Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 606
       By Senator Gibson
       9-00300A-13                                            2013606__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Northeast Florida Regional
    3         Transportation Commission; providing a directive to
    4         the Division of Law Revision and Information; creating
    5         s. 343.1001, F.S.; providing a short title; creating
    6         s. 343.1002, F.S.; providing definitions; creating s.
    7         343.1003, F.S.; creating the Northeast Florida
    8         Regional Transportation Commission; providing for a
    9         nine-member commission board; providing for board
   10         appointment; providing for staffing; providing for
   11         member removal; providing liability protection for
   12         members; creating s. 343.1004, F.S.; providing
   13         commission powers and duties; prohibiting the
   14         commission from pledging the state’s credit; creating
   15         s. 343.1005, F.S.; providing for transportation
   16         projects of regional significance; specifying the
   17         characteristics for such projects; creating s.
   18         343.1006, F.S.; requiring commission plans and
   19         planning activity to be coordinated with other
   20         specified entities; creating s. 343.1007, F.S.;
   21         authorizing the commission to acquire property;
   22         creating s. 343.1008, F.S.; authorizing other
   23         governmental units and the commission to contract with
   24         each other; creating s. 343.1009, F.S.; exempting the
   25         commission from taxes or assessments; creating s.
   26         343.1010, F.S.; specifying that the powers of the
   27         commission are supplemental to other laws; creating s.
   28         343.1011, F.S.; providing for public meetings and
   29         hearings; creating s. 343.1012, F.S.; specifying that
   30         the commission is not an authority for purposes of
   31         specified provisions relating to a discretionary tax;
   32         creating s. 343.1013, F.S.; providing for repeal;
   33         amending s. 120.52, F.S.; conforming provisions;
   34         providing an effective date.
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   38         Section 1. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
   39  requested to create part V of chapter 343, Florida Statutes,
   40  consisting of ss. 343.1001-343.1013, Florida Statutes.
   41         Section 2. Section 343.1001, Florida Statutes, is created
   42  to read:
   43         343.1001Short title.—This part may be cited as the
   44  “Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Commission Act.”
   45         Section 3. Section 343.1002, Florida Statutes, is created
   46  to read:
   47         343.1002Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
   48         (1) “Agency of the state” means the state and any
   49  department of the state, the commission, or any corporation,
   50  agency, or instrumentality created, designated, or established
   51  by the state.
   52         (2) “Board” means the governing body of the commission.
   53         (3) “Commission” means the Northeast Florida Regional
   54  Transportation Commission.
   55         (4) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
   56         (5) “Transportation authorities” means the department and
   57  any entity created under this chapter, chapter 348, or chapter
   58  349.
   59         (6) “Transportation facilities” means all mobile and fixed
   60  assets, including real or personal property or rights therein,
   61  used in the transportation of persons or property by any means
   62  of conveyance, and all appurtenances thereto, such as, but not
   63  limited to: highways; bridges; limited or controlled access
   64  roadways, lanes, and related facilities; docks, wharves,
   65  vessels, jetties, piers, and marine terminals; vehicles, fixed
   66  guideway facilities, including freight rail, intermodal
   67  facilities, and any means of conveyance of persons or property
   68  of all types; passenger and other terminals; park-and-ride
   69  facilities; bicycle ways and related facilities; pedestrian ways
   70  and pedestrian-related facilities appurtenant to other
   71  transportation facilities; transit-related improvements or
   72  developments adjacent to transit facilities or stations; bus,
   73  train, vessel, or other vehicle storage, cleaning, fueling,
   74  control, and maintenance facilities; and administrative and
   75  other office space necessary for the exercise by the commission
   76  of the powers and obligations granted under this part.
   77         (7) “Transportation services” means the conveyance of
   78  persons or property or the provision of transportation
   79  facilities which allows the conveyance of persons or property,
   80  including mass transit services such as fixed-route bus, fixed
   81  guideway vehicle service, paratransit service, flex route or
   82  demand responsive service, and the planning, designing,
   83  construction, and operation of transportation facilities.
   84         Section 4. Section 343.1003, Florida Statutes, is created
   85  to read:
   86         343.1003 Northeast Florida Regional Transportation
   87  Commission.—
   88         (1) The Northeast Florida Regional Transportation
   89  Commission, an agency of the state, is created and established
   90  as a body politic and corporate, covering the six-county area
   91  comprised of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns
   92  Counties.
   93         (2) The nine-member governing board of the commission shall
   94  be selected and serve as follows:
   95         (a) The county commissions of Baker, Clay, Nassau, Putnam,
   96  and St. Johns Counties shall each appoint one person, who may be
   97  an elected official of such county. However, in order to ensure
   98  continuity on the initial governing board, the initial
   99  appointees under this paragraph shall draw lots at the first
  100  meeting of the governing board to determine which two members
  101  shall serve initial terms of 2 years, which member shall serve
  102  an initial term of 3 years, and which two members shall serve
  103  initial terms of 4 years.
  104         (b) The City of Jacksonville shall be represented by four
  105  members, who may be elected officials of the city. Of the four
  106  members, the mayor of the City of Jacksonville shall appoint two
  107  members, and the Jacksonville City Council shall appoint two
  108  members. However, in order to ensure continuity on the initial
  109  governing board, the initial appointees shall draw lots at the
  110  first meeting of the governing board to determine which member
  111  shall serve an initial term of 2 years, which two members shall
  112  serve initial terms of 3 years, and which member shall serve an
  113  initial term of 4 years.
  114         (c)An appointed member may not select or have a designee
  115  selected to serve in the absence of the member, whether such
  116  member is an elected official or otherwise. However, if an
  117  appointed member is designated by the appointing entity by
  118  title, such as the chair of a county commission or the chair of
  119  a transportation or planning agency, the successor or vice chair
  120  may serve for such appointee in his or her absence.
  121         (d) Except for the initial board, members shall be
  122  appointed for 4-year terms. A member may not serve more than two
  123  consecutive terms.
  124         (3) The secretary of the department shall appoint a
  125  nonvoting advisor to the board.
  126         (4) The board may create an advisory panel, with membership
  127  to be determined by the board, and may establish committees by
  128  and at the will of the chair, or upon vote of the board.
  129         (5) The members of the board shall serve without
  130  compensation but are entitled to receive reimbursement from the
  131  commission for travel expenses and per diem incurred in
  132  connection with the business of the commission as provided in s.
  133  112.061. Persons appointed to a committee or an advisory panel
  134  shall also serve without compensation but may be entitled to per
  135  diem or travel expenses incurred in connection with the business
  136  of the commission as provided in s. 112.061.
  137         (6) Members of the board shall file a statement of
  138  financial interest with the Commission on Ethics as required
  139  under s. 112.3145.
  140         (7) At its inaugural meeting, the board shall establish the
  141  duties and powers of its officers as set forth in subsection (8)
  142  and its initial rules of conduct and meeting procedures.
  143         (8) At its inaugural meeting, and annually thereafter, the
  144  board shall elect a chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer
  145  from among its members, to serve for a term of 1 year. No person
  146  may hold the office of chair for more than two consecutive
  147  terms.
  148         (9) The first meeting of the commission shall be held
  149  within 60 days after the creation of the commission.
  150         (10) Six members of the board constitute a quorum. The
  151  commission may meet upon the presence of a quorum. A vacancy on
  152  the board does not impair the ability of a quorum to exercise
  153  all rights and perform all duties of the commission.
  154         (11) The commission may employ an executive director and an
  155  administrative assistant to the board and to the executive
  156  director. The commission may employ permanent or temporary
  157  staff, including consultants, as it determines necessary or
  158  convenient, or, subject to approval by their respective boards
  159  or administrative chiefs, may use the staff of:
  160         (a) The Jacksonville Transportation Authority, its legal
  161  counsel, technical experts, engineers, and other administrative
  162  employees.
  163         (b) The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization,
  164  for planning matters.
  165         (c) The Northeast Florida Regional Council, for planning
  166  and coordination matters.
  167         (d) The department.
  168         (e) The Jacksonville Port Authority.
  169         (f) The counties represented on the commission board, on an
  170  as-needed basis.
  171         (12)An appointing county commission, or, in the case of
  172  Duval County, upon request of the mayor or the city council
  173  president, the Jacksonville City Council, may remove a member
  174  appointed by it for cause, including, but not limited to,
  175  failure to attend two or more meetings of the commission during
  176  any 9-month period.
  177         (13)No liability on the part of, and no cause of action
  178  may arise against, any member for any action taken in the
  179  performance of his or her duties under this part.
  180         Section 5. Section 343.1004, Florida Statutes, is created
  181  to read:
  182         343.1004Commission powers and duties.—
  183         (1) The express purposes of the commission are to improve
  184  mobility and expand multimodal transportation options for
  185  persons and freight throughout the six-county North Florida
  186  region. The commission shall, at a minimum:
  187         (a) Use the data contained in the Long Range Transportation
  188  Plan of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization
  189  and other data to develop a multimodal and prioritized regional
  190  transportation plan consisting of transportation projects of
  191  regional significance; and
  192         (b) Research and develop an implementation plan that
  193  identifies available but not yet imposed, and potentially
  194  developable, sources of funding to execute the regional
  195  transportation plan. In developing the regional transportation
  196  plan, the commission shall review and coordinate with the future
  197  land use, capital improvements, and traffic circulation elements
  198  of the counties’ local government comprehensive plans, the
  199  Strategic Regional Policy Plan of the Northeast Florida Regional
  200  Council, and the schedules of other units of government having
  201  transit or transportation authority within whose jurisdictions
  202  the projects or improvements will be located in order to define
  203  and resolve potential inconsistencies between such plans and the
  204  commission’s regional transportation plan. The commission shall
  205  present the regional transportation plan and updates to the
  206  governing bodies of the constituent counties within 90 days
  207  after adoption. The commission shall update the regional
  208  transportation plan and the implementation plan at least every
  209  other year.
  210         (2) The commission may plan, develop, coordinate, and
  211  promote transportation projects and transportation services of
  212  regional significance which are identified in the commission’s
  213  regional transportation plan.
  214         (a) Subject to available funding and with the approval of
  215  the affected counties and transportation authorities, the
  216  commission may own, purchase, operate, maintain, relocate,
  217  equip, repair, and manage transportation facilities and services
  218  of regional significance identified in the regional
  219  transportation plan.
  220         (b)To ensure coordination of its plans with those of local
  221  governments, the commission shall consult with local governments
  222  concerning the commission’s regional transportation plan.
  223         (c)The commission may facilitate efforts to secure funding
  224  commitments from federal and state sources, or from the
  225  applicable counties, for the planning, development,
  226  construction, purchase, operation, and maintenance of
  227  transportation projects that are of regional significance or
  228  that support intercounty mobility for persons or freight.
  229         (3) In carrying out its purposes and powers, the commission
  230  may request funding and technical assistance from the department
  231  and from federal and local agencies. In order to carry out the
  232  purposes and powers of the commission for its first 5 years, the
  233  commission shall also timely request annually that each
  234  constituent county appropriate a cash contribution of up to 30
  235  cents per capita per year, based on the latest decennial census,
  236  to support its budget; however, the contribution of Duval County
  237  may not exceed 45 percent of the commission’s budget for any
  238  fiscal year.
  239         (4) The commission may exercise all powers necessary,
  240  appurtenant, convenient, or incidental to carrying out the
  241  purposes identified in subsections (1)-(3), including, but not
  242  limited to, the power to:
  243         (a) Sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain
  244  and defend in all courts in its own name.
  245         (b) Adopt and use a corporate seal.
  246         (c) Apply for and accept grants from federal, state, local,
  247  or private sources for the carrying out of the purposes and
  248  powers of the commission.
  249         (d) Partner with private sector business community entities
  250  that may further the commission’s mission and engage the public
  251  in support of regional multimodal transportation improvements.
  252         (e) Adopt rules, including bylaws and sanctions, for the
  253  regulation of the affairs and the conducting of business,
  254  including termination of membership in the commission for
  255  nonpayment of county contributions required under subsection
  256  (3).
  257         (f) Advertise, market, and promote regional transit
  258  services and facilities, freight mobility plans and projects,
  259  and the general activities of the commission.
  260         (g) Cooperate with other governmental entities and contract
  261  with other governmental agencies, including the Federal
  262  Government, the department, counties, transit and transportation
  263  authorities or agencies, municipalities, and expressway and
  264  bridge authorities.
  265         (h) Purchase liability insurance directly from local,
  266  national, or international insurance companies which the
  267  commission is contractually and legally obligated to provide,
  268  notwithstanding s. 287.022(1).
  269         (i) Make contracts and execute all instruments necessary or
  270  convenient for conducting its business.
  271         (j)Form, alone or with one or more other agencies of the
  272  state or local governments, public benefit corporations to carry
  273  out the powers and obligations granted under this part or the
  274  powers and obligations of such other agencies or local
  275  governments.
  276         (k)Require or elect not to require bid bonds and protest
  277  bonds, prequalify bidders or proposers in various categories of
  278  work or services, and suspend or debar consultants and
  279  contractors in accordance with commission rules.
  280         (l) Do everything necessary or convenient for the conduct
  281  of its business and the general welfare of the commission in
  282  order to carry out the powers granted to it by this part or any
  283  other law.
  284         (5) The commission may not pledge the credit or taxing
  285  power of the state or any political subdivision or agency
  286  thereof, nor may any of the commission’s obligations be deemed
  287  to be obligations of the state or of any political subdivision
  288  or agency thereof, nor may the state or any political
  289  subdivision or agency thereof, except the commission, be liable
  290  for the payment of the principal of or interest on such
  291  obligations.
  292         Section 6. Section 343.1005, Florida Statutes, is created
  293  to read:
  294         343.1005 Transportation projects of regional significance.
  295  Transportation projects of regional significance are those
  296  transportation facilities and transportation services within, in
  297  whole or in part, a regional transportation corridor identified
  298  in the commission report presented to the Legislature on or
  299  about December 31, 2012, or subsequently identified by the
  300  commission, which have one or more of the following
  301  characteristics:
  302         (1) Exhibit a significant level of travel between counties
  303  or regions.
  304         (2) Provide a primary connection between activity centers
  305  or municipalities.
  306         (3) Exhibit a significant percentage of freight conveyance.
  307         (4) Provide a primary connection to marine, aviation, or
  308  intermodal facilities.
  309         (5) Provide a regional emergency evacuation route.
  310         (6) Support or enhance the functionality of another
  311  identified transportation project of regional significance in
  312  the corridor by providing for regional movement or removing
  313  nonregional trips from other transportation projects of regional
  314  significance.
  315         (7) Such other characteristics as the commission may
  316  determine relating to regional significance.
  317         Section 7. Section 343.1006, Florida Statutes, is created
  318  to read:
  319         343.1006Plan coordination with other agencies.—The
  320  regional transportation plan and implementation plan shall be
  321  forwarded to the North Florida Transportation Planning
  322  Organization for inclusion in its long range transportation plan
  323  and other planning documents as required by law. To the extent
  324  feasible, the commission’s planning activities, including the
  325  development and adoption of the regional transportation plan and
  326  the implementation plan, shall be coordinated with the work of
  327  the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, the
  328  Northeast Florida Regional Council, and the department.
  329         Section 8. Section 343.1007, Florida Statutes, is created
  330  to read:
  331         343.1007 Acquisition of lands and property.—
  332         (1) The commission may acquire by gift, bequest, or
  333  voluntary purchase any property or property rights necessary to
  334  carry out its mission and purposes under this part; however, the
  335  commission may not obtain private or public property by
  336  condemnation or eminent domain.
  337         (2) If the commission acquires property pursuant to this
  338  part, the commission is not subject to any liability imposed by
  339  chapter 376 or chapter 403 for preexisting soil or groundwater
  340  contamination due solely to its ownership. This subsection does
  341  not affect the rights or liabilities of any past or future
  342  owners of the acquired property, nor does it affect the
  343  liability of any governmental entity for actions that create or
  344  exacerbate a pollution source. The commission and the Department
  345  of Environmental Protection may enter into interagency
  346  agreements for the performance, funding, and reimbursement of
  347  investigative and remedial acts necessary for acquiring property
  348  by the commission.
  349         Section 9. Section 343.1008, Florida Statutes, is created
  350  to read:
  351         343.1008Authority to contract.—Any county, municipality,
  352  drainage district, road and bridge district, school district, or
  353  any other political subdivision, board, commission, or
  354  individual, in or of the state, may make and enter into
  355  contracts, leases, conveyances, partnerships, or other
  356  agreements with the commission within the provisions and for the
  357  purposes of this part. The commission may make and enter into
  358  contracts, leases, conveyances, partnerships, interlocal
  359  agreements, and other agreements with any political subdivision,
  360  agency, or instrumentality of the state and any federal
  361  agencies, corporations, and individuals for the purpose of
  362  carrying out the provisions of this part and serving the
  363  purposes of the commission.
  364         Section 10. Section 343.1009, Florida Statutes, is created
  365  to read:
  366         343.1009Exemption from taxation and assessment.—The
  367  effectuation of the authorized purposes of the commission
  368  created under this part is for the benefit of the people of this
  369  state, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and
  370  for the improvement of their health and living conditions, and,
  371  because the commission performs essential governmental functions
  372  in effectuating such purposes, the commission is not required to
  373  pay any taxes or assessments upon any property acquired or used
  374  by it for such purposes, or upon any rates, fees, rentals,
  375  receipts, income, or charges at any time received by it.
  376         Section 11. Section 343.1010, Florida Statutes, is created
  377  to read:
  378         343.1010Powers of commission are supplemental.—
  379         (1) The powers conferred by this part are supplemental to
  380  the existing powers of the North Florida Transportation Planning
  381  Organization, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the
  382  Northeast Florida Regional Council, the counties and the
  383  municipalities located therein, and the department. This part
  384  does not repeal any provisions of any other law, general,
  385  special, or local, but supplements such other laws in the
  386  exercise of the powers provided under this part and provides a
  387  complete method for the exercise of the powers granted in this
  388  part. The projects of the commission must comply with all
  389  applicable federal, state, and local laws. The projects of the
  390  commission undertaken pursuant to this part may be accomplished
  391  without regard to or necessity for compliance with the
  392  provisions, limitations, or restrictions contained in any other
  393  general, special, or local law except as specifically set forth
  394  in this part.
  395         (2) This part does not repeal, rescind, or modify any other
  396  law relating to the North Florida Transportation Planning
  397  Organization, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, or the
  398  department.
  399         Section 12. Section 343.1011, Florida Statutes, is created
  400  to read:
  401         343.1011 Public meetings and hearings.—
  402         (1) The commission shall hold regular public meetings at
  403  the times and locations determined by the chair but, if
  404  feasible, at least quarterly.
  405         (2) Before the adoption of the regional transportation plan
  406  or the implementation plan, a public hearing shall be conducted
  407  by the commission in each of the counties affected, at least one
  408  of which must be before the board. Any interested party shall
  409  have the opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel and to
  410  introduce testimony in his or her behalf at the hearing.
  411  Reasonable notice of each public hearing must be published in a
  412  newspaper of general circulation in each county in which such
  413  hearings are required to be held, at least 7 days before the
  414  hearing. The commission shall comply with all applicable federal
  415  and state requirements related to new or altered transportation
  416  facilities or services.
  417         Section 13. Section 343.1012, Florida Statutes, is created
  418  to read:
  419         343.1012 Discretionary sales surtax.—The commission is not
  420  an “authority” for purposes of s. 212.055(1).
  421         Section 14. Section 343.1013, Florida Statutes, is created
  422  to read:
  423         343.1013Repeal.—This part shall stand repealed on November
  424  30, 2018, unless:
  425         (1) The commission has adopted the regional transportation
  426  plan and the implementation plan, and at least Clay, Duval,
  427  Nassau, and St. Johns Counties have adopted resolutions
  428  endorsing such plans; and
  429         (2) Adequate funding sources to carry out the initial
  430  phases of such plans have been secured.
  431         Section 15. Subsection (1) of section 120.52, Florida
  432  Statutes, is amended to read:
  433         120.52 Definitions.—As used in this act:
  434         (1) “Agency” means the following officers or governmental
  435  entities if acting pursuant to powers other than those derived
  436  from the constitution:
  437         (a) The Governor; each state officer and state department,
  438  and each departmental unit described in s. 20.04; the Board of
  439  Governors of the State University System; the Commission on
  440  Ethics; the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; a
  441  regional water supply authority; a regional planning agency; a
  442  multicounty special district, but only if when a majority of its
  443  governing board is comprised of nonelected persons; educational
  444  units; and each entity described in chapters 163, 373, 380, and
  445  582 and s. 186.504.
  446         (b) Each officer and governmental entity in the state
  447  having statewide jurisdiction or jurisdiction in more than one
  448  county.
  449         (c) Each officer and governmental entity in the state
  450  having jurisdiction in one county or less than one county, to
  451  the extent they are expressly made subject to this chapter act
  452  by general or special law or existing judicial decisions.
  454  This definition does not include a any municipality or legal
  455  entity created solely by a municipality; a any legal entity or
  456  agency created in whole or in part pursuant to part II of
  457  chapter 361; a any metropolitan planning organization created
  458  pursuant to s. 339.175; a any separate legal or administrative
  459  entity created pursuant to s. 339.175 of which a metropolitan
  460  planning organization is a member; an expressway authority
  461  pursuant to chapter 348 or any transportation authority or
  462  commission under chapter 343 or chapter 349; or a any legal or
  463  administrative entity created by an interlocal agreement
  464  pursuant to s. 163.01(7), unless any party to such agreement is
  465  otherwise an agency as defined in this subsection.
  466         Section 16. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.