View the complete text of this act


SUMMARY OF THE 2006 ACTS AND RESOLVES

ACT NO. 175

(H.869)

Transportation Program

This act is the Transportation Program for fiscal year 2006.  The fiscal year budget expenditures total $439,650,838 (excluding central garage internal service funds).

Of this amount, $245,014,085 are federal funds, $191,592,630 are state transportation funds, and $3,044,123 are local funds.

Program funding highlights are:

Funding sources                                 Trans Fund            Federal$                Local$                     Total

Administration & Finance                    10,573,406               434,503                          0            11,007,909

Policy & Planning                                    2,597,643            8,027,365                          0            10,625,008

Transportation Boards                                 84,600                          0                          0                   84,600

Public Assistance FEMA Grant Program           0               200,000                          0                 200,000

Department of Motor Vehicles            19,617,251            1,324,853                          0            20,942,104

Public Transit                                           6,016,646          11,606,112                          0            17,622,758

Maintenance                                           57,446,094            2,907,000                          0            60,353,094

Aviation                                                    2,195,350            9,155,250                          0            11,350,600

Rest Areas                                                   383,117            3,058,029                          0              3,441,146

AOT Buildings                                            637,000                 64,000                          0                 701,000

Program Development

                Paving                                      10,219,349          45,076,730                          0            55,296,079

                State bridges                             6,307,319          22,498,377                          0            28,805,696

                Interstate bridges                        524,800            4,723,200                          0              5,248,000

                Pedestrian & Bike Facilities       732,452            5,912,463                          0              6,644,915

                Enhancements                               75,560            4,176,811                          0              4,252,371

                Park & Ride                                  820,000            1,375,000                          0              2,195,000

                Roadway                                   7,673,593          56,946,995               451,478            65,072,066

                Roadway D&E                          1,135,650            6,860,850               233,500              8,230,000

                Traffic Operations                       385,528          10,802,148                 48,000            11,235,676

                Multi-Modal Facilities                262,960               289,300                          0                 552,260

                Administration & Tech Services 9,796,500       4,524,600                          0            14,321,100

        Sub-total Program Development 37,933,711        163,186,474               732,978          201,853,163

Rail Program

                Rail infrastructure                    5,679,308          13,119,000                          0            18,798,308

                Amtrak                                       3,300,000                          0                          0              3,300,000

        Sub-total Rail Program                    8,979,308          13,119,000                          0            22,098,308

Total  AOT Programs                          146,464,126        213,082,586               732,978          360,279,690

Town Programs

                TH Aid                                     24,982,744                          0                          0            24,982,744

                TH Bridges                                3,493,170          22,080,176            2,261,145            27,834,491

                TH Class 2                                 5,748,750                          0                          0              5,748,750

                TH Structures                           3,494,500                          0                          0              3,494,500

                TH Emergency fund                1,250,000                          0                          0              1,250,000

                TH VT Local Roads                    431,707            1,943,993                          0              2,375,700

                TH Class 1 Supplemental Grants 128,750                        0                          0                 128,750

Total  Town Programs                           39,529,621          24,024,169            2,261,145            65,814,935

Bridge Maintenance Program                2,028,959            6,261,720                 50,000              8,340,679

Secretary's Discretion                             3,569,924            1,645,610                          0              5,215,534

All Programs                                         191,592,630        245,014,085            3,044,123          439,650,838

The act provides, in part, for the following:

(1)  The agency of transportation is directed to establish a policy for selling state-owned railroad property.  The policy shall, at least, address the following issues and shall set forth the criteria by which:

(A)  A decision is made or not made to sell the property.

(B)  A selling price is derived.

(C)  All offers to sell are either in or out of a bidding process and the specifics of the bidding process.

Prior to any sale of railroad property, the agency is required to notify all agencies and departments of state government to afford the option of acquiring the property and shall obtain the approval of the chairs of both the senate and house committees on transportation for parcels selling for over $50,000.00.  The agency is required to report to the members of the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2007 on the policy.

(2)  The members of the rail authority study committee established pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 33(a) of No. 80 of the Acts of 2005 are directed to reconvene in August 2006 to review the state’s rail program and make recommendations regarding a rail authority to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2007.  The agency of transportation is encouraged to engage in a dialogue with the University of Vermont transportation center to assess further review of a rail authority in Vermont and other possible structures.

(3)  The agency of transportation is required by January 15 of each year to submit a rail report to the members of the house and senate committees on transportation.  The report shall include the status of projects programmed for delivery during the previous calendar year and a summary of any changes to the agency’s organizational structure which may affect project delivery.

(4)  The agency’s annual transportation program is required to include a project‑by‑project description in each program of all proposed spending of funds for the development and evaluation of projects. 

(5)  The agency of transportation, in developing each of the program prioritization systems schedules for all modes of transportation, is required to include the following throughout the process:

(A)  The agency shall annually solicit input from each of the regional planning commissions and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization on regional priorities within each schedule, and those inputs shall be factored into the prioritizations for each program area and shall afford the opportunity of adding new projects to the schedules. 

(B)  Each year the agency shall provide in the front of the transportation program book a detailed explanation describing the factors in the prioritization system that create each project list.

(6)  The agency, which is required to analyze with respect to the program prioritization systems, the rationale for distinguishing between and assigning different weights to different classes of highways and the impact such distinctions and weights have on the prioritization system.  In conducting the analysis, the agency shall determine the implications of assigning equal weights to the interstate system and the national highway system.  The agency shall make recommendations on how to modify the prioritization systems so as to assign priority weighting based on the time a project has been listed in the state’s transportation program.  The agency shall make recommendations with the intent to include modifications to the prioritization system to address these issues to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2007.

(7)  The agency is directed to complete and deploy an integrated software product by November 1, 2006 to handle data entry, access and status reporting of town bridge and culvert inventories currently collected, by regional planning commissions (RPCs), the metropolitan planning organization, and towns and their contractors.  All town bridge and culvert inventory data which have been collected and which hereafter are collected by regional planning commissions shall be made available by the regional planning commissions to the Vermont center for geographic information on its website which shall make this data available to the agency and to the general public. 

(8)  The joint fiscal office, in cooperation with the department of motor vehicles, is directed to examine the options for assessing registration fees for motor buses that do not operate on a fixed route to assess the options for removing or otherwise modifying the diesel fuel tax exemption for these vehicles, and to make recommendations to the senate and house committees on transportation by January 15, 2007.

(9)  A joint rest area advisory committee is created which is composed of the chairs of the house and senate committees on appropriations, the house and senate committees on transportation, and the house and senate committees on institutions.  The committee may meet during adjournment for official duties.  The committee is directed to provide legislative oversight of the construction and operation of rest areas, information centers, and welcome centers.  The advisory committee shall provide advice to the committees on transportation and institutions on capital construction costs and advice to the committees on appropriations on operating budgets.

(10)  The agency is authorized to add new projects to the transportation program in order to secure the benefits of federal earmarks when the general assembly is not in session upon obtaining the approval of the joint transportation oversight committee,

(11)  The agency of transportation shall, in concert with the elders and persons with disabilities advisory committee, review, under the public transit program, the elders and persons with disabilities funding formula for the effectiveness of the mileage component.  The agency shall adjust the funding formula, if appropriate, before the state fiscal year 2007 allocations are announced.

(12)  The provisions of the municipal equipment loan fund have been amended to authorize purchases of equipment that has a useful life of at least five years, and eligible loans from the fund shall not exceed $110,000.00.  The repayment schedule allows for up to five years.

(13)  A variety of motor vehicle fees have been increased as follows:

Ø      The fee for a person who transfers the ownership of a registered motor vehicle to another has been increased from $15.00 to $20.00.

Ø      The annual fee for registration of a motor vehicle of the pleasure car type has been increased from $49.00 to $59.00 and the biennial fee increased from $90.00 to $108.00.

Ø      The annual fee for registering a motorcycle is increased from $30.00 to $36.00.

Ø      The annual fee for registration of tractors, truck-tractors, or motor trucks except truck cranes, truck shovels, road oilers, bituminous distributors, and farm trucks used as hereinafter specified is based on the total weight of the truck-tractor or motor truck including body and cab plus the heaviest load to be carried, as follows:  In computing the fees for registration of tractors, truck-tractors, or motor trucks with trailers or semi-trailers attached, except trailers or semi-trailers with a gross weight of less than 6,000 pounds, the fee shall be based upon the weight of the tractor, truck-tractor, or motor truck, the weight of the trailer or semi-trailer, and the weight of the heaviest load to be carried by the combined vehicles.  In addition to the fee set out in the following schedule, the fee for vehicles weighing between 10,000 and 25,999 pounds inclusive have been additionally increased from $26.25 to $29.00, the fee for vehicles weighing between 26,000 and 39,999 pounds inclusive have been increased from $52.50 to $58.00, the fee for vehicles weighing between 40,000 and 59,999 pounds inclusive have been increased from $183.75 to $203.04, and the fee for vehicles 60,000 pounds and over has been increased from $288.75 to $319.07.  The fee shall be computed at the following rates per thousand pounds of weight determined as above specified and rounded up to the nearest whole dollar; the minimum fee for registering a tractor, truck-tractor, or motor truck to 6,000 pounds shall be the same as for the pleasure car type.  Increases are as follows:

Ø      From $11.24 to $12.42 when the weight exceeds 6,000 pounds but does not exceed 8,000 pounds.

Ø      $12.86 to $14.21 when the weight exceeds 8,000 pounds but does not exceed 12,000 pounds.

Ø      $14.86 to $15.67 when the weight exceeds 12,000 pounds but does not exceed 16,000 pounds.

Ø      $15.17 to $16.76 when the weight exceeds 16,000 pounds but does not exceed 20,000 pounds.

Ø      $15.86 to $17.53 when the weight exceeds 20,000 pounds but does not exceed 30,000 pounds.

Ø      $16.22 to $17.92 when the weight exceeds 30,000 pounds but does not exceed 40,000 pounds.

Ø $16.60 to $18.34 when the weight exceeds 40,000 pounds but does not exceed 50,000 pounds.

Ø      $16.75 to $18.51 when the weight exceeds 50,000 pounds but does not exceed 60,000 pounds.

Ø      $17.32 to $19.14 when the weight exceeds 60,000 pounds but does not exceed 70,000 pounds.

Ø      $17.90 to $19.78 when the weight exceeds 70,000 pounds but does not exceed 80,000 pounds.

Ø      $18.48 to $20.42 when the weight exceeds 80,000 pounds but does not exceed 90,000 pounds.

Ø      The one-year and two-year fees for registration of a trailer or semi-trailer, except contractor’s trailer or farm trailer, has been increased as follows:

(A)  $15.00 to $20.00 and $30.00 to $40.00, respectively, when the trailer or semi-trailer has a gross weight of trailer and load of less than 1,500 pounds;

(B)  $30.00 to $40.00 and $60.00 to $80.00, respectively, when the trailer or semi-trailer has a gross weight of trailer and load of 1,500 pounds or more, and is drawn by a vehicle of the pleasure car type;

(C)  $30.00 to $40.00 and $60.00 to $80.00, respectively, when the trailer or semi-trailer is drawn by a motor truck or tractor, when such trailer or semi-trailer has a gross weight of 1,500 pounds or more but not in excess of 3,000 pounds;

(D)  $30.00 to $40.00 and $60.00 to $80.00, respectively, when the trailer or semi-trailer is used in combination with a truck-tractor or motor truck registered at the fee provided for combined vehicles.

Ø      The four year motor vehicle operator license fee has been increased from $35.00 to $40.00 and the two-year fee for licensing an operator has been increased from $23.00 to $25.00.  The two-year fee for licensing a junior operator is increased from $23.00 to $27.00.

Ø      The fee for a learner permit has been increased from $10.00 to $15.00.

Ø      The fee for an examination for a learner permit is increased from $20.00 to $25.00 and the fee for an exam to obtain an operator's license is increased from $5.00 to $15.00.

Ø      The fee for reinstating a suspended or terminated license is increased from $50.00 to $65.00.

Ø      Certificate of title fees have been increased from $15.00 to $28.00.

Ø      The four-year commercial driver license fee is increased from $65.00 to $75.00 and the two-year fee increased from $45.00 to $50.00.

Ø      The annual fee for registration of a category I special purpose vehicle is $150.00, and the annual fee for a category II special purpose vehicle is $350.00.

Ø      “Category I special purpose vehicle” means a vehicle that is used exclusively as a back hoe, bucket loader, grader, truck shovel (wheeled excavator), street sweeper, or fork lift truck.

Ø      “Category II special purpose vehicle” means a vehicle that is used exclusively as a truck crane, wrecker, concrete form truck, concrete pumper truck, bituminous distributor, calcium chloride distributor, full or semi‑flotation applicator, well driller tender truck (these vehicles may tow a pick‑up truck), permanently mounted well drilling machine, road oiler, water tanker used for dust control, or a truck used to transport a building by use of a “transportation dolly” as defined in subdivision 4(54) of the motor vehicle statutes (Title 23).

Ø      The cap on the purchase and use tax has been increased from $1,100.00 to $1,680.00.

(14)  The closed season for snowmobile operation is defined in the motor vehicle statutes as from April 16 to December 15.

(15)  The maximum amount of transportation funds that may be appropriated for the support of government, other than for the agency of transportation, the transportation board, transportation pay act funds, construction of transportation capital facilities used by the agency of transportation, and transportation debt service, for fiscal year 2006 shall not exceed 18.0 percent of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations, and for fiscal year 2007 and thereafter, shall not exceed $35,440,855.00. 

(16)  Towing services are authorized to charge a fee of up to $40.00 for towing an abandoned motor vehicle from public property.  The commissioner of motor vehicles is required to notify the commissioner of finance and management, who shall issue payment to the towing service.  Payments terminate upon the payment of a total of $16,000.00 for towing abandoned motor vehicles from public property in any fiscal year.  A towing company shall not be eligible for more than 50 percent of this annual allocation.  The commissioner of motor vehicles is authorized to expend up to $16,000.00 of the department's annual appropriation for the reimbursement to towing services.

(17)  Current law requires the operator of a motor vehicle which is approaching a stationary law enforcement vehicle which is displaying a blue or blue and white signal lamp or the operator of a vehicle which is approaching a stationary ambulance, fire apparatus, a vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter, or a motor vehicle used in rescue operations which is displaying a red signal lamp to proceed with caution and, if traveling on a four-lane highway and safety conditions permit, to make a lane change.  This act adds a stationary towing and repair vehicle displaying an amber signal lamp to the above list.

(18)  A municipality may use a grant awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program to provide the nonfederal matching funds required to draw down a federal earmark.  In all such cases, the grant shall be matched by local funds.  The intended use of a town highway grant as matching funds for a federal earmark shall not entitle a municipal grant applicant to any priority for a grant award in any fiscal year.

(19)  A municipality is not eligible for a class 2 town highway grant in excess of $175,000.00.

(20)  The cost of maintaining, staffing, and operating rest areas, information centers, and welcome centers shall be funded from the general fund.

(21)  An exemption under the safety belt and child restraint laws has been created for persons who have been ordered by an enforcement officer, a firefighter, or an authorized civil authority to evacuate persons from a stricken area.

(22)  Each year, up to $200,000.00 of the enhancement grant program, or such lesser sum if all eligible applications amount to less than $200,000.00, shall be reserved for municipalities for eligible salt and sand shed projects.  Grant awards for eligible projects shall not exceed $50,000.00 per project.

Effective Date: July 1, 2006

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us