ASSEMBLY, No. 3870

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 27, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  CARMELO G. GARCIA

District 33 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen S.Kean, Giblin and Assemblywoman Oliver

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Authorizes DOT to enter into public-private partnerships concerning transportation projects.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act authorizing the Department of Transportation to enter into public-private partnerships concerning transportation projects, supplementing Title 27 of the Revised Statutes, and amending various parts of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  As used in this section:

     "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Transportation.

     "Corporation" means the New Jersey Transit Corporation.

     "Department" means the Department of Transportation.

     "Intelligent transportation systems" mean the equipment, facilities, property, information management and communications resources which are necessary or desirable for the advancement, management, or operation of a multi-modal transportation network.

     "Public highways" means public roads, streets, expressways, freeways, parkways, motorways, and boulevards, including bridges, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges, rest areas, express bus roadways, bus pullouts and turnarounds, park and ride facilities, traffic circles, grade separations, intelligent transportation systems, traffic control devices, the elimination or improvement of crossings of railroads and highways, whether at grade or not at grade, and any facilities, equipment, property, rights of way, easements, and interests therein needed for the construction, improvement, and maintenance of highways or intelligent transportation systems.

     "Public partner" means the Department of Transportation or the New Jersey Transit Corporation, as the case may be.

     “Public-private transportation project agreement” means an agreement entered into by a public partner and a private entity for the purpose of permitting a private entity to assume financial and administrative responsibility for the construction, reconstruction, repair, alteration, improvement, extension, operation, and maintenance of a transportation project of, or for the benefit of, the public partner.

     "Public transportation project" means, in connection with public transportation service, passenger stations, shelters and terminals, automobile parking facilities, ramps, track connections, signal systems, power systems, information and communication systems, roadbeds, transit lanes or rights of way, equipment storage and servicing facilities, bridges, grade crossings, rail cars, locomotives, motorbuses and other motor vehicles, maintenance and garage facilities, revenue handling equipment, and any other equipment, facility, or property useful for or related to the provision of public transportation service.

     "Public transportation service" means rail passenger service, motorbus regular route service, paratransit service, motorbus charter service, and ferry passenger service.

     "Transportation project" means, in addition to public highways and public transportation projects, any equipment, facility, or property useful or related to the provision of any ground, waterborne, or air transportation for the movement of people and goods.

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the Commissioner of Transportation may enter into public-private transportation project agreements with private entities.  The transportation project shall be selected from the list of transportation projects for which monies have been appropriated in the annual appropriations act, provided that selection by the commissioner of a public transportation project shall be made with the approval of the board of the corporation.

     c.    If, in any State fiscal year in which the commissioner enters into a public-private transportation project agreement pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the transportation project is not listed in the annual appropriations act, the commissioner may submit that project to the Legislature for approval.  The commissioner shall make the submission to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly on a day when both Houses of the Legislature are meeting.  The Senate President and the Speaker shall cause the date of submission to be entered upon the Senate Journal and the Minutes of the General Assembly, respectively.  Unless the project as described in the submission is disapproved by adoption of a concurrent resolution to this effect by the affirmative vote of a majority of the authorized membership of both Houses within the time period prescribed in this subsection, the project shall be deemed approved and the public partner shall be authorized to undertake the project.  The time period shall commence on the day of submission and expire on the 45th day after submission or, for a House not meeting on the 45th day, on the next meeting day of that House.

 

     2.    Section 5 of P.L.1966, c.301 (C.27:1A-5) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    The commissioner, as head of the department, shall have all of the functions, powers, and duties heretofore vested in the State Highway Commissioner and shall, in addition to the functions, powers and duties vested in [him] the commissioner by [this act] P.L.1966, c.301 (C.27:1A-1 et seq.) or by any other law:

     (a)   Develop and maintain a comprehensive master plan for all modes of transportation development, with special emphasis on public transportation.  [Such] The plan shall be revised and updated at least every five years;

     (b)   Develop and promote programs to foster efficient and economical transportation services in the State;

     (c)   Prepare plans for the preservation, improvement, and expansion of the public transportation system, with special emphasis on the coordination of transit modes and the use of rail rights of way, highways, and public streets for public transportation purposes;

     (d)   Enter into contracts with the New Jersey Transit Corporation for the provision and improvement of public transportation services;

     (e)   Coordinate the transportation activities of the department with those of other public agencies and authorities;

     (f)   Cooperate with interstate commissions and authorities, State departments, councils, commissions, and other State agencies, with appropriate federal agencies, and with interested private individuals and organizations in the coordination of plans and policies for the development of air commerce and air facilities;

     (g)   Make an annual report to the Governor and , pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature on the department's operations, and render [such] any other reports as the Governor shall from time to time request or as may be required by law;

     (h)   Promulgate regulations providing for the charging of and setting the amount of fees for certain services performed by and permits issued by the department, including but not limited to the following:

     (1)   Providing copies of documents prepared by or in the custody of the department;

     (2)   Aeronautics permits;

     (3)   Right-of-way permits;

     (4)   Traffic signal control systems;

     (i)   Develop and promote programs for the preservation, improvement, and expansion of freight railroads, with special emphasis on the use of rail rights of way for the purpose of providing rail freight service;

     (j)   Develop and promote a program to ensure the safety and continued operation of aviation facilities in New Jersey;

     (k)   Enter into agreements with a public or private entity or consortia thereof to provide for the development of demonstration projects through the use of public-private partnerships pursuant to sections 1 through 9 of P.L.1997, c.136 (C.27:1D-1 through C.27:1D-9);

     (l)   Do any and all things necessary, convenient or desirable to effectuate the purposes of P.L.1966, c.301 (C.27:1A-1 et seq.) and to exercise the powers given and granted in that act; [and]

     (m) Enter into agreements or contracts with a private entity and charge and collect fees or other payments for the placement of sponsorship acknowledgment and advertising on signs, equipment, materials, and vehicles used for a safety service patrol or emergency service patrol program operated by the department, or operated by a private entity under contract with the department or through the use of a public-private partnership or demonstration project;

     (m) Enter into agreements with a private entity or consortia thereof concerning transportation projects through the use of public-private transportation project agreements pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); and

     (n)   Promulgate rules and regulations concerning the use of public-private transportation project agreements entered into pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.2011, c.133, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 5 of P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-5) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    In addition to the powers and duties conferred upon it elsewhere in [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.), the corporation may do all acts necessary and reasonably incident to carrying out the objectives of [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.), including but not in limitation thereof the following:

     a.    Sue and be sued;

     b.    Have an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;

     c.    Make and alter bylaws for its organization and internal management and for the conduct of its affairs and business;

     d.    Maintain an office at [such] a place or places within the State as it may determine;

     e.    Adopt, amend, and repeal [such] rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.), which shall have the force and effect of law; it shall publish the same and file them in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B 1 et seq.) with the Director of the Office of Administrative Law;

     f.     Call to its assistance and avail itself of the service of [such] employees of any federal, State, county, or municipal department or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for said purpose;

     g.    Apply for, accept and expend money from any federal, State, county or municipal agency or instrumentality and from any private source; comply with federal statutes, rules, and regulations, and qualify for and receive all forms of financial assistance available under federal law to assure the continuance of, or for the support or improvement of public transportation and as may be necessary for that purpose to enter into agreements, including federally required labor protective agreements;

     h.    Plan, design, construct, equip, operate, improve and maintain, either directly or by contract with any public or private entity, public transportation services, capital equipment and facilities or any parts or functions thereof, and other transportation projects, or any parts or functions thereof, which may be funded under section 3 of the federal Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Pub.L.88 365 (49 U.S.C. s.1602), or any successor or additional federal act having substantially the same or similar purposes or functions; the operation of the facilities of the corporation, by the corporation or any public or private entity, may include appropriate and reasonable limitations on competition in order that maximum service may be provided most efficiently to the public;

     i.     Apply for and accept, from appropriate regulatory bodies, authority to operate public transportation services where necessary;

     j.     Purchase, lease as lessee, or otherwise acquire, own, hold, improve, use, and otherwise deal in and with real or personal property, or any interest therein, from any public or private entity, wherever situated;

     k.    Lease as lessor, sell or otherwise dispose of on terms which the corporation may prescribe, real and personal property, including tangible or intangible property and consumable goods, or any interest therein, to any public or private entity, in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.).  In order to provide or encourage adequate and efficient public transportation service, the corporation may lease or otherwise permit the use or occupancy of property without cost or at a nominal rental;

     l.     Restrict the rights of persons to enter upon or construct any works in or upon any property owned or leased by the corporation, except under [such] terms as the corporation may prescribe; perform or contract for the performance of all acts necessary for the management, maintenance and repair of real or personal property leased or otherwise used or occupied pursuant to [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.);

     m.   Establish one or more operating divisions as deemed necessary. Upon the establishment of an operating division, there shall be established a geographically coincident advisory committee to be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The committee shall consist of county and municipal government representatives and concerned citizens, in the number and for [such] terms as may be fixed by the corporation, and shall advise the corporation as to the public transportation service provided in the operating division.  At least two members of each advisory committee shall be public transportation riders, including but not limited to urban transit users and suburban commuters as appropriate.  One public member from the board of the corporation shall serve as a liaison to each advisory committee;

     n.    Set and collect fares and determine levels of service for service provided by the corporation either directly or by contract including, but not limited to, [such] reduced fare programs as deemed appropriate by the corporation; revenues derived from [such service may be collected by the corporation and shall be available to the corporation for use in furtherance of any of the purposes of [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.);

     o.    Set and collect rentals, fees, charges, or other payments from the lease, use, occupancy, or disposition of properties owned or leased by the corporation; [such] these revenues shall be available to the corporation for use in furtherance of any of the purposes of [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.);

     p.    Deposit corporate revenues in interest bearing accounts or in the State of New Jersey Cash Management Fund established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1977, c.281 (C.52:18A- 90.4);

     q.    Delegate to subordinate officers of the corporation such powers and duties as the corporation shall deem necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of this act;

     r.     Procure and enter into contracts for any type of insurance and indemnify against loss or damage to property from any cause, including loss of use and occupancy, against death or injury of any person, against employees' liability, against any act of any member, officer, employee, or servant of the corporation, whether part time, full time, compensated, or noncompensated, in the performance of the duties of [his] office or employment or any other insurable risk. In addition, the corporation may carry its own liability insurance;

     s.     Promote the use of public transportation services, coordinate ticket sales and passenger information and sell, lease or otherwise contract for advertising in or on the equipment or facilities of the corporation;

     t.     Adopt and maintain employee benefit programs for employees of the corporation including, but not limited to, pension, deferred compensation, medical disability, and death benefits, and which programs may utilize insurance contracts, trust funds, and any other appropriate means of providing the stipulated benefits, and may involve new plans or the continuation of plans previously established by entities acquired by the corporation;

     u.    Own, vote, and exercise all other rights incidental to the ownership of shares of the capital stock of any incorporated entity acquired by the corporation pursuant to the powers granted by [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.);

     v.    Enter into any and all agreements or contracts, execute any and all instruments, and do and perform any and all acts or things necessary, convenient or desirable for the purposes of the corporation, or to carry out any power expressly or implicitly given in [this act] P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et al.);

     w.   Notwithstanding the provisions of section 17 of P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-17) or any other law to the contrary, (1) issue operating grant anticipation notes which shall be secured and retired from operating assistance grants authorized under section 9 of the federal Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Pub.L.88 365 (49 U.S.C. s.1602), or any successor or additional federal act having substantially the same or similar purposes or functions and (2) issue capital grant anticipation notes which shall be secured and retired from capital assistance grants authorized under section 3 or section 9 of the federal Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Pub.L.88 365 (49 U.S.C. s.1602), or any successor or additional federal act having substantially the same or similar purposes or functions.  As used in this subsection, "operating grant anticipation notes" or "capital grant anticipation notes" (hereinafter referred to as "notes") means credit obligations issued in anticipation of these grants. The notes shall be authorized by a resolution or resolutions of the corporation, and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear the date, or dates, bear interest at the rate or rates of interest per annum, be in the denomination or denominations, be in the form, carry the conversion or registration privileges, have the rank or priority, be executed in such manner as the resolution or resolutions require.  The notes may be sold at public or private sale at the price or prices and in the manner that the corporation determines. The notes of the corporation, the sale or transfer thereof, and the income derived therefrom by the purchasers of the notes, shall, at all times, be free from taxation for State or local purposes, under any law of the State or any political subdivision thereof.  Notes may be issued under the provisions of P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et seq.) without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the State, and without any other proceedings, conditions, or things which are specifically required by P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et [seq] al.).  The notes issued pursuant to P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et [seq] al.) shall not in any way create or constitute any indebtedness, liability or obligation of the State or of any political subdivision thereof or of the corporation, except as provided herein.

     The notes shall be payable solely from (1) note proceeds, to the extent not disbursed to the corporation, (2) grant payments if, as, and when received from the federal government, and (3) investment earnings on note proceeds, to the extent not disbursed to the corporation.  Each note shall contain on its face a statement to the effect that the corporation is obligated to pay the principal thereof or the interest thereon only from these grants to the corporation and from the proceeds of the notes and investment earnings on the proceeds of the notes, to the extent not disbursed to the corporation, and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the State or of any political subdivision thereof or of the corporation is pledged to the payment of the principal and interest on these notes. Neither the members of the corporation's board nor any person executing the transactions are personally liable on those notes nor are they otherwise liable for their actions; [and]

     x.    Enter into agreements with a public or private entity or consortia thereof to provide for the development of demonstration projects through the use of public-private partnerships pursuant to sections 1 through 9 of P.L.1997, c.136 (C.27:1D-1 et [seq] al.); and

     y.    Approve or disapprove public transportation projects selected by the Commissioner of Transportation to be the subject of public-private transportation project agreements pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.2004, c.1, s.1)

 

     4.    Section 12 of P.L.1995, c.108 (C.27:1B-21.5) is amended to read as follows:

12.  a.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the commissioner is authorized to enter into agreements with public or private entities or consortia thereof for the loan of federal funds appropriated to the department for the purpose of financing all, or a portion of, the costs incurred for the planning, acquisition, engineering, construction, reconstruction, repair, and rehabilitation of a transportation project by that public or private entity or consortia thereof.

b.    The commissioner, with the approval of the State Treasurer, shall establish rules and regulations governing the qualifications of the applicants, the application procedures, the criteria for awarding loans, and the standards for establishing the amount, terms and conditions of each loan. The rules and regulations shall provide that the term of the loan agreement shall be consistent with terms and conditions as provided by applicable federal law.

c.    Loans granted pursuant to this section shall be considered an investment or reinvestment of Special Transportation Fund funds within the meaning of subsection a. of section 21 of P.L.1984, c.73 (C.27:1B‑21). Payments of interest and principal on loans granted pursuant to this section shall be credited to a special subaccount of the Special Transportation Fund and may be used for financing authorized projects.  Monies appropriated from the special subaccount pursuant to this section shall be in addition to the total State amount authorized to be appropriated in a fiscal year pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1987, c.460 (C.27:1B‑21.1).

d.    Each loan made pursuant to this section shall require the specific approval of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, except for those loans agreed to by the commissioner as part of an agreement for a demonstration project approved pursuant to P.L.1997, c.136 (C.27:1D-1 et al.) or as part of a public-private transportation project agreement entered into pursuant to P.L.    , c.   (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  The Chairman of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee may request periodic reports from the commissioner on the status of any or all loans.  The commissioner shall provide reports so requested on a timely basis.

e.    Transportation projects which are the subject of a loan agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be included in the annual report of proposed projects prepared pursuant to section 22 of P.L.1984, c.73 (C.27:1B‑22) for the fiscal year in which the loan amount for those projects is to be appropriated.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.136, s.13)

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation (commissioner) to enter into public-private transportation project agreements with private entities.  The transportation project is to be selected from the list of transportation projects in the annual appropriations act.  If the commissioner selects a public transportation project, the agreement is subject to the approval of the board of the New Jersey Transit Corporation (New Jersey Transit).

     If the transportation project is not listed in the annual appropriations act, the commissioner may submit that project to the Legislature for approval.  Unless the project as described in the submission is disapproved by adoption of a concurrent resolution, the project is deemed approved and the Department of Transportation (department) or New Jersey Transit is authorized to undertake the project.

     The bill requires the commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the use of public-private transportation project agreements.

     The bill defines "public-private transportation project agreement" as an agreement entered into by a public partner and a private entity for the purpose of permitting a private entity to assume financial and administrative responsibility for the construction, reconstruction, repair, alteration, improvement, extension, operation, and maintenance of a transportation project of, or for the benefit of, the public partner.  The bill defines "public partner" as the department or New Jersey Transit.