Bill Summaries: H343 (2021)

  • Summary date: Mar 22 2021 - View summary

    Creates the 18-member Joint Legislative Study Committee on Statewide Commuter Rail, consisting of nine members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and nine members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Charges the Committee with developing a statewide strategic vision for commuter rail that integrates freight, passenger, and commuter rail uses to encourage increases in passenger rail traffic. Requires that the study provide opportunity for public engagement and include the development of a commuter rail plan to integrate all uses of fixed rail within the state that implements best practices, including integration with four specified plans and sets of recommendations. Sets out 11 topics that must be evaluated as a part of the study, including the use of emerging technologies to enhance rail capacity, safety, and speed; opportunities and challenges for public and private economic development partners; and the use of tax incentives for non-State-owned railroads to create incentives for cooperation with the construction of new rail passenger services and related development. Sets out the Committee's powers. Sets out requirements for staffing the committee. Provides for filling vacancies, establishing a quorum, and paying members subsistence and travel expenses. Requires an interim report to the NCGA when it reconvenes in 2022, and a final report to the 2023 NCGA. Terminates the Committee upon the earlier of the filing of the final report or the convening of the 2023 NCGA. Specifies that the Committee's work is not intended to preempt or delay any ongoing studies or projects involving commuter rail undertaken by units of local government.