Call to Order and Roll Call
Thefirst meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Thursday, June 23, 2016, at<MeetTime> 10:30 AM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Leslie Combs, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Leslie Combs, Co-Chair; Senators Ernie Harris, Christian McDaniel, Dennis Parrett, and Robin L. Webb; Representatives Hubert Collins, Jeff Greer, Dennis Keene, Sal Santoro, John Short, and Jim Stewart III.
Guests: Greg Thomas, Secretary, Transportation Cabinet; Asa James Swan, Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary, Transportation Cabinet; John-Mark Hack, Commissioner, Department of Vehicle Regulation, Transportation Cabinet; Bob Drakeford, Internal Policy Analyst III, Office of Budget and Fiscal Management, Transportation Cabinet; Paul Looney, Deputy State Highway Engineer, Transportation Cabinet; Ron Rigney, Director, Division of Program Management, Transportation Cabinet; and, Jon Wilcoxson, Director, Division of Maintenance, Transportation Cabinet.
Update on REAL ID
Commissioner Hack provided an update on the REAL ID program.
In response to questions from Chair Combs, Commissioner Hack said he is confident that an extension of the deadline would be considered. The Department of Homeland Security uses three criteria in considering an extension: 1) progress made by a jurisdiction in implementing the minimum standards of the Act; 2) a justification for non-compliance and plans for implementing those requirements; and, 3) the existence of external factors that would delay implementation, such as resources, contract cycles, and/or operations issues. Extensions are granted on an annual basis. He said the current driversí license system contract expires in January 2017. There are a number of companies that provide new technologies that would allow the manufacture and distribution of secure driversí license cards. It has not been decided whether or not to request an extension of the current contract or to re-bid the contract.
In response to questions from Representative Keene, Commissioner Hack said travel restrictions would not be imposed until January 2018, with a final deadline of 2020. The cost of an eight-year driversí license would be $48, according to the provisions of Senate Bill 245 of the 2016 Regular Session.
In response to a question from Representative Collins, Commissioner Hack said the medical review board attached to the Commissionerís office has a mechanism in place to deal with medical issues that would affect the safety of the driving public.
Chair Combs stated that the REAL ID program would be discussed again in the October meeting.
Road Fund Cash Management Plan Discussion
Update on Salary Study Required by HB 304
Transportation Cabinet Secretary Thomas provided an update on the Road Fund Cash Management Plan and the Salary Study Required by HB 304.
In response to questions from Senator Webb, Secretary Thomas said the list of state-funded projects that were halted as part of the Cabinetís cash management approach was prioritized from an engineering prospective. Criteria included size of project, stage of development, safety, congestion, and community impact. Projects from all over the state were included. Chair Combs stated that local economies are affected by these projects.
In response to questions from Senator McDaniel, Secretary Thomas said the Road Fund cash model forecasts project expenses over a three-year time frame to model the daily cash balance. He said there is no additional cost for delaying the projects. The $100 million floor is a recommendation rather than a statute.
In response to a question from Chair Combs, Secretary Thomas said the cabinet is using the same cash model, but it is now being evaluated on a daily basis to monitor the low day of the month.
In response to questions from Representative Stewart, Secretary Thomas said maintenance activities such as mowing and striping have been cut back to trim expenses in order to meet a critical cash flow objective. He said the State Highway Engineer is looking at all aspects of projects from start to finish, from preliminary design, to design, construction, utilities, right-of way, etc. all across the state.
In response to questions from Chair Combs, Secretary Thomas said the cabinet spends approximately $10 million per day, and $100 million is the implied safety mark. The maintenance and resurfacing fund will be spread across the state, where it is most needed. The Pause 50 plan is in response to an 18 percent decrease in funding, and is a better way to manage. When more money comes in, it will be spent on the paused projects according to the prioritization model.
There being no further business before the subcommittee, the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 AM.