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S06846 Summary:

Add Art 23 490 - 492, Transp L
Establishes a state high speed rail planning board; requires the planning board to report to the governor and legislature two years from the effective date with a plan for financing of high speed rail and the organizational entity which would oversee and operate New York's high speed rail program.
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S06846 Actions:

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S06846 Memo:

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S06846 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                      May 11, 2023
        Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation
        AN ACT to amend the transportation law, in relation  to  establishing  a
          state high speed rail planning board
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The transportation law is amended by adding a  new  article
     2  23 to read as follows:
     3                                 ARTICLE 23
     4                    STATE HIGH SPEED RAIL PLANNING BOARD
     5  Section 490. State high speed rail planning board.
     6          491. Powers and duties of the board.
     7          492. Assistance of other agencies.
     8    §  490.  State  high  speed  rail  planning  board. 1. There is hereby
     9  created in the department a board, to be known as the state  high  speed
    10  rail  planning  board.  Such board shall be responsible for planning and
    11  advising the department on  future  improvements  to  the  state's  rail
    12  systems  that  are necessary to implement high speed rail service in the
    13  state, including making recommendations for the best governmental struc-
    14  ture to design, build, operate, maintain and finance a high  speed  rail
    15  system.    The  board  shall  also be responsible for reviewing relevant
    16  recommendations as guidelines for future improvements, enhancements  and
    17  additions to rail service in the state, including without limitation the
    18  New  York  state  rail  plan put forth by the department in two thousand
    19  nine, the federal Railroad Administration's high  speed  rail  intercity
    20  passenger  rail  program  of  two  thousand nine, and Amtrak's northeast
    21  corridor vision reports.
    22    2. Such board shall consist of the commissioner, the president of  the
    23  Metro-North Railroad and nine other members.  The governor shall appoint
    24  two  members of the board upon recommendation of the temporary president
    25  of the senate and two upon recommendation of the speaker of  the  assem-
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 6846                             2
     1  bly.  The  governor  shall appoint one member upon recommendation of the
     2  minority leader of the senate and one upon recommendation of the minori-
     3  ty leader  of  the  assembly.  The  remaining  three  members  shall  be
     4  appointed  by  the  governor  without recommendation, provided, however,
     5  that at least one selection shall be a regular mass transit or passenger
     6  rail user and another selection shall represent a passenger rail advoca-
     7  cy organization. The governor may also select a non-voting member from a
     8  labor organization representing railroad employees.  Board members shall
     9  be subject to confirmation by the senate.   Any member  appointed  to  a
    10  term  on the board shall have experience in one or more of the following
    11  areas of expertise: transportation and railroad infrastructure projects,
    12  public administration, financing of  infrastructure,  engineering,  law,
    13  land  use,  urban  and  regional  planning,  management of large capital
    14  projects, labor relations, or have experience  in  some  other  area  of
    15  activity  central  to the mission of the board. A majority of the entire
    16  board shall select a chair from among the members.
    17    3. Board members shall be  appointed  within  thirty  days  after  the
    18  effective  date of this article; provided, however, that after the expi-
    19  ration of the thirty day period, a majority  of  the  appointed  members
    20  shall constitute a quorum.
    21    4.  Except  for  the commissioner and the president of the Metro-North
    22  Railroad, the term of office of each such member shall be  three  years.
    23  Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than by expi-
    24  ration  of  a term shall be appointed for the remainder of the unexpired
    25  term.
    26    5. The board shall meet publicly at least quarterly at the  times  and
    27  places  in the state that the chair designates until the final report is
    28  submitted.
    29    6. Members of the board, except the commissioner, shall be allowed the
    30  necessary and actual expenses  which  he  or  she  shall  incur  in  the
    31  performance of his or her duties under this article.
    32    7.  The  governor  shall  designate  an  executive  director to render
    33  assistance and service to the board, subject to the advice  and  consent
    34  of the senate.
    35    §  491.  Powers  and  duties  of  the  board. The board shall have the
    36  following powers and duties:
    37    1. To provide  the  department  with  input  on  environmental  impact
    38  studies  necessary  for  planning  for  a high speed rail system and the
    39  development of a transportation investment program;
    40    2. To solicit and receive public and stakeholder input on opinions and
    41  proposals for building, designing, maintaining, operating and  financing
    42  a  high  speed  rail system for the state, which shall include a process
    43  for soliciting and receiving testimony from interested parties, a  proc-
    44  ess  for  receiving  public  comments  which  shall include at least six
    45  public hearings held in regionally diverse areas of the state as  desig-
    46  nated  by the chair, and a process for providing periodic public reports
    47  and updates;
    48    3. To evaluate all available high speed rail technologies, systems and
    49  operators, and make recommendations on an appropriate  high  speed  rail
    50  system;
    51    4.  To  research  options,  in  coordination with the department, with
    52  respect to agreements with private entities  necessary  to  permit  high
    53  speed  trains, including but not limited to agreements relating to track
    54  improvements and agreements to operate a high speed rail system, and  to
    55  provide  the department with recommendations on the form any such agree-
    56  ment should take;

        S. 6846                             3
     1    5. To advise and work with the department on  making  application  for
     2  any  additional  funding  that  may be available for the development and
     3  operation of a high speed rail system in the state,  provided,  however,
     4  that  no such funding that requires a state match of funds may be sought
     5  except  on  approval of the governor and the director of the division of
     6  the budget;
     7    6. To make a report, within two years of the effective  date  of  this
     8  article,  to  the governor and the legislature that will include but not
     9  be limited to a fully developed and consensus plan for financing of high
    10  speed rail and the organizational entity which should oversee and  oper-
    11  ate  New  York  state's  high speed rail program.  The board may provide
    12  additional or updated reports documenting the progress of the high speed
    13  rail program from time to time.
    14    7. To accept gifts, grants, loans or contributions of funds or proper-
    15  ty in any form from the federal government or any agency  or  instrumen-
    16  tality  thereof  or  from  the  state  or  any  other source to use such
    17  resources for board purposes, notwithstanding  any  other  provision  of
    18  law.  Such  resources shall include without limitation undisbursed reap-
    19  propriations from the senate high speed rail task force.
    20    § 492. Assistance of other agencies. To  effectuate  the  purposes  of
    21  this  article,  the board may request and shall receive from any depart-
    22  ment, division, board, bureau, commission or other agency  or  authority
    23  of  the  state  such assistance, information and data as will enable the
    24  board properly to carry out its  powers  and  duties  hereunder.    Such
    25  assistance  shall not waive or impair the terms of an existing agreement
    26  negotiated between the relevant employer and employee  organization  nor
    27  limit  any  obligation  to  bargain  terms  and conditions of employment
    28  pursuant to article fourteen of the civil service law.
    29    § 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
    30  have become a law.
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