portion of any highway at any curve or turn or at the top of any grade where a clear view of such vehicle may not be had from a distance of at least one hundred fifty feet in either direction. The Commissioner of Transportation may post signs upon any highway at any place where the keeping of a vehicle stationary is dangerous to traffic, and the keeping of any vehicle stationary contrary to the directions of such signs shall be a violation of this section. No vehicle shall be permitted to remain stationary upon the traveled portion of any highway within fifty feet of the point where another vehicle, which had previously stopped, continues to remain stationary on the opposite side of the traveled portion of the same highway. No vehicle shall be permitted to remain stationary within the limits of a public highway in such a manner as to constitute a traffic hazard or obstruct the free movement of traffic thereon, provided a vehicle which has become disabled to such an extent that it is impossible or impracticable to remove it may be permitted to so remain for a reasonable time for the purpose of making repairs thereto or of obtaining sufficient assistance to remove it. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to emergency vehicles and to maintenance vehicles displaying flashing lights or to prohibit a vehicle from stopping, or being held stationary by any officer, in an emergency to avoid accident or to give a right-of-way to any vehicle or pedestrian as provided in this chapter, or from stopping on any highway within the limits of an incorporated city, town or borough where the parking of vehicles is regulated by local ordinances. Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 19a-342 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 31-40q, no person shall smoke: (A) In any building or portion of a building or bus shelter owned and operated or leased and operated by the state or any political subdivision thereof; (B) in any area of a health care institution; (C) in any area of a retail food store; (D) in any restaurant; (E) in any area of an establishment with a permit issued for the sale of alcoholic liquor pursuant to section 30-20a, 30-21, 30-21b, 30-22, 30-22c, 30-28, 30-28a, 30-33a, 30-33b, 30-35a, 30-37a, 30-37e or 30-37f, in any area of an establishment with a permit for the sale of alcoholic liquor pursuant to section 30-23 issued after May 1, 2003, and, on and after April 1, 2004, in any area of an establishment with a permit issued for the sale of alcoholic liquor pursuant to section 30-22a or 30-26 or the bar area of a bowling establishment holding a permit pursuant to subsection (a) of section 30-37c; (F) within a school building while school is in session or student activities are being conducted; (G) in any passenger elevator, provided no person shall be arrested for violating this subsection unless there is posted in such elevator a sign which indicates that smoking is prohibited by state law; (H) in any dormitory in any public or private institution of higher education; or (I) on and after April 1, 2004, in any area of a dog race track or a facility equipped with screens for the simulcasting of off-track betting race programs or jai alai games. For purposes of this subsection, "restaurant" means space, in a suitable and permanent building, kept, used, maintained, advertised and held out to the public to be a place where meals are regularly served to the public.

(2) This section shall not apply to (A) correctional facilities; (B) designated smoking areas in psychiatric facilities; (C) public housing projects, as defined in subsection (b) of section 21a-278a; (D) any classroom where demonstration smoking is taking place as part of a medical or scientific experiment or lesson; (E) smoking rooms provided by employers for employees, pursuant to section 31-40q; (F) notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (E) of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the outdoor portion of the premises of any permittee listed in subparagraph (E) of subdivision (1) of this subsection, provided, in the case of any seating area maintained for the service of food, at least seventy-five per cent of the outdoor seating capacity is an area in which smoking is prohibited and which is clearly designated with written signage as a nonsmoking area, except that any temporary seating area established for special events and not used on a regular basis shall not be subject to the smoking prohibition or signage requirements of this subparagraph; (G) any medical research site where smoking is integral to the research being conducted; or (H) any tobacco bar, provided no tobacco bar shall expand in size or change its location from its size or location as of December 31, 2002. For purposes of this subdivision, "outdoor" means an area which has no roof or other ceiling enclosure, "tobacco bar" means an establishment with a permit for the sale of alcoholic liquor to consumers issued pursuant to chapter 545 that, in the calendar year ending December 31, 2002, generated ten per cent or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors, and "tobacco product" means any substance that contains tobacco, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco or chewing tobacco.

Sec. 10. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) The Commissioner of Transportation shall, on Interstate 95 between the towns of Old Saybrook and East Lyme, erect and maintain speed warning signs for the guidance of persons traveling thereon and shall erect and maintain such speed signs as approved by the Office of State Traffic Administration.

Sec. 11. Section 2 of public act 17-69 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established a task force to study fully autonomous vehicles. Such study shall include, but need not be limited to, (1) an evaluation of the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding state responsibilities for regulating fully autonomous vehicles, (2) an evaluation of laws, legislation and regulations proposed or enacted by other states to regulate fully autonomous vehicles, (3) recommendations on how the state should regulate fully autonomous vehicles through legislation and regulation, and (4) an evaluation of the pilot program established pursuant to section 1 of [this act] public act 17-69.

(b) The task force 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) One appointed by the Senate chairperson of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation;

(8) One appointed by the Senate ranking member of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation;

(9) One appointed by the House chairperson of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation;

(10) Two appointed by the Governor, one of whom has expertise in autonomous vehicles and one of whom has expertise in insurance;

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

(12) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or the commissioner's designee;

(13) The Commissioner of Transportation, or the commissioner's designee; and

(14) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, or the commissioner's designee.

(c) Any member of the task force appointed under subdivisions (1) to (10), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section may be a member of the General Assembly.

(d) All appointments to the task force shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(e) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall select the chairpersons of the task force from among the members of the task force. Such chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after [the effective date of this section] June 27, 2017. If such chairpersons are not selected or do not schedule the first meeting within such time period, any chair of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, act as chairperson of the task force and schedule other meetings of the task force as deemed necessary until the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate select the chairpersons of the task force and such chairpersons schedule a meeting of the task force.

(f) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation shall serve as administrative staff of the task force.

(g) The task force shall submit, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, the following reports regarding its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation: (1) An interim report not later than January 1, 2018; (2) an interim report not later than July 1, 2018; and (3) a final report not later than January 1, 2019. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits the final report or January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

Sec. 12. Section 13b-35 of the general statutes is repealed. (Effective October 1, 2018)

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

13a-175j

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

13b-17(b)

Sec. 3

from passage

13b-34

Sec. 4

October 1, 2018

13b-36

Sec. 5

from passage

13b-102(b)

Sec. 6

from passage

13b-109

Sec. 7

October 1, 2018

14-250

Sec. 8

from passage

14-251

Sec. 9

October 1, 2018

19a-342(b)

Sec. 10

October 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 11

from passage

PA 17-69, Sec. 2

Sec. 12

October 1, 2018

Repealer section

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 1, "On or after June 30, 2018, any" was added and "as of June 30, 2018," was deleted for accuracy and in Section 3, Subsecs. (b) to (k), inclusive, were added in conformity with Section 12.

TRA

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Department of Transportation

TF - Revenue Gain

approximately $150,000

approximately $150,000

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

Minimal

Minimal

Department of Transportation

TF - Potential Cost

Minimal

Minimal

Note: TF=Transportation Fund; GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

Section 1 of the bill eliminates the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Town Aid Road emergency account which is currently $871,792. The bill requires this amount to be used as part of the underlying balance of the Special Transportation Fund.

Section 2 allows DOT to adopt regulations establishing reasonable fees for state highway right-of-way encroachment permits as outlined in section 673 of PA 17-2 JSS. This is anticipated to result in a revenue gain of approximately $150,000.

Section 9 adds bus shelters to the list of state-owned and –operated or state-leased and -operated property where smoking is prohibited and results in a potential minimal revenue gain from fines. In FY 17, the current statute prohibiting smoking in various locations resulted in 6 fines totaling $472.

Section 10 requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to erect speed warning signs on I-95 between Old Saybrook and East Lyme. If these signs are approved by the State Traffic Administration there will be a minimal cost to DOT to make the signs.

It should be noted that the other sections of the bill are technical or do not have a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to the number of fines related to smoking in bus shelters and encroachment permits.

Sources:

Department of Transportation License, Permits and Fees

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5314

AN ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1 — LAPSE OF CERTAIN TOWN AID ROAD FUNDS

2 — ENCROACHMENT PERMIT FEES

3 — INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR TRANSIT VEHICLES

4 & 12 — EXPRESS FINDING

5 & 6 — TECHNICAL CHANGES

7 — RAILROAD CROSSINGS AND CERTAIN COMMERCIAL AND PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES

8 — NEW HAVEN TRAFFIC LAWS

9 — SMOKING AT BUS SHELTERS

10 — SPEED WARNING SIGNS ON I-95

11 — AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE (AV) TASK FORCE

SUMMARY

This bill makes various unrelated changes related in the transportation statutes. Among other things, the bill:

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, unless otherwise noted below

1 — LAPSE OF CERTAIN TOWN AID ROAD FUNDS

Existing law requires the balance of TAR appropriations that exceeds the amount distributed as TAR grants to be made available to towns to fund the replacement of or repairs to roads, bridges, and dams that are considered a threat to public safety due to a natural disaster. Under current law, this balance does not lapse at the end of the fiscal year and must continue to be available to towns for emergency funding. Beginning June 30, 2018, the bill instead requires this balance to go the Special Transportation Fund.

2 — ENCROACHMENT PERMIT FEES

The bill reinstates DOT's authority to charge for most right-of-way encroachment permits by allowing DOT to adopt regulations establishing reasonable fees for state highway right-of-way encroachment permit applications. The FY 18-19 budget act repealed such authority while requiring DOT to generally increase the fees it charges for encroachment permits awarded for certain large developments in order to mirror the fees charged by Massachusetts (PA 17-2, June Special Session, 673).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

3 — INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR TRANSIT VEHICLES

Authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to indemnify transit operators in order to provide for transit vehicle insurance coverage

The bill authorizes the commissioner, if he determines it is in the state's best interest, to include in contracts with common carriers or transit districts a provision for the state to indemnify the entities and hold them harmless for the purpose of allowing the state to purchase insurance with a deductible clause. In practice, DOT maintains a “Statewide Insurance Consortium,” which provides transit vehicle insurance coverage on behalf of eligible public transit entities.

4 & 12 — EXPRESS FINDING

Eliminates a requirement that the DOT commissioner draft an “express finding” in order to exercise his public transportation-related powers, with one exception

The bill repeals the broad requirement that the DOT commissioner, before exercising his public transportation-related powers, draft an express finding that:

The bill retains a provision requiring that the commissioner send an express finding to a rail company if he decides to acquire a rail company's abandoned or inactive properties. However, it eliminates the requirement that the express finding meet the conditions described above.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

5 & 6 — TECHNICAL CHANGES

Makes technical changes to correct references to federal agencies

The bill makes technical changes to correct statutes that incorrectly refer to the Federal Highway Administration instead of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

7 — RAILROAD CROSSINGS AND CERTAIN COMMERCIAL AND PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES

Incorporates a federal exception to certain railroad crossing laws for crossings equipped with traffic signal devices

Existing state and federal laws require operators of specified commercial and passenger-carrying vehicles, before crossing railroad tracks, to (1) stop their vehicles within 15 to 50 feet from the track's nearest rail and (2) listen and look in each direction for approaching trains. This requirement applies to operators of service buses, vehicles transporting school children, and commercial vehicles with cargo tanks, carrying passengers, or hazardous materials.

The bill incorporates an exception to this requirement, as provided under federal law (49 C.F.R. 392.10), which allows operators of such vehicles to cross without stopping if the railroad crossing is controlled by a functioning highway traffic signal transmitting a green light.

The bill additionally eliminates the commissioner's authority to adopt regulations related to railroad crossings by such vehicles, which may include exemptions allowed under federal law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

8 — NEW HAVEN TRAFFIC LAWS

Specifies that the exception to the law on parking near intersections that applies to certain New Haven intersections applies only to intersections entirely under the city's jurisdiction

By law, motor vehicles generally cannot park within 25 feet of an intersection, marked crosswalk at an intersection, or a stop sign. PA 17-230, 16, created exceptions for certain intersections in New Haven, allowing a vehicle to be parked (1) as close as 10 feet from an intersection that has a curb extension as wide as or wider than the parking lane and (2) within 25 feet of a stop sign at the intersection of one-way streets in New Haven where permitted by its traffic authority.

Under the bill, these exceptions apply only at intersections comprised entirely of highways under New Haven's jurisdiction.

9 — SMOKING AT BUS SHELTERS

The bill adds bus shelters to the list of state-owned and –operated or state-leased and -operated property where smoking is prohibited. Under existing law, smoking in such prohibited areas is an infraction.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

10 — SPEED WARNING SIGNS ON I-95

The bill requires the DOT commissioner to erect and maintain speed warning signs on I-95 between Old Saybrook and East Lyme, as approved by the Office of State Traffic Administration, in order to guide people traveling on that highway.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

11 — AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE (AV) TASK FORCE

Allows a Transportation Committee chair to act as the AV task force's chair until the task force's chairs are appointed

PA 17-69 established a task force to, among other things, study AVs and make recommendations to the legislature on AV regulation. Under the act, the Senate president pro tempore and the House speaker must select the task force's chairs from the task force members, and the chairs must schedule and hold the task force's first meeting by August 26, 2017 (i.e., 60 days after the act's effective date.)

Under the bill, if the chairs are not selected or do not schedule the first meeting within the timeframe, any Transportation Committee chair must schedule the task force's first meeting, act as the task force's chair, and schedule other meetings deemed necessary until (1) the Senate president pro tempore and House speaker select the chairs and (2) the chairs schedule a task force meeting.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

36

Nay

0

(03/23/2018)

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