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2 Document(s) [ Subject: Metropolitan Planning Organizations ]

Committee: Senate Transportation and Homeland Security
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: The Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security interim report to the 82nd Legislature.
Subjects: Air quality | Driver licenses | Driver Responsibility Program | Drug trafficking | Drug-related crimes | Emergency management | Environmental permits | Environmental protection | Gangs | Highway finance | Homeland security | Metropolitan Planning Organizations | Motor vehicle pollution | Outsourcing | Regional mobility authorities | Semi-trailer trucks | Tax increment reinvestment zones | Toll roads | Traffic | Transportation | Transportation, Texas Department of | Tropical storms | Uninsured motorists |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 In5hs
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [56 pages  File size: 2,085 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Recommend ways to maximize the contribution of alternative transportation modes and evaluate what impacts they have on congestion and air quality. Identify statutory barriers to reducing transportation's impact on air quality and preventing any restrictions on or loss of federal funds due to air quality. Study the incidence of fraudulent automotive emissions certifications in the state and recommend changes in enforcement which will increase the effectiveness of state emissions regulation and assist in attainment of federal air quality standards.
2. Review and make recommendations relating to the Texas Department of Transportation's organizational structure and working relationship with local governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Regional Tolling Authorities and Regional Mobility Authorities.
3. Recommend improvements to homeland security, including the state's infrastructure and housing recovery operations. Make recommendations for incorporating best practices and addressing any gaps in existing procedures, and disaster preparation and response, including volunteer involvement, evacuation and sheltering and trauma care, and communications interoperability.
4. Examine the public policy implications of Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) and recommend whether they should be reauthorized to construct specific roadways.
5. Explore the policy implications of transportation reinvestment zones funded by state sales and use taxes as an alternative to public financing of transportation projects.
6. Examine transportation funding concepts contained in legislation considered during the 81st Legislature, Regular and Special Sessions. Analyze options and make recommendations relating to historical funding strategies including prioritization of existing revenues, as well as alternative state and local transportation funding concepts. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
  • Ensure that the pass-through program reimbursements to contractors and local public entities are based on actual project costs and not cost estimates.
  • Prioritize necessary road construction projects and target financing to those segments that affect the largest number of Texans through congestion mitigation.
  • Ensure that Texas receives the best value for its investment. (Subcharges added pursuant to Dewhurst letter dated 4/8/2010.)
7. Study and make recommendations to expedite the environmental review process for transportation projects.
8. Evaluate the Texas Department of Transportation's policy for permitting overweight vehicles and recommend ways to ensure overweight vehicles do not cause significant damage to the State's roadways and bridges. Examine the limited operation hours and staffing of highway weight stations across the state and consider whether expanded operations or other alternatives would improve compliance with weight restrictions.
9. Review the 100 most congested roadway segments and determine if alternative congestion relief modes have been identified to relieve segments in areas where the addition of lanes is not possible. For example, review whether TxDOT and MPOs consider instituting park & rides and encouraging employee flex times to relieve congested roadway segments.
10. Evaluate outsourcing at the Texas Department of Transportation, including, but not limited to, engineering services and aerial mapping.
11. Review the possible increase in number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers resulting from license suspensions or indigence resulting drivers' inability to pay Driver Responsibility surcharges in light of new Department of Public Safety rules.
12. Study and make recommendations for legislation to inform Texans about best practices for hurricane preparation, response, and recovery, including information about basic state operations and pre-designated locations for PODs (Points of Distribution) across the state. Establish procedures and penalties for noncompliance by local jurisdictions that hinder response and recovery efforts.
13. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
  • Monitor the implementation of gang-related legislation passed during the 81 st Legislature and its impact on drug cartel-related transnational gangs and crime in Texas.
Committee: Senate Transportation and Homeland Security
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 81st Legislature
Subjects: Advertising | Billboards | Border security | Bridges | Buses | Crime laboratories | Dedicated funds | Driver licenses | Driver Responsibility Program | Drug trafficking | Emergency management | Enhanced driver licenses | Gangs | Highway finance | Homeland security | Human trafficking | Metropolitan Planning Organizations | Privatization | Real ID Act | State agencies | State government contracts | Toll roads | Trans-Texas Corridor | Transportation | Transportation, Texas Department of | Undocumented immigrants |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 In5hs
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [109 pages  File size: 797 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Evaluate the state's homeland security efforts and the state's recent $140 million investment in law enforcement to help secure the border and study and make recommendations to deter transnational and drug-related gang violence and crime, including the use of injunctions and any possible improvements to Chapter 125 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code, relating to membership in street gangs.
2. Study and make recommendations for the creation of a tamper-proof driver's license or photo ID that complies with the federal Real ID Act, including the implementation of the Secure Enhanced Drivers' License Program (SB 11, 80th Legislature, Regular Session), by the Department of Pubic Safety and issue recommendations for improving and expanding the pilot program.
3. Examine the roles and best practices among individuals, state and local governments, hospitals and other health care providers, and the insurance industry for disaster planning and first response efforts. Explore what changes are needed to better prepare for natural disasters to mitigate claims and losses. Include an assessment of the state's implementation of recent recommendations for evacuations, including movement of medically fragile populations. Study the level of preparedness among critical infrastructure entities in both the public and private sector, the effectiveness of state disaster relief policies relating to this infrastructure and the sufficiency of personnel needed to restore this infrastructure. Assess the state's preparedness to handle a public health emergency. Examine the challenges of interoperability of communications technologies to improve coordination of different plans across jurisdictions
4. Study and make recommendations regarding state and local regulation of billboards. Produce a graphical analysis of current billboards, evaluate objective criteria for locations where billboards can be permitted or prohibited, including but not limited to geographical (corridor or urban/rural), land usage (e.g. industrial), or cultural/historical criteria, and include consideration of the impact on any federal funding.
5. Study and make recommendations for improving management and oversight of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Include a review of populations served, MPO governance, oversight, roles, variation among MPOs, and MPO decision-making ability in relation to TxDOT or other agencies.
6. Study Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) and make recommendations to ensure the maximum benefit to taxpayers. Study the implications of requiring CDAs to have definitive buyback formulas that can be calculated without using any form of future revenue forecasts. Study requiring potential CDA projects to be solicited only after environmental clearance has been granted. Study the implications of shortening CDA's maximum allowable contract duration. Study provisions affecting competing facilities.
7. Review the status of structurally deficient bridges and provide increased oversight of TxDOT's bridge repair activities to ensure that any unsafe bridges are identified and repaired as soon as possible.
8. Study and make recommendations relating to the status of current and planned toll road projects in Texas, the use of public-private partnerships to build new roads and/or transit services, and the market valuation process. Analyze the impact of lengthening the number of years a toll road authority may issue bonds.
9. Study the effectiveness of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) and make recommendations for its future role in providing additional roads in Texas. Provide specific recommendations relating to public input in the development of the TTC.
10. Study the impact of prohibitions in Section 2301.476 (Manufacturer or Distributor Ownership, Operation, or Control of Dealership), Occupations Code, on the sale of buses in Texas and make recommendations. Gather information and monitor the methods of sale of buses in other states and the dealership network, if any. Evaluate the need and possible benefits or detriments caused to public and private sector in application of this law and rule to the bus industry.
11. Study the issue and amount of state agency expenditures on media activities and the legal authority for such expenditures. Develop recommendations for guidelines to ensure appropriate use of state funds to provide legitimate public education.
12. Monitor urban crime laboratories and their compliance with state laws regulating their functions and make recommendations to restore public trust in their functions and to ensure full compliance with federal Homeland Security reporting requirements. Specifically, review the report issued by the Independent Investigator for the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory and Property Room, the independent panel review of certain criminal convictions prompted by the conclusions of this report, and the implementation by the City of Houston of any reforms recommended in this report.
13. Study and review state and local options for expanding transportation funding and explore options to reduce diversions of Fund 6 revenue.(Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
14. Study and make recommendations relating to whether the Texas Department of Transportation is in compliance with Transportation Code ยง201.109, Revenue Enhancement, and whether the Texas Department of Transportation is using the funding sources provided by the Legislature, including, but not limited to, General Obligation, Fund 6 and Mobility Fund bonds, to build new roads. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
15. Study and make recommendations to stem the tide of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and human smuggling, and to reduce the criminal activities within the Border region. (Joint charge with Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade)
16. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Transportation & Homeland Security Committee, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, report on implementation of SB 792, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, and SB 1723, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, to improve the overall collection rate and compliance rate with the Driver Responsibility Program.

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