A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation

A Joint Project of the National Conference of State Legislatures and The AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance

Transportation Governance
and Finance
A 50-State Review of State Legislatures
and Departments of Transportation
By NCSL Authors
Jaime Rall
Alice Wheet
Nicholas J. Farber
James B. Reed
With Collaboration and Support from the
AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance
Under the Guidance of the
NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project Oversight Committee
William T. Pound
Executive Director
7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
(303) 364-7700
444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 624-5400
www.ncsl.org
May 2011
Peter “Jack” Basso
Director
444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 249
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 624-5818
www.transportation-finance.org
The National Conference of State Legislatures is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the
states, commonwealths and territories.
NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing
state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.
NCSL has three objectives:
• To improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures.
• To promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures.
• To ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.
The Conference operates from offices in Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.
Established by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) through Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for
Users (SAFETEA-LU), the mission of the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance is to provide support to State
Departments of Transportation in the development of finance plans and project oversight tools and to develop and offer
training and state-of-the-art finance methods to advance transportation projects and leverage funding.
The center provides four primary services:
• Professional Education
• Research Services
• Technical Assistance
• Information Dissemination
Printed on recycled paper.
©2011 by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
All rights reserved.
ISBN 978-1-58024-630-9
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures iii
Contents
List of Tables and Figures …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….iv
Acknowledgments ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….v
Acronyms………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….vi
Note on Usage……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………vi
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………vii
1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
2. Participants in Transportation Governance and Finance……………………………………………………………….. 4
3. Legislature-DOT Communication and Collaboration………………………………………………………………….. 8
4. Transportation Governance …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10
Legislation…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10
Drafting and Presenting Legislation…………………………………………………………………………………. 10
Lobbying…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
Fiscal Notes and Policy Analyses……………………………………………………………………………………… 11
Legislative Oversight…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11
Committee Oversight……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
DOT Leadership Appointments……………………………………………………………………………………… 14
Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations……………………………………………………………….. 15
Performance Goals ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Program Evaluation and Sunset Reviews ………………………………………………………………………….. 17
Reporting Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18
Other Tools that Support Legislative Oversight…………………………………………………………………. 19
Resources to Support DOT Compliance with Legislative Oversight Requirements …………………. 19
5. Transportation Funding and Finance……………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
State Budget and Appropriations Processes……………………………………………………………………………… 20
Federal, State and Local Transportation Funding……………………………………………………………………… 22
Federal Transportation Funding ……………………………………………………………………………………… 22
State Transportation Funding …………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
Local Transportation Funding ………………………………………………………………………………………… 30
Innovative Finance……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 31
Transportation Planning………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 35
Other Legislative and Executive Interactions in Transportation Funding and Finance……………………. 38
Retention of Surplus or Excess Funds………………………………………………………………………………. 38
Controlling DOT Costs………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38
State Profiles……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
Transportation Governance and Finance
iv National Conference of State Legislatures
Appendices
A. NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project Oversight Committee Members…………………………………………. 165
B. NCSL-AASHTO Survey Instruments ……………………………………………………………………………. 167
C. NCSL-AASHTO Survey Respondents…………………………………………………………………………… 181
D. Appointments of DOT Leadership………………………………………………………………………………… 185
E. Legislative Committees that Addressed Transportation Issues as of April 2011 ……………………… 199
Notes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 205.
Selected Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 209
List of Tables and Figures
Tables
1. NCSL Categorization of “Red,” “White” and “Blue” Legislatures ………………………………………….. 4
2. Major Stakeholders in Transportation Governance and Finance …………………………………………….. 6
3. General Recommendations from State Legislators and DOT Executives …………………………………. 8
4. Recommendations for Communication and Collaboration
from State Legislators and DOT Executives ……………………………………………………………………….. 9
5. Federal-Aid Highway and Transit Programs ……………………………………………………………………… 23
6. State-by-State Revenue Sources for Roads, Bridges, Rail and Transit …………………………………….. 24
7. Transportation Finance Mechanisms ………………………………………………………………………………. 31
8. State-By-State Transportation Finance Mechanisms……………………………………………………………. 32
9. Federal Laws that Influence the Transportation Planning Process …………………………………………. 35
Figures
1. Continuum of Legislature-DOT Interactions …………………………………………………………………….. 9
2. DOT Leadership Structures …………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
3. Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations……………………………………………………………….. 16
4. Typical State Budget Process ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
5. State Uses of Fuel Tax Revenues ……………………………………………………………………………………… 29
6. PPP Enabling Statautes and Legislative Approval Requirements…………………………………………… 34
7. Participants in the Transportation Planning Process……………………………………………………………. 36
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures v
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the many people who contributed to the development and production of this report.
We are deeply grateful to the 28 members and eight advisory members of the NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project
Oversight Committee (also known as the NCSL-AASHTO Task Force). This group oversaw project activities;
helped define the scope, content and methodology of the report; and offered in-depth feedback on various project drafts. Special gratitude is extended to the committee’s co-chairs, Joseph Erskine of the Kansas Department
of Transportation and Jennifer Jones of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, for their leadership, engagement and full support of this effort. (Appendix A contains a list of committee members.)
We also wish to thank our partners at the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance, who funded
and collaborated on this project. Joung Lee, in particular, offered indispensable assistance, encouragement and
thoughtful guidance throughout the year-long research process, and continues to provide invaluable leadership
in making the findings accessible to a broad audience. We also thank Jack Basso, Wendy Franklin and Bud McDonald at AASHTO for their help and support.
It would have been impossible to produce this report without the cooperation of the more than two hundred
state legislators, legislative staff and DOT personnel across the country who shared information and insights
with us through detailed responses to our original surveys and fact-checking contributions on earlier drafts. We
thank them for providing the substantial state-by-state information that is at the foundation of this project.
(Appendix B contains a list of responding organizations.) We are also grateful to the Transportation Research
Board Taxation and Finance Committee for allowing us to present our initial findings and receive feedback from
transportation stakeholders at the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2011.
We are truly indebted to Senator Paula Dockery (Fla.), Representative Linda Harper-Brown (Texas) and Senator Bruce Starr (Ore.), who shared their knowledge and perspectives in interviews and conversations with us
and inspired much of this report. We are especially grateful to Senator Dockery for her insightful presentation
concerning legislative oversight of state DOTs at the NCSL Fall Forum in 2008.
We further thank Julia Pulidindi and Leslie Wollack at the National League of Cities for organizing and facilitating an informative conference call with city officials in October 2010 to discuss state-local issues, and especially
thank call participants Alderman Robert J. Bauman (Milwaukee, Wis.), Councilman Claude Mattox (Phoenix,
Ariz.), Mayor Oscar Trevino (North Richland Hills, Texas) and then-Councilmember Steve Elkins (Bloomington, Minn.) for their contributions.
We extend our special gratitude to our NCSL colleagues Bob Boerner, Chris Csanyi, Brenda Erickson, Rise
Jones, Arturo Pérez and Gene Rose, who generously gave of their time and expertise in many areas to enrich this
project. We also thank Leann Stelzer for editing and formatting the report, and intern Cortney Green for her
research assistance. Thanks go to Paul Saieg for his help with compiling survey data.
Transportation Governance and Finance
vi National Conference of State Legislatures
AAR Association of American Railroads
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ASLCS American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries
BAB(s) Build America Bond(s)
CLEAR Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation
CSG The Council of State Governments
CY calendar year
DOT(s) department(s) of transportation
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FTA Federal Transit Administration
FY fiscal year
GARVEE grant anticipation revenue vehicle
HTF Highway Trust Fund
LRP long-range plan
MPO(s) metropolitan planning organization(s)
NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials
NCSL National Conference of State Legislatures
NGA National Governors Association
NLPES National Legislative Program Evaluation Society
PAB(s) private activity bond(s)
PPP(s) or P3(s) public-private partnership(s)
R(T)PO(s) regional (transportation) planning organization(s)
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SIB(s) state infrastructure bank(s)
STIP Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
TIFIA Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
TIGER Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery
U.S. DOT U.S. Department of Transportation
Acronyms
Note on Usage
The terms “legislature” and “DOT” are used generically in the synthesis portion
of this report to identify the government branch or entity being discussed.
Thus, “legislature” is consistently written in lower-case throughout, to refer to
state legislative branches in general rather than to any specific state legislative
body. Capitalized, proper names for the legislatures and DOTs in each state are
identified and used in the State Profiles section.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures vii
Executive Summary
I
n recent years, states have faced challenges in providing a safe, reliable, effective and efficient transportation
network. These challenges are characterized by an aging system and growing transportation needs, coupled
with declining abilities to pay for needed maintenance and capacity expansion. How each state meets these
challenges is necessarily shaped by its distinctive approach to governing and paying for its transportation system,
within a unique balance of power among its branches of government. Yet, until now, little nationwide, comparative information has been available about how state government entities work together in practice to address
transportation governance and finance.
From 2010 to 2011, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) partnered to produce an unprecedented, 50-state review of transportation governance and finance, based largely on in-depth, original survey research. The project
focused on transportation finance and on the roles of, and relationships between, those state government entities
that are most active in transportation issues: state legislatures and, under the authority of governors, state departments of transportation (DOTs). The resulting groundbreaking report is intended to benefit DOTs and legislatures by offering a rich diversity of approaches to consider as they seek to address their states’ transportation
challenges and effectively serve the public good within what often are complex intergovernmental arrangements.
The report provides an overview of state transportation governance and finance as well as detailed profiles and
other information for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Participants in Transportation Governance and Finance
A complex network of public and private organizations finances, plans, builds and
operates the U.S. transportation system. Every U.S. jurisdiction has an elected legislative body that is broadly responsible for policies, programs and, to some extent,
appropriations and program oversight, and an agency or department within the
executive branch that is responsible for highway functions under the authority of
a governor or other lead executive. The organizational structures and functions of
these entities, however, vary widely across jurisdictions.
Legislatures vary from those with year-round sessions, full-time legislators and large
staffs (such as those in California, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania) to those with limited or biennial
sessions, part-time legislators and smaller staffs (such as those in Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia). A legislature’s overall characteristics
and capacity will affect, but not necessarily dictate, the extent of its involvement in transportation governance. Vermont, for example—a state that has
a part-time legislature with limited staff and compensation—has high legislative involvement in transportation issues.
State DOTs vary by organizational structure, modes served, balance between state and local roles, and general roles and responsibilities. They also
vary by the practical division of roles and responsibilities between the govEvery U.S. jurisdiction has an
elected legislative body and
an executive department
that is responsible for
highway functions under the
authority of a governor or
other lead executive.
Most state DOTs are
organized by divisions or
organizational units based
on functional activities such
as administration, finance,
planning, engineering,
operations or construction.
Transportation Governance and Finance
viii National Conference of State Legislatures
ernor and the DOT. In some states—including Michigan and Oklahoma—governors have chosen to delegate
much of the responsibility to the DOTs. In others—such as Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania—the governor’s office is more actively involved in transportation policy and budgeting.
Other major stakeholders in transportation governance and finance include federal entities; state transportation
commissions and boards; state-level non-highway modal agencies; tolling and turnpike agencies; airport and
port authorities; tribal, regional, metropolitan and local entities; and voters, interest groups and the general
public.
Legislature-DOT Communication and Collaboration
In anonymous survey responses, legislators and DOT executives overwhelmingly agreed that maintaining regular, open, honest and transparent
communication is one of the most vital elements of effective transportation governance, and that intergovernmental relationships should be made
a priority. In practice, engagement between legislatures and DOTs differ
significantly across jurisdictions, including states with limited, ad hoc interactions; those with formal, structured engagements focused on reporting
requirements and the budget process; and those with extensive, proactive,
collaborative communication that extends beyond the legislative session and
pervades all levels of both organizations. Most states have a combination of
formal and informal mechanisms that are more active at certain times of year, particularly in relation to budgeting and appropriations.
One recommendation from survey respondents for promoting effective interactions
is to have a strong DOT government relations office that includes a state legislative
liaison. At least 38 states and the District of Columbia have such offices or liaisons
that act as primary points of contact for legislators and legislative staff, provide requested information to the legislature, and sometimes lobby on behalf of the DOT.
Most other states incorporate some of the functions of a legislative liaison under another division or position, such as a communications or legal services office. Wisconsin also has a legislative committee within the DOT that meets regularly to discuss
pending legislation. New Mexico is one of three states that have no such entity; the state reports direct, frequent
communication between multiple levels of each organization instead.
Transportation Governance
The separation of powers between legislatures and DOTs necessarily results in many areas of overlap—and
therefore possible tensions and opportunities for collaboration—in state transportation governance. Several
ways in which state legislatures and DOTs share the complex task of governing the nation’s transportation system are outlined below.
Legislation
Legislatures must authorize the activities of the executive branch through legislation,
and they also enact many laws that affect state DOTs and the nation’s transportation
system. This power generally is balanced on the executive side by governors’ veto authority. In many states, DOTs also can participate actively in the legislative process.
Most states have a
combination of formal and
informal communications
between their legislatures
and DOTs that are more
active at certain times of
year, especially in relation to
the budget process.
Most state DOTs have a
government relations office
or legislative liaison that
acts as the primary point of
contact with the legislature.
In about half the states,
DOTs can draft, introduce
or request transportationrelated legislation.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures ix
For example, DOTs can draft, introduce or request transportation-related legislation in at least 22 states and
the District of Columbia; in Wyoming, the process of drafting transportation-related legislation is fully collaborative. In Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Missouri, DOT lobbyists formally present DOT positions on legislative
measures, but in some other states—including Louisiana and Texas—the DOT does not lobby the legislature.
In Texas, however, although state agency employees may not influence legislation, the Texas Transportation
Commission has statutory authority to provide recommendations to the governor and the Legislature on DOT
operations and efficiencies.
In addition, some state DOTs provide information about the implications of proposed transportation-related legislation. All state legislatures have a process by which
some or all proposed bills are accompanied by details of their fiscal implications, although the frequency of providing this information varies. In almost all states, these
fiscal notes are prepared by a legislative fiscal office, sometimes—as in Missouri,
Oregon and Texas—informed by data or impact statements solicited from affected
agencies such as DOTs. In Alaska, Minnesota, North Dakota, West Virginia and
Wisconsin, however, DOTs and other executive departments prepare fiscal notes.
DOTs in Virginia and Wisconsin also provide analyses of policy implications. These activities can add to an
agency’s workload, but also offer another opportunity for legislative-executive communication and collaboration.
DOTs also track and monitor transportation-related bills, testify at legislative hearings, provide requested information to legislators and legislative staff, or make recommendations concerning proposed legislation.
Legislative Oversight
Legislative oversight refers to the review and evaluation of selected executive branch programs and activities.
During the past three decades, legislatures have assumed more active oversight of executive branch operations.
Nevertheless, only about half of DOT executives as well as state legislators who responded to an NCSL-AASHTO survey agreed that a legislature has a fundamental responsibility to oversee DOT operations. More than
40 percent of legislators, however, thought the DOT should be subject to additional independent oversight and
accountability, while no DOT officials did.
Oversight takes place through many mechanisms described below; most
states use a blend of most or all of these tools. Typically, the budget and appropriations process also includes oversight activities, and in many cases is
seen as the main forum for legislative oversight of the DOT. Several survey
respondents remarked that knowledge and investment on the part of both
DOTs and legislatures are necessary to ensure that oversight tools are effective and meaningful in practice.
Committee Oversight
Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported ongoing oversight of their
DOTs by one or more legislative committees or commissions. In many states, several committees share oversight responsibilities for a DOT. Tennessee’s DOT, for
example, is overseen by seven legislative committees.
Some state DOTs lobby
the legislature or provide
information about the policy
or fiscal implications of
proposed transportationrelated legislation.
Most state legislatures use
a blend of most or all of
the mechanisms for DOT
oversight described in this
report.
Almost all states and the
District of Columbia report
ongoing oversight of
their DOTs by one or more
legislative committees or
commissions.
Transportation Governance and Finance
x National Conference of State Legislatures
DOT Leadership Appointments
In most states, legislatures participate in appointing DOT executives or
other transportation leaders within the executive branch that influence a
DOT’s activities. In most cases, these leaders are appointed by the governor
with approval of the Senate. At least some appointments in 19 states, however, are made by the executive branch with no legislative approval required.
In contrast, some DOT leaders in California, Georgia and South Carolina
are directly selected by legislators. In Pennsylvania, legislative leaders serve
on the Transportation Commission by virtue of their office, creating an unusually direct interaction between the legislature and the DOT in transportation governance. Mississippi’s unique three-member Transportation Commission is elected by the people and is the only selection process of DOT leadership in the nation that involves
neither the legislature nor the executive branch. Legislatures also may set statutory guidelines for appointments
or share the authority to remove DOT leaders.
Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations
Although legislatures have generally delegated the responsibility to executive agencies to promulgate administrative rules and regulations, in 43 states they retain authority to review such rules to ensure their compliance with statutory authority and
legislative intent. In more than half of these states, the legislature or a designated
committee has the power to suspend or supersede a rule; in the rest, the review committee’s role is mainly advisory. Mississippi, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico have no
review process, while California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico and North Carolina have executive
branch review only.
Performance Goals
State DOTs nationwide now have goals and objectives against which their
performance is measured. In most states, the executive branch develops performance goals and measures DOT progress toward them, in accordance
with existing law. In Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Washington, a legislative directive has encouraged or required a move toward DOT performance management. The legislatures in at least eight states and the District
of Columbia more actively develop or approve specific DOT performance
goals.
In addition, as of 2008, 22 legislatures reported using performance information for executive agencies at some point in the budget process. In Utah,
the legislature assesses first whether goals have been met before determining
funding levels; in Montana, a legislative committee is developing ways to
consider performance goals in the budgeting process for all agencies, including the DOT.
Most state DOT leaders are
appointed by the governor
with approval of the
Senate. Many, however, are
appointed by the executive
branch alone, and a few are
selected by legislators or by
a vote of the people.
Most states have a process
for legislative review of
administrative rules and
regulations.
In most states, the
executive branch develops
performance goals and
measures DOT progress
toward them, in accordance
with existing law.
About half of state
legislatures use performance
information for executive
agencies at some point in
the budget process.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures xi
Program Evaluation and Sunset Reviews
Currently, 48 states have specialized legislative program evaluation offices charged
with carrying out research and oversight studies of executive agencies; only Ohio and
Oregon do not. Texas has three such offices. Washington had a legislatively created,
separate transportation audit unit from 2003 to 2006, the Transportation Performance Audit Board. These offices generally review the effectiveness, efficiency and
legality of state executive agencies, as well as the extent to which those agencies are following legislative intent.
Further, at least 26 legislatures review non-legislative program evaluations or performance audits—such as those
performed by an executive branch state auditor—in addition to performing their own.
Some states also conduct sunset reviews, which evaluate the functions of a
state entity to assess whether it should continue to exist. Arizona, Florida,
Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas perform regular sunset reviews of the DOT;
in Texas, the DOT will expire on Sept. 1, 2011, unless affirmatively continued by the Legislature.
Reporting Requirements
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia identified using reporting requirements to the full legislature or a legislative committee as a mechanism for legislative oversight of their DOTs. Common reporting requirements include reviews of
expenditures, obligations, projects, performance or other agency activities. Some requirements may be instituted due to lack of information about or past concern with
a program. Others may be required only for a limited time to facilitate oversight of a particular activity. For
example, the Massachusetts DOT—newly created in 2009—has many current reporting requirements to the
legislature, some of which will end when the transition to the new organization is complete.
Other Tools that Support Legislative Oversight
Other tools that support legislative oversight include legislative requests for information from the DOT as well
as use of other independent sources of transportation-related data such as legislative research staff, universities,
diverse interest groups, NCSL and legislative fiscal offices.
Resources to Support DOT Compliance with Legislative Oversight Requirements
State DOTs devote significant resources to complying with legislative oversight requirements but, in general, few or no resources are provided specifically to help them meet these requirements. Exceptions include Hawaii,
Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont,
Washington and Wisconsin, where resources for meeting these requirements
have been included in the DOT budget or in ongoing or separate appropriations. In addition, most DOTs have other resources at their disposal to aid
compliance, including DOT legislative liaisons and legal staff, legislatures’
fiscal and legislative analysis offices, and—in some states such as Texas—
transportation research programs at state universities.
Almost all states have
specialized legislative
program evaluation offices.
In general, few or no
resources are provided to
DOTs specifically to help
meet legislative oversight
requirements, but most have
access to other resources
that can aid compliance.
Five states perform regular
sunset reviews of the DOT.
Almost all states have
reporting requirements by
the DOT to the legislature.
Transportation Governance and Finance
xii National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Funding and Finance
Transportation funding decisions are becoming increasingly critical as system needs continue to overwhelm
available resources. Governments face the insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund, the declining value of
the fuel tax and delayed federal surface transportation authorization, making current resources insufficient to
meet the demands of aging infrastructure, growing populations, evolving technologies and changing travel patterns. State legislative and executive branches share responsibilities and interactions in transportation funding
and finance, including in the planning process.
State Budget and Appropriations Processes
Few, if any, bills on which the legislature acts are as vital as those that authorize the expenditure of public funds
for specific purposes of state government. The budget process also serves as a key legislative oversight activity—
especially in states where the legislature approves program- or project-specific appropriations.
The executive and legislative branches generally participate in different stages of the
budgeting process. Typically, the governor formulates a budget proposal; in seven
states, however, the legislature either produces a comprehensive alternative budget
or contributes significantly to the budget proposal. DOTs and other executive agencies typically participate in the process first by submitting budget requests to the
governor’s office for consideration; in all but eight states and Puerto Rico, agencies
also submit requests directly to a legislative committee or office. In some cases—
Colorado, for example—a transportation commission or other body must approve
the DOT budget proposal. DOTs also participate by appearing at budget hearings.
In practice, although some legislatures can significantly influence DOT spending levels, others have only a limited ability to do so. In many states, legislatures have little or no influence over federal transportation funding;
many states also have dedicated transportation funds or revenues that allow little room for budgeting flexibility.
States also may have specific limits on legislative power.
Federal, State and Local Transportation Funding
Responsibilities for funding and delivering services on the nation’s transportation network are shared by federal,
state and local governments.
Federal Transportation Funding
Federal funding—provided by the federal-aid highway and transit programs, grant
programs, congressional earmarks and one-time expenditures—accounts for approximately 20 percent of highway and transit funding nationwide. At least 15 states have
minimal legislative involvement with federal transportation funds, allowing at least
some funds to flow directly to the state DOT without legislative appropriation. In
Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota, federal funds are reviewed and reflected in
budget documents but do not require legislative action in order to be spent. In most
states, however, the legislature has a more substantial role by appropriating federal
funds or setting expenditure limits. Legislatures also may require additional approvals before a DOT can spend
certain federal funds. Ohio law, for example, requires a form of legislative approval before the DOT or other
entity can spend capital funds—including federal grant funds—for passenger rail development.
In all but eight states and
Puerto Rico, executive
agencies such as DOTs
submit budget requests both
to the governor’s office and
to a legislative committee or
office.
In most states, the legislature
appropriates or sets
expenditure limits on federal
transportation funds. Fifteen
states, however, allow at
least some of these funds
to flow directly to the state
DOT without legislative
appropriation.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures xiii
State Transportation Funding
States provide nearly half of all surface transportation funding. The main source of highway funds in about
half the states is the state motor vehicle fuel tax, which in seven states is indexed to the consumer price index,
average wholesale price or another index. States also provide about 20 percent of the funding for transit systems
nationwide and help fund aviation, ports and other elements of the transportation network.
State legislatures exercise significant power over state revenue sources and appropriations. Only fivestates and the District of Columbia reported that any statefunds flow
directly from a revenue source to the DOT without legislative appropriation. The
real power of legislatures—or DOTs—to allocate state funds, however, is bounded
by restrictions on the use of transportation revenues. For example, 23 states have
constitutional provisions—and three have statutory provisions—that restrict use of
state fuel tax revenues exclusively to highway and road purposes. Most other states
dedicate these and other transportation-related revenues to general or multimodal
transportation purposes, with a few limited exceptions. In addition, 35 states reported they have provisions that direct use of the funds or accounts to which transportation revenues are deposited. At least six states also explicitly prohibit diversion
or transfer of transportation revenues to other purposes.
Dedications, restrictions and prohibitions are not always effective, however. At least seven states reported recent legislative diversions of transportation funds to other uses, despite existing restrictions. In New Jersey, for
example, the appropriation act has precedence over statutory dedications, but not over the constitution; the
Legislature has chosen not to fully appropriate statutory transportation revenues eight times since 1985.
Local Transportation Funding
Local governments—including counties, townships and municipalities—provide
approximately 30 percent of total surface transportation funding and own 77 percent of the nation’s roadway miles. Both legislatures and DOTs participate in local
aid programs that allocate a portion of state transportation revenues to local entities
for transportation projects. At least 27 states distribute funds primarily by statutory
formulas based on equal distribution, population, road mileage or other criteria.
Nineteen other states report distributing funds using a blend of statutory formulas
and state legislative appropriations; of these, 11 also provide grants or other funds
at the discretion of a DOT or transportation commission. Discretionary programs,
especially when combined with appropriations, can facilitate substantial involvement of both the executive
branch and the legislature in local aid.
Innovative Finance
A variety of factors have negatively affected the ability of traditional transportation revenues to provide needed
transportation infrastructure and maintenance. In this environment, states are turning to a host of innovative
finance mechanisms—such as bonding and debt instruments; federal debt financing, credit assistance and fund
management tools; and public-private partnerships—to help leverage traditional funding sources. Some of these
tools require state authorizing legislation before a DOT can use them; this gives the legislature an ongoing role
in—and additional oversight of—transportation finance.
In about half the states,
state fuel tax revenues
are restricted exclusively
to highway and road
purposes; most other states
dedicate these and other
transportation-related
revenues to general or
multimodal transportation
purposes.
Almost all states allocate
transportation funds to local
governments either primarily
by statutory formulas or
by a blend of statutory
formulas and state legislative
appropriations.
Transportation Governance and Finance
xiv National Conference of State Legislatures
Some states also require further legislative approvals of the use of certain innovative
financing tools. For example, of the 31 states and Puerto Rico that had enabling
statutes for public-private partnerships (PPPs) as of April 2011, nine states required
a form of legislative approval for at least some PPP projects; in addition, Utah and
Puerto Rico required legislative approval to convert existing facilities to privately
operated toll roads. Likewise, at least four states require further legislative approval
or appropriation before grant anticipation revenue vehicle (GARVEE) debt can be
issued. Colorado law explicitly delegates this authority to the executive branch, but
authorizes GARVEE debt only up to a specified level and requires additional legislative approval for the DOT to exceed the cap; California also statutorily limits
GARVEE issuance.
Transportation Planning
States determine their transportation investment priorities through structured planning processes. A key theme in the NCSL-AASHTO survey data
was the tension between legislatures and DOTs about the appropriate level
of legislative involvement or oversight in transportation planning. DOTs
generally take the lead in conducting transportation planning activities and
ensuring compliance with federal and state requirements, while legislative
involvement and authority in planning varies greatly across states. At one
end are Nebraska and Wyoming, which constitutionally prohibit the legislature from prioritizing specific road
projects. At the other end are: Delaware, where legislators each determine the use of an annual authorization for
transportation projects in their districts; Pennsylvania, where legislative leaders serve on the state Transportation
Commission; and Wisconsin, where the Legislature is required by law to review and approve major highway
projects. In at least 15 other states, the legislature actively reviews or approves DOT plans or programs, often
as part of the budget process.
Retention of Surplus or Excess Funds
In most states, unspent transportation dollars revert to a DOT-administered transportation fund at the end of the fiscal year or biennium. In at least 14 states, legislatures are actively involved in management and oversight of these surplus funds, for
example by requiring additional legislative appropriation or expenditure authority
before a DOT can spend the money.
Controlling DOT Costs
Across jurisdictions, state legislatures have enacted provisions—beyond expenditure limits in budget and appropriations acts—intended to control
DOT costs; the most common include low bid requirements or other statutory procurement guidelines. Some legislatures have taken further action. In
Ohio, the legislative Controlling Board must approve waivers of competitive selection for purchases or leases over certain amounts, as well as requests
for appropriation increases. Virginia’s 2009 Appropriation Act downsized
the DOT and directed use of private contracts for at least 70 percent of annual
expenditures. Nevada statute limits the use of highway fund revenues for administrative costs. In Vermont, the
DOT must prepare reports detailing bids versus cost estimates for distribution to a legislative oversight committee. These activities permit additional legislative controls and oversight over DOT costs.
In at least 14 states,
legislatures are actively
involved in managing and
overseeing surplus DOT
funds.
State DOTs generally take
the lead in transportation
planning activities; the
extent of legislative authority
and involvement in the
process varies greatly across
states.
Common provisions by
which legislatures control
DOT costs—besides those in
budget and appropriations
acts—include low bid
requirements or other
statutory procurement
guidelines.
Some transportation
finance mechanisms require
state legislatures to enact
authorizing legislation
before a DOT can use them,
and some states require
further legislative approvals
for the use of certain
innovative financing tools.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 1
Asafe, reliable, effective and efficient transportation network that moves both people and freight using
diverse modes is vital to our society’s well-being. In the United States, state governments are primarily
responsible for owning, developing financing mechanisms for, and operating transportation assets. In
recent years, states have faced challenges in meeting these responsibilities. These challenges are characterized by
an aging system and growing transportation needs, coupled with declining abilities to pay for needed maintenance and capacity expansion. The ways in which states approach transportation governance and finance
therefore must play a key role in meeting these challenges, ensuring a functioning transportation system that
will continue to serve the nation’s needs.
Each state has a distinctive approach to governing and paying for its transportation system that is shaped by the
unique balance of power among its executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The most active
players are the legislature and, under the authority of the governor, those executive agencies or departments of
transportation (DOTs) in which reside the official transportation responsibilities for each state. In concept, the
branches are intended to function without intermingling of authority. In practice, however, a certain overlap of
powers and responsibilities must exist due to the complexity and interrelatedness of governmental activities.1
This overlap not only results in necessary, dynamic tensions and conflicts, but also offers rich opportunities for
collaboration and cooperation.
This report aims to provide a broad, 50-state review of the roles of, and the relationships between, state legislatures and DOTs. Although the emphasis is on transportation funding and finance, the report also examines
other areas of transportation governance.
This report is intended to benefit DOTs,
legislators and legislative staff by offering a
rich diversity of approaches to consider as
they seek to address their states’ transportation challenges and effectively serve the
public good within what are often complex intergovernmental arrangements.
The NCSL-AASHTO
Project and Joint Project
Oversight Committee
Both the National Conference of State
Legislatures (NCSL) and the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) have
tracked the trends in transportation governance and finance for many years. From
2010 to 2011, NCSL and the AASHTO
1. Introduction
Key Survey Finding: Seventy-three percent of DOT officials and
60 percent of legislators surveyed agreed or strongly agreed
that the legislature and DOT work together effectively in their
state. Note: See page 2 for a description of this survey’s methodology and data limitations.
The legislature and DOT in my state work together effectively.
Data expressed in percentage of legislator or DOT respondents.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Legislators
DOT
Agree
Strongly
Neither Agree Agree
nor Disagree
Disagree Disagree
Strongly
DOT
Legislators
Transportation Governance and Finance
2 National Conference of State Legislatures
Center for Excellence in Project Finance partnered to collaboratively produce this resource.
To contribute an informed, on-the-ground, state-level perspective, NCSL and AASHTO also formed a joint
task force to serve as an oversight committee for this project (Appendix A contains a list of members). The
NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project Oversight Committee (also known as the NCSL-AASHTO Task Force)— composed of members of the NCSL Transportation Standing Committee and the AASHTO Standing Committee
on Finance and Administration—worked for more than a year to ensure the usefulness of this report.
Methodology
This report is based on original survey research; legal and legislative research; a literature review; and expert
interviews, including a conference call with the National League of Cities and select constituents.
The methodology included four surveys (Appendix B contains the full text of the survey instruments). Surveys 1
and 2 were distributed to DOT personnel and legislative staff members in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to gather factual information about transportation finance and governance in each jurisdiction. After extensive, targeted follow-up by NCSL staff, responses to Survey 1 (on transportation funding and
finance) were received from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Responses to Survey 2 (on
executive-legislative roles) were received from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Survey 3 allowed state legislators and DOT executives to anonymously share their experiences and thoughts
about interactions between the DOT and the legislature in their respective states. After follow-up from NCSL
and AASHTO staff, 30 legislators and 26 DOT officials responded. Key findings from this survey are incorporated throughout the report to provide added perspective on how DOT-legislative interactions are perceived
in practice. Although the small sample size limits the ability to draw conclusions from—or engage in broader
interpretation of—the results of this survey, the data are at least suggestive of underlying trends and opinions
and may be worthy of further examination.
Survey 4 was a short set of questions distributed through the National Legislative
Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) listserv, asking for information about legislative program evaluations and audits of state
DOTs. Eight states—Connecticut, Florida,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia—responded to this survey.
Key Survey Finding: Only 12 percent of DOT officials surveyed—compared to nearly half of responding legislators—
disagreed with a statement that the balance of power is appropriate between the DOT and the legislature in their state. Note:
See text on this page for a description of this survey’s methodology
and data limitations.
There is an appropriate balance of power in my state between the
DOT and the legislature.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Legislators
DOT
Agree
Strongly
Neither Agree Agree
nor Disagree
Disagree Disagree
Strongly
Data expressed in percentage of legislator or DOT respondents.
DOT
Legislators
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 3
The resulting data from all four surveys and in-depth supplemental research is summarized in this synthesis and
detailed in the state profiles that follow. An earlier draft was sent to several stakeholder groups—including all
survey respondents—for review and fact-checking. Substantive feedback was received from 34 states, which was
used to improve the report’s accuracy. (Appendix C contains a list of organizations that responded to surveys 1,
2 and 4, including those that offered substantive reviews of the earlier draft of the findings.)
Transportation Governance and Finance
4 National Conference of State Legislatures
Each state’s distinctive approach to transportation governance and finance relies on its balance of governmental powers that, in turn, is heavily influenced by the organizational structures and functions of its
legislative and executive entities. These structures and functions vary widely across jurisdictions. This
report focuses on the most active participants in state-level transportation governance and finance: state legislatures and, under the authority of governors, state departments of transportation.
State Legislatures
Every U.S. jurisdiction has a legislative body—composed of elected representatives of legislative districts—that
is broadly responsible for policies, programs and, to some extent, appropriations and program oversight. The
jobs of the legislature have been alternatively typified by Alan Rosenthal as representing constituent interests,
lawmaking and balancing the power of the executive branch.2
The legislative role also includes the often forgotten but vital function of convening stakeholders to develop ideas and aid the decision-making process. Each
legislature, however, approaches these functions differently. NCSL groups the states’ legislatures into three major categories, ranging from states with year-round legislative sessions, full-time legislators and large legislative
staffs to those with limited or biennial sessions, part-time legislators and smaller staffs (Table 1).3
2. Participants in Transportation Governance
and Finance
Table 1. NCSL Categorization of “Red,” “White” and “Blue” Legislatures
Type of Legislature Characteristics States
“Red” Legislatures • Legislators spend 80 percent or more of a full-time job
doing legislative work
• Compensation enough to make a living without outside
sources of income
• Largest legislative staffs
• Tend to be in states with large populations
Red
California, Michigan, New York,
Pennsylvania
Red Light
Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts,
New Jersey, Wisconsin
“White” Legislatures • Hybrids of red and blue models
• Legislators spend more than two-thirds of a full-time job
doing legislative work
• Compensation higher than blue states, but not enough to
make a living without outside sources of income
• Intermediate-sized legislative staffs
• Tend to be in states with medium-sized populations
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware,
Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma,
Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Texas, Virginia, Washington
“Blue” Legislatures • “Traditional” or “citizen” legislatures
• Legislators spend equivalent of half of a full-time job doing legislative work
• Low compensation that requires outside sources of income to make a living
• Relatively small legislative staffs
• Tend to be in small population, rural states
Blue
Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,
Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New
Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, West
Virginia
Blue Light
Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
Source: NCSL, 2009.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 5
A legislature’s overall characteristics and capacity will affect the manner in which it engages in policymaking,
appropriations, and interactions with and oversight of the executive branch, but do not necessarily dictate the
extent of the legislature’s involvement in transportation governance. Vermont, for example—a state that has a
part-time legislature with limited staff and compensation—has high legislative involvement in transportation
issues. In this state, the legislature reviews and approves the DOT transportation plan, reviews progress on all
active projects, evaluates DOT performance, compares bids to cost estimates, and participates in developing
formulas for project prioritization.
State Executives: Governors and Departments of Transportation (DOTs)
In theory, the executive branch is broadly responsible for carrying out the programs and policies that have been
authorized and funded by the legislature. In addition, governors typically prepare state budgets, initiate legislative measures and have discretion to create programs and initiatives in some areas. Every U.S. state or territory
has an agency or department within the executive branch that is responsible for highway functions, under the
authority of the governor or other lead executive. The roles and responsibilities of these departments of transportation vary widely, however, by organizational structure, modes served, balance between state and local roles,
and general roles and responsibilities.
Organization and Modes Served
Most state DOTs are organized by divisions or organizational units based on functional activities such as administration, finance, planning, engineering, operations or construction. Some, however, are organized to include
distinct bureaus or divisions that serve non-highway modes such as rail, public transit, aviation, ferries and
ports. In Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia, non-highway modes are handled by entities
that are at least partially independent of the DOT.4
State-Local Balance
Although all DOTs share responsibilities with regional and local entities to some extent, they also vary in terms
of the balance between state and local roles. Michigan provides an example of a highly devolved transportation
system: 616 separate local road agencies have jurisdiction over 92 percent of the states road miles. North Carolina, at the other end of the spectrum, has a highly centralized transportation system in which the state DOT
builds and maintains secondary roads and there are no county road departments.
Roles and Responsibilities
DOTs are placed under the authority of the lead executive in each jurisdiction. In the states, governors therefore
play a significant role in transportation governance and oversight. Governors typically prepare state budgets;
can initiate, approve or veto legislative initiatives; can create some programs or initiatives without legislative
approval; often (but not always) appoint and can remove the leadership of state executive agencies, including
DOTs; and ordinarily have direct authority and oversight over these agencies.
The practical division of active roles and responsibilities between the governor and the DOT, however, varies
across states. In some states—including Michigan and Oklahoma—governors have chosen to delegate much
of the responsibility to the DOTs. In others, the governor’s office is more actively involved in transportation
policy and budgeting. In North Carolina, the governor recently enacted DOT reforms through an executive
order (Executive Order No. 2, 2009); in some states, such as Oregon and Pennsylvania, the governor employs a
Transportation Governance and Finance
6 National Conference of State Legislatures
liaison who maintains active communication with the DOT on transportation issues. In Nevada, the governor
acts as an ex officio member of the board of directors that oversees the DOT.
Other Stakeholders
A complex network of public and private organizations finances, plans, builds and operates the U.S. transportation system. Some of the other key stakeholders in state transportation governance and finance are described
below and listed in Table 2.
Federal Entities
Fuel tax and other highway-user revenues collected by the federal government are placed in the federal Highway
Trust Fund. Congress allocates these funds to states according to provisions in federal surface transportation
legislation—currently the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
(SAFETEA-LU), passed in 2005—and annual appropriations bills. Within the executive branch, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) administers federal funding and programs. Currently, federal funding
accounts for about 20 percent of total surface transportation funding in the United States.5
Congress and the
U.S. DOT also deal with aviation, ports and other modes of transportation. Other federal stakeholders include
land management agencies and environmental protection agencies.
State Transportation Commissions and Boards
Several state DOTs are governed or advised by a state transportation commission or board that exists either
within the DOT (e.g., Kansas) or as a separate entity (e.g., Washington). Some are bodies with real decisionmaking authority; others are advisory only (see DOT Leadership Appointments on pages 14 and 15).
Source: Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, 2008.
Table 2. Major Stakeholders in Transportation Governance and Finance
Federal State Regional
Transportation
Planning
Organizations
Local
Governments
Transit Agencies Other
• Congress
• U.S. Department
of Transportation (U.S. DOT)
• Six major federal
land management agencies
• Three primary
environmental protection
agencies
• Governors
• Legislatures
• Departments
of transportation (DOTs) in
states and other
jurisdictions
• State transportation commissions or boards
• Other state
agencies with
related responsibilities,
including nonhighway modal
agencies
• Urban: 383
metropolitan
planning organizations (MPOs),
ranging from one
to 26 per state
• Rural: 180 regional [transportation] planning
organizations
(RTPOs or RPOs)
• 3,043 counties
• 19,431 municipalities
• 16,504 townships
• 767 highway
special districts
• 640 urban operating systems,
including 600
public agencies
• 2,000 rural operating systems
• 85 bridge, tunnel and turnpike
authorities
• 561 federally recognized tribal governments
• Private operators
and owners of transportation assets
• Regional and county
toll authorities
• Regional mobility
authorities (8, Texas
only)
• Operators and users,
and their representative interest groups
• Voters
• General public
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 7
State-Level Non-Highway Modal Agencies
In Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia, non-highway modes are handled at the state level
by entities that are at least partially independent of the DOT.6
Tolling and Turnpike Agencies
Many states have bridge, tunnel or turnpike authorities that are responsible for financing, planning, operating
and maintaining certain tolled facilities. These entities often operate or are financed and budgeted independently of the DOT. In many cases, however, the DOT director serves on the authority board as an ex officio member,
in some cases as its chair. Examples of this include the Kansas Turnpike Authority, the Turnpike Authority of
Kentucky, the Maine Turnpike Authority, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Ohio Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Rhode Island Turnpike
and Bridge Authority and the West Virginia Parkways Authority. In other cases such as the Oklahoma Turnpike
Authority, certain turnpike projects must be approved by the DOT.
Airport and Port Authorities
Several states have regional, interstate or state-level authorities that are responsible for airports or ports. As with
tolling and turnpike authorities, in some of these cases—such as the Massachusetts Port Authority—the DOT
director is an ex officio member of the board.
Tribal, Regional, Metropolitan and Local Entities
Other entities that have responsibilities for the transportation system include federally recognized tribal governments; metropolitan and regional planning organizations, sometimes known as councils of governments;
counties, townships and municipalities; regional or county toll authorities; and local transit agencies. Texas also
has “regional mobility authorities” that are political subdivisions formed by one or more counties to finance,
acquire, design, construct, operate, maintain, expand or extend transportation projects. Local dollars account
for close to 30 percent of highway funding and more than 60 percent of transit funding in the United States.7
Voters, Interest Groups and the General Public
The public typically is involved in transportation planning, finance and governance in several ways. Transportation planning processes involve citizens through public hearings and other opportunities for feedback. Certain
tax and bond initiatives that support transportation projects must be approved by the voters and in Mississippi,
the Transportation Commission is elected directly by the people. Innumerable interest groups represent diverse
operators as well as freight and passenger transportation users.
Transportation Governance and Finance
8 National Conference of State Legislatures
I
n their responses to the anonymous NCSL-AASHTO survey, legislators and DOT executives overwhelmingly agreed that maintaining regular, open, honest and transparent communication between the legislature
and the DOT is one of the most vital elements of effective transportation governance (Table 3 contains a list
of all recommendations). In practice, the ways in which legislatures and DOTs engage in communication and
collaboration differ significantly across jurisdictions, including states with limited, ad hoc interactions; those
with formal, structured engagements focused on reporting requirements and the budgeting process; and those
with extensive, proactive, collaborative communication that extends beyond the legislative session and pervades
all levels of both organizations (Figure 1). Most states have a combination of formal and informal mechanisms
that are more active at certain times of year, particularly in relation to the annual or biennial budget and appropriations process. State-by-state descriptions of communication and collaboration are included in the State
Profiles section of this report.
3. Legislature-DOT Communication
and Collaboration
Table 3. General Recommendations from State Legislators and DOT Executives
What to Do
State Legislators Say… DOT Executives Say…
Engage in planned interactions and collaboration.
Work side-by-side on transportation policy decisions.
Have strong leaders in both organizations, including outstanding professionals in top DOT positions.
Effectively communicate the potential impacts of legislative
decisions.
Work out new or complex issues before sessions.
Have regular interactions among leadership on both sides.
Be accurate and responsive with information.
Keep legislators advised about issues in their districts.
Use third parties and outside experts to bridge gaps.
Facilitate responsible, informed budget decisions by providing long-range plans or detailed project lists.
Understand the legislative process and oversight role.
Always treat relationships as a top priority.
Maintain open, frequent, honest communication.
Balance the power.
Use DOT legislative liaisons to help keep both groups
involved with decision making.
Take the politics out of planning by allowing for project
prioritization based on legislatively set criteria.
Involve local officials and the public in the process.
Build trust and mutual respect.
Collaborate with each other and with other stakeholders.
Work together as allies.
 Understand each other’s interests and roles.
 Keep the message simple and consistent.
 Understand statewide needs and project proposals.
What Not to Do
State Legislators Say… DOT Executives Say…
 Don’t slow down the process with your own agenda.
 Don’t fail to respond to requests for information.
 Don’t review transportation plans without discussing them
with the legislature—this keeps important issues from being passed.
 Don’t forget to communicate with the minority party.
 Don’t keep important information from legislators.
 Don’t focus on pet projects to the neglect of others.
 Don’t make funding decisions based on considerations
other than need.
 Don’t dictate projects based on political priorities.
 Don’t be swayed by public opinion over information and
communication from the DOT.
 Don’t expect the same or better level of service from the
DOT as new mandates are added or resources cut.
 Don’t micromanage.
Source: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 9
One recommendation from survey respondents for promoting effective interaction between legislatures and
DOTs is to have a strong government relations office in the DOT that includes a state legislative liaison. At least
38 states and the District of Columbia employ dedicated legislative liaisons or governmental affairs offices that
act as primary points of contact for legislators and legislative staff, provide requested information to the legislature, and sometimes lobby on behalf of the DOT (see page 11 for more about lobbying).
Most other states—including Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin—incorporate some of the functions of a legislative liaison under another division or position, such as a communications or legal services office. Wisconsin also has a legislative committee
within the DOT—chaired by the Executive Assistant, who has legislative liaison responsibilities—that meets
regularly to discuss pending legislation. The DOTs in Alabama, Arkansas and New Mexico do not report having
any dedicated legislative liaisons. New Mexico reports direct, frequent communication between multiple levels
of the DOT and the legislature instead.
Key recommendations related specifically to communication and collaboration are listed in Table 4.
• Ad hoc communication or exclusive focus on formal
or statutory requirements and processes
• Engagement only during budget and appropriations process
• Limited or no interim committee or process
• Little or no notice given before transportation-related announcements
• Communication through a small number of people
in each organization
• Limited or no access to DOT executive management
• Limited or no DOT legislative liaison function
• Proactive communication, including active engagement during the interim and discussion about upcoming developments
• Formal and informal communication, including emails, district reports, meetings and phone calls
• DOT informational meetings, presentations or receptions for legislators and legislative staff
• Collaborative approach to drafting legislation and/
or a process for agency fiscal notes
• Communication at all levels of both organizations
• Access to DOT executive management
• Dedicated, full-time DOT legislative liaisons
LESS ACTIVE MORE ACTIVE
Figure 1. Continuum of Legislature-DOT Interactions
Source: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011.
Table 4. Recommendations for Communication and Collaboration from State Legislators and DOT Executives
State Legislators Say… DOT Executives Say…
You can never have too much communication between the
DOT and legislators.
Engage in planned interaction and collaboration.
Produce briefings or updates to both chambers whenever
either party indicates a need for clarity.
Have frequent outreach meetings and regular meetings of
leadership on both sides.
Reach out with timely information to the full legislature—
not just to the Transportation Committee.
Communicate with the minority party, too.
Effectively communicate the potential impacts of legislative
decisions.
Work out new or complex issues before sessions.
Be accurate and responsive with information.
Keep legislators advised about issues in their districts.
Ask questions and listen before drawing conclusions.
Communicate early and often, without fear.
Be straightforward, on point, positive and accurate.
Say “yes” when you can to legislative requests or concerns,
but don’t sugar-coat a “no.”
Participate in early discussions, legislative briefings and
workshops, and one-on-one and small group meetings.
Keep legislative committees informed.
Use a DOT legislative liaison and legislative fiscal offices to
build credibility and facilitate communication.
Encourage dialogue between local legislators and district
DOT staff.
Establish positive relationships with both parties.
 Educate—keeping the effects of term limits in mind.
 Present problems as they arise—and give legislators time
to digest bad news.
 Keep the message simple and consistent.
Source: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011.
Transportation Governance and Finance
10 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislatures and DOTs have several areas of overlap—and therefore possibilities for both tension and collaboration—in state transportation governance. The legislature is responsible for overseeing executive
activities generally, and both legislatures and DOTs exercise some authority in developing policies and
programs, defining expectations and measuring performance, and, in some states, engaging in the transportation planning process. This chapter explores several ways in which state legislatures and DOTs share the complex task of governing the nation’s transportation system. The next chapter looks specifically at how they interact
in relation to funding and financing decisions.
Legislation
One main power of the legislative branch is to enact the laws of the state. Legislatures must authorize the activities of the executive branch through legislation, and they also pass many laws that affect state DOTs and
the nation’s transportation system. Relevant laws include those that concern DOT establishment, leadership
and organizational structure; legislative oversight mechanisms; performance goals and reporting requirements;
revenue sources—including bonds and taxes—and allowable use of these revenues; procurement and financing methods; transportation planning processes; and budget and appropriations bills. The legislature also may
choose to enact statutory sunset provisions that cause DOT programs or authorizations to expire after a certain
period of time. Arizona, California, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas and Utah, for example, have sunset provisions on certain DOT design-build authorizations.8
Generally, the legislature’s lawmaking power is balanced by constitutionally granting veto authority to the chief
officer of the executive branch, the governor. Governors in all states are authorized to veto entire bills; many
states also allow the governor to use partial veto methods, including line item or amendatory vetoes.9 In some
cases, an executive agency such as a DOT may request that the governor exercise this power if the agency has
concerns about a particular piece of legislation. Many states also have other means by which DOTs can participate more actively in the legislative process. These include drafting and presenting legislation; lobbying; and
providing fiscal notes or policy analyses for proposed bills.
Drafting and Presenting Legislation
In many states, DOTs can draft, introduce or request transportation-related legislation. DOTs in California,
Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia can introduce legislation either through the office of the governor or other lead executive or at that executive’s discretion, or by
a direct request to a legislator or legislative committee (see State Profiles). Hawaii, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Vermont and West Virginia report their DOTs can draft or present bills for legislative consideration.
In Wyoming, the process of drafting transportation-related legislation is collaborative. The DOT executive
team generally is given a full day to present its concerns and issues at each of the three meetings of the Joint
Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee during the interim between legislative sessions. Be4. Transportation Governance
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 11
tween those meetings, legislative attorneys work directly with the DOT to draft legislation for the committee
to consider. Typically, DOT personnel can comment and suggest revisions to legislative drafts before the drafts
are presented to the committee. The DOT also is given the opportunity to suggest topics for the committee to
consider and study during the interim.
Lobbying
DOTs track and monitor transportation-related bills, testify at legislative hearings, provide requested information to legislators and legislative staff, or develop recommendations concerning proposed legislation. In
some states, the DOT formally presents its position on legislative measures through the work of one or more
registered lobbyists. Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Missouri report lobbying the legislature (see State Profiles); in
other states—including Louisiana and Texas—however, the DOT does not engage in lobbying. In Texas, state
agency employees are prohibited from influencing legislation, but the Texas Transportation Commission has
been statutorily granted the authority to provide recommendations to the governor and the legislature on DOT
operations and efficiencies.10
Fiscal Notes and Policy Analyses
All state legislatures have a process by which some or all proposed bills are accompanied by detailed descriptions
of their fiscal implications; in some states, all bills must have this information, and in others, it is provided rarely
or only upon request. In almost all states, fiscal notes are prepared by a legislative fiscal office, sometimes—as
in Missouri, Oregon and Texas—informed by data or fiscal impact statements solicited from affected agencies
such as DOTs (see State Profiles). In Alaska, Minnesota, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin, however,
DOTs and other executive departments that ultimately would administer proposed programs or be affected
by enacted legislation are asked to prepare
fiscal notes themselves.11 These notes are
intended to convey objective fiscal data,
not the DOT’s position on a bill. In addition, DOTs in Virginia and Wisconsin
provide analyses that outline the policy
implications of proposed legislation; the
Virginia DOT prepares legislative impact
statements that include fiscal analyses and
policy implications of proposed legislation. These activities can add significantly
to an agency’s workload, but also offer another opportunity for legislative-executive
communication and collaboration in the
area of transportation governance.
Legislative Oversight
Legislative oversight refers to the review
and evaluation of selected executive branch
programs and activities. According to the
Ohio Legislative Service Commission,
“The legislative branch conducts oversight
activities because it not only enacts new
Key Survey Finding: Fewer than half of DOT officials surveyed—
compared to 60 percent of legislators—disagreed with a statement that the legislative process introduces unnecessary bureaucracy or delay into transportation-related activities in their
state. Note: See page 2 for a description of this survey’s methodology and data limitations.
The legislative process in my state introduces unnecessary bureaucracy or delay into transportation-related activities.
0
10
20
30
40
50
Legislators
DOT
Agree
Strongly
Neither Agree Agree
nor Disagree
Disagree Disagree
Strongly
Data expressed in percentage of legislator or DOT respondents.
DOT
Legislators
Transportation Governance and Finance
12 National Conference of State Legislatures
programs for the state, but also has a duty to ensure that existing programs are implemented and administered
efficiently, effectively and in a manner consistent with legislative intent.”12 During the past three decades, legislatures have assumed more active oversight of executive branch operations.13
Oversight takes place through many mechanisms described in the remainder of this chapter, including the work
of certain select and standing committees; legislative approval of leadership appointments; review of administrative rules and regulations; adoption of performance goals and measures; evaluation of programs, agencies and
activities; and reporting requirements. Most states use a blend of most or all of these tools. Typically, the budget
and appropriations process—discussed in the next chapter—also includes oversight activities, and in many cases
is seen as the main mechanism for legislative oversight of the DOT. As several survey respondents remarked,
knowledge and investment on the part of both DOTs and legislatures are necessary to ensure that oversight tools
are effective and meaningful in practice.
The literature on separation of powers typically considers oversight of executive entities to be one of the key
roles of the legislative branch. According to NCSL, “Legislative oversight is a fundamental check and balance.
As states have assumed greater responsibilities for government programs and services, the importance of legislative oversight has increased.”14 Nevertheless, only about half of DOT executives as well as state legislators who
responded to the NCSL-AASHTO survey agreed that a legislature has a fundamental responsibility to oversee
DOT operations. More than 40 percent of legislators, however, thought the DOT should be subject to additional independent oversight and accountability, while no DOT officials did (see Key Survey Findings on this
and the following page). “More active legislative involvement, however,” cautions NCSL, “may increase frictions [between the legislative and] the executive branch.”15
Committee Oversight
Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported ongoing oversight of their
DOTs by one or more legislative committees or commissions in their responses to
the NCSL-AASHTO survey, making it
one of the most common forms of legislative oversight of DOTs. Standing committees that address transportation-related
topics, special oversight committees, interim committees, task forces or commissions, and fiscal committees or subcommittees all may carry out some oversight
functions. These entities may consist entirely of legislators or they may include legislators among others; many are supported
either by committee-specific or legislative
agency staff members. (Appendix E contains a list of legislative committees that
addressed transportation issues as of April
2011.)
In many states, several committees share
Key Survey Finding: Only about half of DOT executives and
state legislators surveyed agreed that a legislature has a fundamental responsibility to oversee DOT operations. Note: See page
2 for a description of this survey’s methodology and data limitations.
The state legislature has a fundamental responsibility to oversee
operations at the DOT.
0
10
20
30
40
50
Legislators
DOT
Agree
Strongly
Neither Agree Agree
nor Disagree
Disagree Disagree
Strongly
Data expressed in percentage of legislator or DOT respondents.
DOT
Legislators
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 13
oversight responsibilities for a DOT. Tennessee’s DOT, for example, is overseen by seven committees: Senate
and House Transportation Committees for general oversight; Senate and House Finance, Ways and Means committees on budget and expenditure issues; Senate and House Government Operations Committees on rules and
regulations; and the joint Fiscal Review Committee for contracts.
Standing Committees and Interim Charges
Most often, standing committees that cover transportation-related issues are responsible for continuous review
of the DOT. Standing committees or subcommittees also may be charged by legislative leadership to examine
and review a specific topic during the interim, in preparation for the next legislative session. For example, a
study on federal highway appropriations and state matching requirements was assigned to the North Dakota
Transportation Committee during the 2005–2006 interim. In some cases, requests for interim studies may
come from individual legislators.
Special Oversight Committees
The most direct and formal oversight functions are performed by special or select committees that are created
to review narrowly defined issues or to specifically provide oversight of a given agency. The use of such oversight
committees has increased in recent years. Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Vermont have special committees dedicated to transportation oversight (see Appendix E).
Interim Committees
In some states, committees that operate
solely during the interim between legislative sessions have significant oversight
authority. Kentucky, for example, has
no standardized, ongoing oversight of
its DOT through a permanent oversight
committee; during the interim, however,
the legislature has both an Interim Joint
Committee on Transportation and a Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation of the Appropriations Committee,
each of which holds monthly meetings in
which DOT activities are discussed and
examined. In Nevada, the Interim Finance
Committee reviews executive branch fiscal
and programmatic operations during each
interim and considers modifications to the
DOT’s biennial work program when necessary. The DOTs in Texas and Wyoming meet regularly with interim
committees to address issues and, in Wyoming, to develop legislation. Indiana’s permanent interim study committee—the Joint Study Committee on Mass Transit and Transportation Alternatives—was established in statute; it is composed of the members of the House and Senate transportation committees.16 Strong interim committees and processes may be especially important in states that have long interims between legislative sessions.
Task Forces or Commissions
A legislature also may create commissions or task forces to provide additional oversight or carry out discrete
tasks. For example, the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance, for example, was created by Act
374 of 2009 to involve the public in determining adequate financing of the present and future needs of state
Key Survey Finding: More than 40 percent of legislators and no
DOT officials surveyed believed the DOT should be subject to
additional oversight and accountability. Note: See page 2 for a
description of this survey’s methodology and data limitations.
The DOT in my state should be subject to additional independent
oversight and accountability.
Data expressed in percentage of legislator or DOT respondents.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Legislators
DOT
Agree
Strongly
Neither Agree Agree
nor Disagree
Disagree Disagree
Strongly
DOT
Legislators
Transportation Governance and Finance
14 National Conference of State Legislatures
highways, county roads and city streets in the state; define an equitable and adequate system to properly finance
transportation improvements; and propose and recommend legislation in 2011. The Texas House Select Committee on Transportation Funding was established in 2010 to examine and make recommendations about state
transportation funding prior to the 2011 session. The ongoing Virginia Joint Commission on Transportation
Accountability exists to ascertain that sums appropriated have been or are being expended by transportation
agencies for the purposes for which they were made, and to evaluate the effectiveness of transportation programs
in accomplishing legislative intent.
DOT Leadership Appointments
In most states, legislatures participate in appointing DOT leadership (defined here as both executives within a
DOT and other transportation leaders within the executive branch that influence a DOT’s activities). Leadership structures for DOTs vary, but most fall into one of four categories: those that are led by a secretary, commissioner or director; those that have one of these officials and a policy-making board or commission, either
within the DOT (e.g., Kansas) or as a separate entity (e.g., Washington); those that have one of these officials
and an advisory board or commission; and those that use another model (Figure 2; see also State Profiles and
Appendix D).
DC
Figure 2. DOT Leadership Structures
Notes:
• California, Oklahoma, Virginia and West Virginia have a secretary, commissioner or director; a board or commission; and at least one
other decision-making or advisory entity.
• In addition to a Commissioner of Transportation, New Jersey has a unique, legislatively created Transportation Trust Fund Authority,
the sole purpose of which is to finance the annual capital programs of the DOT and the New Jersey Transit Corporation.
• The Vermont Transportation Board provides appellate review of various DOT decisions and rulings, has original jurisdiction over certain
claims and conducts public hearings. Thus, although not solely advisory in nature, it does not have the policy-making function of many
other transportation boards and commissions.
• In Virginia, the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner acts as the chief executive officer of the DOT. The state also has a Secretary of Transportation who serves as chair of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, a policy-making board that does not directly
administer the DOT.
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011; original research using Westlaw.
Secretary, commissioner or director
Secretary, commissioner or director and
policymaking board or commission
Secretary, commissioner or director and
advisory board or commission
Other (see notes)
Puerto Rico
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 15
Of these DOT leaders, the majority are appointed by an executive entity—typically the governor—with approval of the Senate. Selection of certain leaders in Mississippi and Utah is performed by a commission or board
with Senate approval; New Mexico’s secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor with the approval
of both the Senate and the Transportation Commission.
Some DOT leaders, however, are appointed by the executive branch alone. At least some appointments in Alabama, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North
Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming are made by the governor with no legislative
approval required. In New Hampshire, approval is required instead from an elected executive agency. Arkansas,
Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas have leaders who are appointed solely by a commission or board.
At the other end of the spectrum are DOT leaders who are directly appointed or elected by legislators, including
in California, Georgia and South Carolina. Pennsylvania provides an unusual example: Four legislative leaders
serve on the Transportation Commission by virtue of their office. This commission reportedly provides greater
oversight of the DOT than any legislative body in the state and creates a venue for an unusually direct interaction between the legislature and the DOT in the area of transportation governance.
Mississippi’s unique three-member Transportation Commission is elected by the people and does not report
to the governor. This is the only selection process of DOT leadership in the nation that involves neither the
legislature nor the executive branch. The commission appoints the DOT executive director, however, with the
advice and consent of the Senate.
Legislatures also may provide statutory guidelines for the appointment process and appointee requirements.
Many states set statutory requirements pertaining to citizenship, residency, taxpayer status, party affiliation,
geographic representation, experience, education or specific credentials. Colorado law encourages the governor
to consider including at least one commissioner who is a person with a disability, has a family member with a
disability, or is a member of an advocacy group for people with disabilities. Montana requires the governor to
select one commissioner who has specific knowledge of Indian culture and tribal transportation needs, after
consultation with the Montana members of the Montana-Wyoming tribal leaders council. Several states also
have statutory prohibitions concerning conflicts of interest.
Legislatures also sometimes share the authority to remove DOT leaders. Although most serve at the pleasure of
the governor or other appointing executive entity, at least Arkansas, California, Maine, New Mexico and Ohio
provide for some involvement by the legislature in a removal process.
Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations
Legislative review of administrative rules and regulations provides another mechanism for oversight of DOTs.
According to NCSL, an administrative rule “… is typically a regulation, standard or policy issued by an executive
agency to implement statutory provisions administered by the agency. In many states, the number of regulations
promulgated by executive agencies exceeds the number of statutes enacted by the legislature.”17 Legislatures
have delegated the responsibility to executive agencies to promulgate administrative rules, but in most cases
retain authority to review and approve those rules so as to ensure that they comply with statutory authority and
legislative intent.
Forty-three states now have some form of legislative review of administrative rules (Figure 3), although legislative review is optional in Virginia. Mississippi, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico have no review process, while
California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico and North Carolina have review by the executive branch
Transportation Governance and Finance
16 National Conference of State Legislatures
only. At least six states—Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and Wyoming—have review by
both the legislative and executive branches. North Carolina’s rules are reviewed by an executive entity, the Rules
Review Commission, members of which are appointed by the legislature.
In most states with legislative review of administrative rules, the legislature or a designated legislative committee has the power to suspend or supersede a rule. In Utah, all rules expire annually unless reauthorized by the
legislature (see State Profiles). Several states limit the legislative review committee to a mainly advisory role, with
the power to make recommendations but not to enforce changes. These states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,
Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. In several of these states, a committee can object to or temporarily suspend a rule, but only a resolution or bill passed by the full legislature can
veto one. In Vermont, if the Joint Legislative Committee on Rules votes to oppose a rule, it does not prohibit
the rule’s adoption but, rather, assigns the burden of proof in any legal challenge to the executive agency.18
Performance Goals
“The broad effort frequently referred to as performance management,” states NCSL, “is occurring at all levels
of government. The hallmarks of performance management include establishing strategic plans, setting agency
goals and objectives, identifying ways to meet them, and measuring how well they are accomplished over
time.”19 As part of this effort, state DOTs nationwide now have goals and objectives against which their performance is measured.
In most states, the responsibility to develop performance goals and measure DOT progress toward them rests
with the executive branch, in accordance with existing law. Performance reports may be submitted to the
legislature, which can respond in the form of further reporting requirements, legislation or directives. Some
Figure 3. Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011; the Council of State Governments (CSG), 2010; Erickson, 2010; Rhyme, 1990.
No review process
Executive review
Legislative review
Legislative and executive review
Puerto Rico
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 17
DOTs—those in Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia among them—make
at least some performance data publicly available. The DOTs in Missouri and Texas, for example, each offer an
online “Tracker” that measures progress on key performance indicators. The Texas DOT also hosts an online
“Project Tracker” that gives progress and budget data for all DOT projects in the state.20 The information thus
is easily accessible to the legislature, the general public and other interested parties.
In some states, a legislative directive has encouraged or required a move toward DOT performance management. In 2007, for example, the Nevada legislature directed the Transportation Board of Directors to adopt a
plan for measuring DOT performance, including separate sets of performance measurements for each division
and for the department as a whole.21 In 2000, Maryland legislatively created the DOT’s Advisory Committee
on Transportation Goals, Benchmarks and Indicators to advise the DOT on developing long-term performance
goals and intermediate benchmarks,22 and in 2010, the Minnesota legislature required the DOT to “identify
performance targets or indicators for measuring progress and achievement of transportation system goals, objectives, or policies” in the statewide multimodal transportation plan.23 In 2005, Washington enacted a law to
require all state agencies, within available funds, to develop and implement a quality management, accountability and performance system, and to have that system independently assessed at least once every three years;
in 2009, the legislature delayed this requirement until 2012.24
Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and the District of Columbia report a
more active legislative role in the development or approval of specific DOT performance goals. In Hawaii, Iowa,
Washington and the District of Columbia, the executive branch typically has set most goals; the legislature establishes others on a case-by-case basis. In Florida and Illinois, the DOT sets its goals subject to legislative review
and approval. In Kansas and New Mexico, development of goals is a cooperative exercise between the legislature
and the executive branch, driven by the secretary of transportation in Kansas and the legislature in New Mexico.
In Texas, the state Transportation Commission approves and oversees DOT goals in the strategic plan, then the
legislature sets forth key performance measures and targets in the state General Appropriations Act.
As of 2008, 22 state legislatures reported using performance information for executive agencies at some point
in the budget process, but performance budgeting—directly linking results to legislative decisions—was rare. A
number of states required measures to be used to develop agency budget requests, and some also included the
information in agency budgets or appropriations bills.25 In their NCSL-AASHTO survey responses, Arizona,
Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah,
Wisconsin and Wyoming reported the use of DOT performance data in the budget and appropriations process.
In Utah’s annual appropriations process, the legislature assesses first whether goals have been met before determining funding levels; in Montana, the Legislative Financing Committee now is developing ways to consider
performance goals in the budgeting process for all agencies, including the DOT.
Program Evaluation and Sunset Reviews
Most legislatures have enhanced their capacity for oversight of the executive branch and participation in performance management by creating special legislative offices to carry out program evaluation and performance
audit activities. Currently, 48 states have specialized legislative program evaluation offices charged with carrying out research and oversight studies of executive agencies; only Ohio and Oregon do not.26 Texas has three
such offices: the Legislative Budget Board, the Sunset Advisory Commission and the State Auditor’s Office. In
addition, Washington had a legislatively created, separate transportation audit unit from 2003 to 2006, the
Transportation Performance Audit Board.27
Transportation Governance and Finance
18 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative program evaluation offices vary widely in size and responsibilities, but typically are bipartisan research
units that are intended to act as independent, impartial sources of information about executive agencies and to
provide recommendations to improve their operations.28 They generally review the effectiveness, efficiency and
legality of state executive agencies, as well as the extent to which those agencies are following legislative intent.
Their evaluations can greatly affect transportation governance and DOT operations. For example, the South
Carolina Legislative Audit Council published a highly publicized audit of the DOT in 2006. This audit resulted
in a restructuring of the DOT that placed it in the governor’s cabinet, created a legislative oversight committee
and allowed for periodic audits.29
Some legislative program evaluation offices also conduct sunset reviews. Such reviews evaluate the functions of
a state entity to assess whether it should continue to exist. In a true sunset process, an entity is automatically
abolished unless the legislature or responsible legislative committee chooses to affirmatively continue it. Most
states with sunset provisions in state law focus the process on smaller boards, commissions and regulatory agencies rather than on large executive departments. Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, however,
perform regular sunset reviews of the DOT.30 In Arizona and Florida,31 the process occurs every 10 years, in
Louisiana every five years, in Tennessee every eight years and in Texas every 12 years. In most cases, when the
sunset process is applied to large, ongoing executive departments, it is used primarily to add another layer of
accountability for those entities rather than to seriously consider their discontinuation. In 2009, however, the
Texas DOT was reviewed, but the bill to continue it was not enacted. Instead, a special session was called in
which the DOT was granted an extension until another, limited-scope review in 2011. Unless continued, the
Texas DOT will now expire on Sept. 1, 2011.32
Legislatures also sometimes review non-legislative program evaluations or performance audits—such as those
performed by an executive branch state auditor—in addition to performing their own. In California, for example, when a non-legislative program review is released, the legislature often holds an oversight hearing to
understand the findings of the report. In Washington, the legislature must consider performance audits conducted by the state auditor and submit an annual report detailing legislative implementation of the auditor’s
recommendations.33 Twenty-six states34 reported legislative review of non-legislative evaluations as a mechanism
for oversight of their DOTs.
Reporting Requirements
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia identified reporting requirements in their survey responses as a
mechanism for legislative oversight of their DOTs. Legislatures commonly require in statute that a DOT submit certain reports to the full legislature or a legislative committee. Often, these reports must be concurrently
submitted to an executive oversight authority such as the governor or transportation commission. Commonly
required reports include reviews of expenditures and obligations; descriptions of agency objectives and strategies; details of planned, ongoing or future projects; updates on certain mandated processes; fiscal forecasts; reports on new or controversial initiatives, such as public-private partnerships or design-build contracting; reviews
of progress on performance goals; and reports on other agency activities. Some reporting requirements may be
instituted due to lack of information about or past concern with a program. In other cases, DOT reports to the
legislature are required only for a limited time in order to facilitate legislative oversight of a particular task or
activity. For example, the Massachusetts DOT—newly created in 2009—has many current reporting requirements to the legislature, some of which will end when the transition to the new organization is complete.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 19
Other Tools that Support Legislative Oversight
Other tools that support legislative oversight, as reported by NCSL-AASHTO survey respondents, include
legislative requests for information from the DOT, as well as use of other independent sources of transportationrelated data. Legislative research staff, universities, diverse interest groups, NCSL and legislative fiscal offices
can provide meaningful information that may help the legislature oversee the DOT and transportation system
performance. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission, for example, continuously monitors DOT revenues
and expenditures and reports on significant developments in a monthly newsletter to legislators and legislative
staff; this gives the legislature another window into the DOT’s financial activities.
Resources for DOT Compliance with Legislative Oversight Requirements
State DOTs devote significant resources to complying with legislative oversight requirements. DOTs must draft
and submit numerous reports, participate in legislative hearings, respond to requests for information, and engage in the budget and appropriations process as required. Generally, few or no resources are provided to DOTs
specifically to help them meet these requirements. Numerous exceptions to this general rule exist, however. In
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin, resources for compliance requirements have been included in the DOT budget or ongoing appropriations, while in Hawaii and
Minnesota, required reports or other legislative mandates in some cases have received separate appropriations.
In addition, most DOTs have other resources at their disposal to aid compliance. In many cases, DOT legislative liaisons and legal staff can assist with legislative oversight requirements, as can legislatures’ fiscal and
legislative analysis offices. Further, in some states such as Texas, the DOT benefits from transportation research
programs at state universities that can help to provide transportation-related analytical data.
Transportation Governance and Finance
20 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation funding decisions are becoming increasingly critical as system needs continue to overwhelm the available resources. Governments face the insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund, the
declining value of the fuel tax and delayed federal surface transportation authorization, making current
resources insufficient to meet the demands of aging infrastructure, growing populations, evolving technologies
and changing travel patterns.
Each state must address the transportation funding crisis within its unique balance of governmental powers.
Overlap and tension between the executive branch and the legislature are nowhere more apparent than in the
power of the purse, and each state has a distinctive, dynamic approach to funding and finance issues. In transportation, both legislatures and DOTs (the latter under the direction of governors) have key roles in budgeting
and appropriations, selecting investment priorities, and deciding whether to use diverse or innovative financing
approaches. This chapter reviews shared responsibilities and interactions between the legislative and executive
branches in transportation funding and finance, including in the planning process.
State Budget and Appropriations Processes
A key power of the legislative branch is over budgeting and appropriations. Few if any bills on which the legislature acts are as vital as those that authorize the expenditure of public funds for specific purposes of state government. State budget processes require continuous executive-legislative interaction to maintain balance of power;
this balance, however, differs from state to state.
The executive and legislative branches generally participate in different stages of the budgeting process (Figure
4). Typically, the governor formulates a budget proposal based on executive agency requests and submits it to
the legislature; this tends to give the executive branch the power to set the terms of the discussion. In some
states, however—including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas—the legislature produces a
comprehensive budget as an alternative to the governor’s proposal. In other states such as Arkansas and South
Carolina, both branches contribute significantly to the budget proposal. The legislature reviews and then adopts
the budget as one or more appropriations bills. The enacted budget is returned to the governor, who may veto
the budget in its entirety or in part. The legislature then may vote to override gubernatorial vetoes. After the
budget becomes law, executing it is generally an administrative function, and overseeing it is a legislative one.35
DOTs and other executive agencies participate in the budgeting process first by submitting budget requests
to the office of the governor for consideration and incorporation into the executive budget request. In all but
eight states and Puerto Rico, executive agencies also submit budget requests directly to a legislative committee
or office.36 DOTs may be given more or less discretion at this stage of the process. In some cases—Colorado,
for example—a transportation commission or other body must approve the DOT budget proposal. DOTs also
interact directly with the legislature by appearing at budget hearings that involve substantial interaction between
legislators and agency representatives. These hearings allow legislative appropriations committees to learn about
executive program objectives and budget requests. They also afford agencies an opportunity to present their
achievements and defend their programs to both the legislature and the public.
5. Transportation Funding and Finance
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 21
Agencies
submit Governor prepares Governor submits to
Legislature may begin
hearings with Agency
budget
requests
Governor prepares
budget bill(s)
Governorsubmits to
Legislature
g gy
Staff
Forwarded to
full House for Examined by House Example: Bd t b
consideration
and vote
Examined by House
Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee
reviews may occur
Example:
Introduced
in House
Budget maybe
introduced in one
house or both;
Legislature may ignore
Governor’s budget
Forwarded to
Senate
Examined by Senate
Appropriations Committee
Submitted to Governor
for approval
If concur
with House
Subcommittee
reviews may occur
Conference Committee
on the Budget
If disagree
with House
Legislature overrides
Governor’s veto
Legislature cannot override
Governor’s veto
If Governor
approves, budget is
enacted into law
Governor may veto
Submitted to
Governor for
approval
Budget returns to
House and Senate for
final vote
all or portions of
the budget
Figure 4. Typical State Budget Process
Source: NCSL, 1998.
The budget process not only provides for a review of past appropriations and an examination of budget requests,
but also serves as a key legislative oversight activity—especially in states where the legislature approves programor project-specific appropriations. In many cases, state law requires the DOT to provide reports to the legislature
to inform the process (see Reporting Requirements on page 18). Some legislatures base funding levels at least
partly on performance data or other information received from DOT officials in budget hearings. Further, states
may establish future performance goals and objectives as well as new reporting requirements in the budget bill.
In some cases, funds may be withheld contingent upon submission of a specified report or DOT action. In
many states, the appropriation process is therefore seen as the main mechanism for legislative oversight of the
DOT. One survey respondent warned, however, that a focus on the year-to-year budget process can detract from
a legislature’s capacity for broader, long-term DOT oversight.
In practice, although some legislatures can significantly influence DOT spending levels, others have only a limited ability to do so. In many states, federal transportation funding flows directly to the DOT, with little or no
legislative involvement (see Federal Transportation Funding, starting on page 22). In addition, state funds for
transportation often are provided through dedicated funds or revenues that allow little room for budgeting flexibility (see State Transportation Funding, starting on page 24). States also may have specific limits on legislative
power. In Maryland, for example, the legislature can reduce but not add appropriations for specific projects in
the governor’s budget; expenditures can be added only through a supplementary appropriations bill if matched
with new revenues (see State Profiles). Across the board, expenditures that derive from bonding typically are
dealt with separately from the overall budget and are not subject to the same types of controls.
Transportation Governance and Finance
22 National Conference of State Legislatures
Many other differences exist among the states in terms of interactions between the legislature and the executive
branch in the appropriations process. States vary in their budgeting approaches and assumptions, the amount of
time agencies have to prepare proposals and other entities have to review them, the entity that writes the appropriation bill that is introduced in the legislature, procedures for making supplemental appropriations when the
legislature is not in session, control over federal funds, and gubernatorial veto authority, among others. These
variations—detailed in NCSL’s Budget Procedures online resources37—further contribute to each state’s unique
separation of governmental powers concerning state budgets and expenditures.
Federal, State and Local Transportation Funding
Responsibilities for funding and delivering services on the nation’s transportation network are shared by federal,
state and local governments. State and local governments own, operate and maintain most of the infrastructure
and also provide most of the funding for surface transportation systems; federal funding accounts for approximately 20 percent of both transit and highway funding.38 State legislatures and DOTs participate in allocating
federal funds to state transportation programs, generating and determining the use of state transportation revenues, and distributing transportation funds to local governments through local aid.
Federal Transportation Funding
The federal government provides funding to states for surface transportation projects mainly through the federal-aid highway and transit programs (Table 5). These programs are established by federal surface transportation
authorization legislation—now the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy
for Users (SAFETEA-LU), passed in 2005. Federal highway and transit programs are funded by the federal
fuel tax, federal heavy vehicle use tax, and federal motor carrier excise taxes, which are collected in the federal
Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and the Mass Transit Account within the HTF. Although the federal government
provides the funding for these programs, state, local and tribal governments maintain control over project selection and implementation. Most projects also require a 20 percent non-federal match; some federal-aid highway
programs require a smaller match. In addition, federal grant programs, congressional earmarks and one-time
expenditures such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 can provide additional federal funding to states for transportation projects.
Some state legislatures have minimal involvement with federal transportation funds. Many states—including
Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico,
North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Washington and Wyoming—and the District of Columbia allow
at least some federal funds to flow directly to the state DOT without legislative appropriation. In Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota, federal funds are reviewed and reflected in budget documents but do not require
legislative action in order to be spent.
In other states, however, the legislature has a more substantial role in allocating federal funds to the DOT.
Most states report that they allocate federal funds to the DOT through legislative appropriations at the agency,
program, category or project-specific level. Notable examples of legislative involvement include the following:
• Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana allocate federal funds to the DOT through legislative
approval of a transportation plan, budget or work program that details use of these funds. In Florida, legislative provisos occasionally direct how federal funding may be used; Kentucky’s budget guides expenditures.
• In California, federal transportation funds flow directly to the DOT, but a budget appropriation provides
the authority to spend the funds. Appropriation authority is given in the budget under broad categories.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 23
Table 5. Federal-Aid Highway and Transit Programs
Federal-Aid Highway Programs Federal-Aid Transit Programs
Major Formula Programs
• National Highway System (NHS) Program
• Interstate Maintenance (IM) Program
• Bridge Program
• Surface Transportation Program (STP)
• Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement
(CMAQ) Program
• Highway Safety Improvement Program
Targeted Infrastructure Programs
• Federal Lands Highways
• Other Geographic Locations (including the Appalachian
Development Highway System Program, the Delta Region
Transportation Development Program, and others)
• Specific Purposes and Needs (including the Projects of
National and Regional Significance program)
Special Programs
• Special Highway Assistance Programs
• Other Programs (including innovative financing, multimodal coordination, studies, research and pilot programs)
Urban and Rural Area Programs
• Urbanized Area Formula Program
• Non-Urbanized Area Formula Program
Capital Programs
• Bus and Bus Facilities Grants
• Fixed Guideway Modernization (also known as Rail
Modernization or “Rail Mod”)
• New Starts
Special Programs
• Formula Program for Elderly Persons and Persons with
Disabilities
• New Freedom Program
• Alternative Transportation on Federal Lands
• Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARC)
• Clean Fuels Formula Program
Shared Programs
Programs that Allow Flexing of Highway Funds into Transit Programs
• National Highway System (NHS) Program
• Interstate Maintenance (IM) Program
• Bridge Program
• Surface Transportation Program (STP)*
• Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program*
Support Programs
• Planning
• Research and Technical Assistance
• Training
* These programs provide the most funding for transit programs through the flex process.
Sources: Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, 2008; various U.S. Department of Transportation Web sites.
• The Hawaii DOT is authorized to expend federal funds through legislative appropriations. A budget proviso, however, allows the DOT to increase federal appropriation ceilings when the legislature is not in session, thus allowing expenditure of federal funds beyond those authorized under legislative appropriations.
This, in effect, permits direct transfer of federal funds to the DOT. All actions to raise appropriation ceilings
must be reported to the legislature with details of why the appropriation was not sought during the normal
legislative budgeting cycle.
• In Maine and Michigan, any funding received from the federal government must be allocated or appropriated to specific programs by the legislature before it can be spent.
• In Missouri and Pennsylvania, highway funds flow directly to the DOT without legislative involvement,
but funds for other modes sometimes require appropriation.
• In New Jersey, federal funds must be appropriated by law or approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee and the state treasurer before being spent.
Transportation Governance and Finance
24 National Conference of State Legislatures
• In Oregon, federal formula funds for transportation flow directly to the DOT with no state legislative appropriation. The DOT, however, is subject to an expenditure limit on those funds that is set biennially by
the legislature. Legislative approval also is required for the DOT to apply for federal grants that are not
allocated by fromula.39
• In Washington, if federal funding is received for operating purposes and is outside current appropriation
authority, the DOT must seek approval through the governor’s budget office using the unanticipated receipts process, which includes feedback from legislative staff.
• In Wisconsin, if the amount of federal highway funds received differs from the estimate provided in the legislative appropriation by more than 5 percent, the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance must approve
an adjustment to the appropriation.
State legislatures also may require additional approvals before a DOT can spend certain federal funds. The Ohio
legislature, for example, amended state law to require supermajority approval by the state legislative Controlling
Board before the DOT or other entity could spend capital funds—including federal grant funds—for development of passenger rail.40
State Transportation Funding
States provide nearly half of all surface transportation funding.41 The main source of highway funds in about
half the states is the state motor vehicle fuel tax, which in seven states is indexed to the consumer price index,
average wholesale price or another index (see Table 6 and State Profiles). The rest of the states rely on federal
funds, motor vehicle and motor carrier taxes, or bond proceeds (for more abut debt financing, see the section on
Innovative Finance starting on page 31).42 States also provide about 20 percent of the funding for transit systems
nationwide, largely from general funds, fuel taxes, the general sales tax and other sources.43 Other revenues for
surface transportation are drawn from additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel, sales taxes on vehicles or rental
cars, registration and other fees, vehicle or truck weight fees, and tolls, among others (see Table 6). States also
help fund aviation, ports and other elements of the transportation network.
Table 6. State-by-State Revenue Sources for Roads, Bridges, Rail and Transit
State/
Jurisdiction
Fuel
Taxes
Sales
Taxes on
Gasoline
or Diesel
Motor
Vehicle
or Rental
Car Sales
Taxes
Vehicle
Registration,
License or
Title Fees
Vehicle
or Truck
Weight
Fees
Traffic
Camera
Fees
Tolls General
Funds
Interest
Income
Other
Alabama • • • • Vehicle inspection fees; advertising revenue;
impact fees;
misc. revenues
Alaska • • • • • • • Licenses, permits or fees
Arizona • • • • SP • State lottery/
gaming; transportation excise
tax in Maricopa
County; impact
fees; board funding obligations
Arkansas • • • • • • Ad valorem tax;
impact fees
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 25
State/
Jurisdiction
Fuel
Taxes
Sales
Taxes on
Gasoline
or Diesel
Motor
Vehicle
or Rental
Car Sales
Taxes
Vehicle
Registration,
License or
Title Fees
Vehicle
or Truck
Weight
Fees
Traffic
Camera
Fees
Tolls General
Funds
Interest
Income
Other
California • SP • SP SP • Locally implemented sales
tax; impact fees
(local level only)
Colorado • • • • • SP • Sales tax; state
lottery/gaming;
congestion pricing; impact fees
Connecticut • • • • • • • Vehicle inspection fees; oil
company taxes
Delaware • • • • • • Fares
Florida V/I • • • • • Documentary
stamp revenue;
congestion pricing; impact fees
Georgia • • • • • • • Impact fees
Hawaii • • • • • Vehicle inspection fees; impact
fees
Idaho • • • Impact fees
Illinois • • • • SP • • Licenses,
permits or fees;
logo signing;
impact fees
Indiana • • • • Sales tax; situs
tax; rail service
funds; railroad
property tax; Indiana Toll Road
lease proceeds;
impact fees
Iowa V/I • • SP • Use tax on mobile homes and
other vehicles;
casino taxes;
licenses, permits
or fees
Kansas • • • • • Sales tax;
compensating
use tax
Kentucky V/I • • • • • Licenses,
permits or fees;
weight-distance
tax
Louisiana • • • • • • • Licenses, permits or fees
Maine V/I • • • • • Off-road fuel tax;
licenses, permits
or fees; fines;
impact fees
Transportation Governance and Finance
26 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Fuel
Taxes
Sales
Taxes on
Gasoline
or Diesel
Motor
Vehicle
or Rental
Car Sales
Taxes
Vehicle
Registration,
License or
Title Fees
Vehicle
or Truck
Weight
Fees
Traffic
Camera
Fees
Tolls General
Funds
Interest
Income
Other
Maryland • • • • SP • • Licenses,
permits or fees;
sales tax; corporate income tax;
fares and operating revenues;
congestion pricing (Maryland
Transportation
Authority only);
container fees
Massachusetts
• • • • • Sale of excess
land; advertising revenue;
sales tax; service
city and town
payments; fares
and operating
revenues
Michigan • • • SP Sales tax on
auto-related
products (includes gasoline
and diesel)
Minnesota • SP • • • • Licenses,
permits or fees;
fines; congestion
pricing
Mississippi • • • • Contractors’ tax;
lubricating oil
tax; locomotive
fuel tax
Missouri • SP • • SP • • Rail regulation
fees
Montana • • • • • Impact fees
Nebraska V/I • • • • Licenses, permits
or fees; investment income;
train-mile tax for
grade separation
projects
Nevada • • • • • • • Ad valorem
taxes; recovery
surcharge fees
New
Hampshire
• • • • • • Surcharge on
registration fees
(2011 sunset)
New Jersey • • • • • • • • • Sales tax; petroleum products
tax; contractual
contributions;
state lottery/
gaming
New Mexico • • • • • • • Impact fees;
weight-distance
tax
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 27
State/
Jurisdiction
Fuel
Taxes
Sales
Taxes on
Gasoline
or Diesel
Motor
Vehicle
or Rental
Car Sales
Taxes
Vehicle
Registration,
License or
Title Fees
Vehicle
or Truck
Weight
Fees
Traffic
Camera
Fees
Tolls General
Funds
Interest
Income
Other
New York • • • • • • SP SP Oil company
taxes; regional
payroll tax;
weight-distance
tax
North
Carolina
V/I • • • • SP •
North Dakota • • • • • • Net obligated
balance
Ohio • • SP • SP • • Right-of-way;
logo signing;
service concessions (turnpike
only); tax on fuel
sold at turnpike
gas stations
(turnpike only);
loan repayments; loan
servicing fees;
private contributions; licenses,
permits or fees
Oklahoma • • • •
Oregon • • • • • • State lottery/
gaming; tobacco
tax revenue; the
mass transit tax;
safety inspection and rail
regulation fees;
licenses, permits
or fees; weightdistance tax;
vehicle-miles
traveled fees
(pilot project);
container fees;
impact fees
Pennsylvania V/I • • • • SP • • Sales tax; state
lottery/gaming;
tire tax; impact
fees
Rhode Island • • • • • Impact fees
South
Carolina
• • • • Impact fees
South
Dakota
• • • • • • • Licenses,
permits or fees;
Railroad Board
fund
Tennessee • • • •
Transportation Governance and Finance
28 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Fuel
Taxes
Sales
Taxes on
Gasoline
or Diesel
Motor
Vehicle
or Rental
Car Sales
Taxes
Vehicle
Registration,
License or
Title Fees
Vehicle
or Truck
Weight
Fees
Traffic
Camera
Fees
Tolls General
Funds
Interest
Income
Other
Texas • • • SP • • • Sales tax on lubricants; vehicle
inspection fees;
licenses, permits
or fees; impact
fees
Utah • • • • • • • Sales tax; impact
fees
Vermont • • • • • SP • Impact fees
Virginia • • • • SP SP • • • Sales tax; congestion pricing;
impact fees
Washington • • • • SP • • Licenses, permits or fees; sale
of DOT property and other
business-related
revenues; congestion variable
tolling; photo
tolling (beginning 2011); impact fees (local
level only)
West Virginia • • • • • • Highway litter
control fund;
impact fees
Wisconsin • • • • SP • Licenses,
permits or fees;
taxes on other
modes
Wyoming • • • • • State-distributed
mineral royalties
and mineral
severance taxes;
container fees
District of
Columbia
• • • Rights-of-way;
master equipment lease/
short-term borrowing; public
space revenue;
parking meter
revenues
Puerto Rico • • • • • Excise taxes
on petroleum
products; impact
fees
Key:
SP – See State Profiles for clarification or more information
V/I – Variable or indexed fuel tax rate
Note: This chart includes all state-level revenue sources for roads, bridges, rail and transit, not just those revenues that are administered by
DOTs.
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011, supplemented by AASHTO, 2010; Dierkers and Mattingly, 2009; FHWA, 2011; and Puentes
and Prince, 2003.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 29
State legislatures have significant power over determining state revenue sources by enacting laws that address
taxation, fee schedules and appropriations. Legislatures also tend to have more influence over the allocation
and appropriation of state funds compared to federal funds, given the legislature’s general powers over state
taxation and expenditures. Only Colorado, Hawaii, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and the District of Columbia reported that any state funds flowed directly from a revenue source to the DOT without being subject
to legislative appropriation. Even in states such as Michigan where distribution of state transportation funds is
determined by statutory formula, the legislature still appropriates the funds. Almost all legislatures appropriate
state transportation funds either at the agency, program, category or project-specific level or through approval
of a DOT transportation plan.
The real power of legislatures—or DOTs—to allocate state funds, however, is bounded by constitutional and
statutory restrictions on the use of transportation revenues. For example, 23 states now have provisions in the
constitution—and three in statute—that restrict use of state fuel tax revenues exclusively to highway and road
purposes (Figure 5). Most other states restrict or dedicate use of fuel tax receipts and other transportation-related
revenues to general or multimodal transportation purposes, with a few limited exceptions. Texas is unique in
that it allocates one-fourth of its gas tax revenues to schools. Only Alaska constitutionally prohibits dedicating
state revenues, unless federally required or dedicated prior to statehood.44 Other common provisions that limit
use of transportation-related revenues are those that restrict their use to the same modes from which they were
Figure 5. State Uses of Fuel Tax Revenues
* Notes:
• The Alaska constitution prohibits any dedication of revenues.
• The Michigan constitution dedicates motor fuel taxes and vehicle registration taxes to transportation purposes. At least 90 percent must
be used for roads, streets and bridges, and the balance for comprehensive transportation purposes as defined by law.
• The Montana constitution requires highway user fee revenues including fuel taxes to be used as authorized by the legislature for specific
road and bridge funding purposes. Such revenue may, however, be appropriated for other purposes by a three-fifths vote of the members of each house of the legislature.
• Nebraska statute generally dedicates fuel tax and other revenues to highway construction and maintenance, with limited exceptions
including transit aid.
• The Texas constitution restricts use of fuel taxes to roadways and administration of traffic laws; a quarter of the revenues, however, are
allocated to the Available School Fund.
• Florida, New Mexico and Vermont use fuel tax revenues mostly for transportation purposes, with limited exceptions (see State Profiles).
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011; original research using Westlaw; Puentes and Prince, 2003; and Sundeen and Reed, 2006.
Constitutional dedication of fuel tax
revenues exclusively to highway and
road purposes
Statutory dedication of fuel tax
revenues exclusively to highway and
road purposes
Fuel tax revenues used for general or
multimodal transportation purposes
Other
DC
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Transportation Governance and Finance
30 National Conference of State Legislatures
collected; for example, by dedicating use of aviation fuel tax proceeds to airport projects (see State Profiles).
In all states except Alaska, transportation-related revenues are deposited into funds that often are subject to additional requirements. Thus, many states restrict both transportation-related revenues and the funds to which
they are deposited. This provides protection for transportation revenues and programs but also can constrain
funding and finance decisions of both the executive branch and the legislature. At least 19 states and the District of Columbia deposit transportation revenues into a trust fund for highways, mass transit, aviation or
transportation generally;45 otherwise, states—except Alaska—use designated accounts that are not called trust
funds for these purposes. Maryland and Wisconsin place all transportation revenues from all modes into one
consolidated, dedicated multimodal fund. At least 35 states46 report constitutional or statutory provisions that
direct the use of transportation funds or accounts.
Constitutional or statutory restrictions on the use of state transportation funds and revenue can include
explicit prohibitions on the diversion or transfer of this money to other purposes. States with such restrictions include California, Delaware, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. In 2010,
California’s Proposition 22 strengthened the state’s prohibitions on diversions and transfers of transportation funds and revenues by eliminating the state’s authority to borrow state fuel tax revenues for cash flow or
budget-balancing purposes. In contrast, the Montana constitution outlines a process to appropriate restricted highway funds for other purposes, by three-fifths vote of the members of each house of the legislature.47
Virginia law allows diversion by the legislature or the governor in the budget bill if language is inserted that sets
out a plan for repayment of the diverted funds within three years.48
Dedications, restrictions and prohibitions on the transfer of funds are not always effective. Arizona, Florida,
Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina and Wisconsin report recent legislative diversions of transportation funds to other purposes, notwithstanding existing constitutional or statutory restrictions. In New
Jersey, the annual appropriation act has precedence over any other dedication language found in general statute,
but not over the constitution; the legislature has chosen not to fully appropriate statutorily dedicated transportation revenues eight times since 1985.
Local Transportation Funding
Local governments—including counties, townships and municipalities49—provide approximately 30 percent
of total surface transportation funding and own 77 percent of the nation’s roadway miles.50 Both legislatures
and DOTs participate in supporting local governments in their responsibilities for transportation infrastructure
through local aid programs. Through these programs, states typically allocate a portion of state fuel tax proceeds
or other state transportation revenues to local entities for transportation projects. States also suballocate federal
funds to local entities.
The most common model, reported by 27 states,51 is to distribute funds primarily by statutory formulas based
on equal distribution, population, road mileage or other criteria (see State Profiles). Nineteen other states52
report distributing funds using a blend of statutory formulas and state legislative appropriations; of these, 11
also provide grants or other funds at the discretion of the DOT or a transportation commission. These discretionary programs, particularly when combined with appropriations, can provide for substantial involvement of
both the executive branch and the legislature in distributing funds to local entities.
• In New Jersey, local aid is allocated by the commissioner of transportation, pursuant to annual legislative
appropriations and subject to statutory minimums. Aid is allocated based on statutory formulas, then the
commissioner determines the priority for funding projects based on certain criteria.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 31
• The New Mexico DOT distributes most local aid by statutory formula, but has discretion over some allocations to local governments in financial hardship.
• The South Carolina DOT allocates a portion of federal funds received each year to metropolitan planning
organizations and councils of government; this allocation is not required by statute. The commission of
the DOT determines the funding amount and has established the distribution formula. A portion of state
motor fuel tax revenue also is distributed to counties according to a statutory formula.
• Washington distributes a portion of certain transportation revenues to cities and counties by statutory formula. In addition, the DOT awards certain public transportation grants to local entities through a regional
mobility grant program—funded by the multimodal transportation account and subject to appropriation—for cost-effective projects that reduce delay and improve connectivity.
Innovative Finance
A variety of factors have negatively affected the ability of
traditional transportation revenues—federal-aid funds, state
fuel taxes and other related
taxes and fees—to provide
needed transportation infrastructure and maintenance.
In this environment, states
are turning to a host of innovative finance mechanisms to
help leverage traditional funding sources (Table 7 and Table
8; see also State Profiles).53
Table 7. Transportation Finance Mechanisms
State Bonding and Debt Instruments
• Revenue Bonds
• General Obligation Bonds
• Hybrid Bonds
Public-Private Partnerships
• Pass-Through Tolls/Shadow Tolling
• Availability Payments
• Design-Build-Finance-[Operate]-[Maintain] Delivery Models
• Build-[Own]-Operate-Transfer and Build-Transfer-Operate Delivery Models
• Long-Term Lease Concessions
Federal Debt Financing Tools
• Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEEs)
• Private Activity Bonds (PABs)
• Build America Bonds (BABs)
Federal Credit Assistance Tools
• Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA)
• State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs)
• Section 129 Loans
Federal-Aid Fund Management Tools
• Advance Construction (AC) and Partial Conversion of Advance Construction (PCAC)
• Federal-Aid Matching Strategies
Flexible Match
Tapered Match
Toll Credits (Soft Match)
Program Match
Third-Party Donations
Using Other Federal Funds as Match
Other Innovative Finance Mechanisms
• Non-Federal Bonding and Debt Instruments
• Value Capture Arrangements such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Sources: AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance, 2008; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program Delivery, 2010; and Rall, Reed and Farber, 2010.
Transportation Governance and Finance
32 National Conference of State Legislatures
Table 8. State-By-State Transportation Finance Mechanisms
State/
Jurisdiction
General
Obligation
or Revenue
Bonds
GARVEE
Bonds
Private
Activity
Bonds
(PABs)
Build
America
Bonds
(BABs)
TIFIA Federal Credit
Assistance
State Infrastructure
Bank (SIB)
PPPs DesignBuild
Other
Alabama • • SP SP
Alaska • • SP • • SP SP
Arizona • • • SP SP
Arkansas • • • SP SP
California • • • • • SP SP
Colorado • • • • • • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities
Connecticut • • SP
Delaware • • • • SP SP
Florida • SP • • • SP SP
Georgia • • • • SP SP
Hawaii • SP
Idaho • • SP
Illinois • • • SP SP
Indiana • • SP
Iowa • •
Kansas • • • SP Special tax districts
Kentucky • • • SP
Louisiana • • • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities
Maine • • • SP SP
Maryland • SP • SP SP SP
Massachusetts
• • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities
Michigan • SP • • SP
Minnesota • • SP SP
Mississippi • • • • SP SP
Missouri • • • • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities
Montana • • SP
Nebraska • •
Nevada • SP • SP SP
New
Hampshire
SP SP • SP
New Jersey • • • SP SP
New Mexico • • • SP
New York • • • SP SP
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 33
State/
Jurisdiction
General
Obligation
or Revenue
Bonds
GARVEE
Bonds
Private
Activity
Bonds
(PABs)
Build
America
Bonds
(BABs)
TIFIA Federal Credit
Assistance
State Infrastructure
Bank (SIB)
PPPs DesignBuild
Other
North
Carolina
• • • • SP SP
North Dakota • • • SP
Ohio • • • • SP
Oklahoma • •
Oregon • • • • SP SP
Pennsylvania SP • • SP
Rhode Island • • • • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities
South
Carolina
• • • SP SP
South Dakota • •
Tennessee • SP SP
Texas • SP • • • • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities; other
Utah • • • SP SP
Vermont • • SP
Virginia • • • • • • SP SP Creation of nonprofit, quasi-public
entities
Washington • SP • • SP SP State-funded rail
bank
West Virginia • • SP SP
Wisconsin • • • SP SP
Wyoming • SP
District of
Columbia
• SP SP SP
Puerto Rico • • • • SP SP
Key:
SP – See State Profiles for clarification or more information.
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011, supplemented by original research using Westlaw; AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project
Finance, 2010; Dierkers and Mattingly, 2009; and Rall, Reed and Farber, 2010.
Some of these mechanisms—such as state infrastructure banks and debt financing instruments—require enactment of state authorizing legislation before a state agency such as a DOT can use them. Enabling legislation
grants and defines the legal authority of an executive entity to use a given tool or program and also can address
restrictions that exist in current law or policy. Debt financing mechanisms that are available to states and may
require enabling legislation include general obligation, revenue, special tax and private activity bonds (PABs),
among others. Most states rely on debt to finance projects; only Iowa, Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota
reported relying solely on pay-as-you-go financing.54 Other states—including Illinois, Maine, Oklahoma and
Vermont—specifically noted legislative approval requirements for bonding or other financing (see State Profiles). Requiring enabling legislation before a DOT can use these options gives the legislature an ongoing role
in—and additional means for oversight of—transportation finance.
Transportation Governance and Finance
34 National Conference of State Legislatures
Other innovative financing tools can entail ongoing involvement of both state legislatures and DOTs beyond
passage of enabling statutes. One such mechanism is public-private partnerships (PPPs or P3s). According to
a widely adopted definition from the U.S. Department of Transportation, PPPs are contractual agreements
between public and private sector partners that allow more private sector participation than is traditional in
infrastructure delivery; in some, the private sector also finances some or all of a project.55 PPPs cover more than a
dozen project delivery and finance models, ranging from minimal to substantial private sector involvement. The
enhanced private role in public infrastructure that characterizes PPPs has made these agreements controversial,
but they also are seen as an opportunity to help leverage increasingly limited public sector resources.
Both state legislatures and DOTs are involved in the PPP decision-making and implementation process. Legislatures are primarily responsible for deciding whether a state is to engage in PPPs and for enacting enabling
statutes that permit them; as of April 2011, 31 states and Puerto Rico56 had enacted such statutes. Executive
agencies such as DOTs generally are responsible for implementing PPP programs and projects within statutory
guidelines.
Laws in Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia, however, give the legislature a more active and ongoing role by requiring some form of legislative approval
for at least some PPP projects (Figure 6).57 (In addition, Utah and Puerto Rico require legislative approval only
to convert existing facilities to privately operated toll roads.) Legislative approval requirements vary widely.
Some require approval by the full legislature and others—such as those in Delaware and Missouri—only by
certain committees or committee chairs. They also differ in the projects for which approval is required, the procedures for acquiring approval and the stage of project development at which approval must be given.
PPP stataute requires legislative
approval for some or all PPP projects
PPP statute provides for legislative
review or other involvement, but not
approval
Has PPP statute with no formal
legislative requirement
Has no PPP statute
PPP statute requires legislative approval
only to convert existing facilities to
privately operated toll raods
Figure 6. PPP Enabling Statutes and Legislative Approval Requirements
Sources: Rall, Reed and Farber, 2010; N.D. Cent. Code §§48-02.1-01 et seq.; and 2011 Ohio Laws, House Bill 114.
Puerto Rico
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 35
PPP legislative approval provisions have been heavily debated. On the one hand, they create a means for elected
officials to review and be held accountable for PPP projects that may have a significant impact on the public
interest. They also introduce political uncertainty into the PPP process, however, which can discourage private
investors. Other options for legislative involvement in PPPs include provisions that require legislative review but
not approval of PPP projects—now the model in eight states—and strong enabling legislation that addresses
key policy issues in depth.58
Grant anticipation revenue vehicles, or GARVEEs, are another innovative finance tool that can require ongoing
involvement of the legislature through approval provisions in enabling statutes. A GARVEE is a federal debt
financing instrument that enables a state, political subdivision or public authority to pledge future federal-aid
highway apportionments to support costs related to bonds and other debt financing. Essentially, GARVEEs
allow debt-related expenses to be paid with future federal-aid funds, thus accelerating project design and construction. Twenty-nine states and Puerto Rico have issued GARVEE debt; Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire,
Texas, Washington and the District of Columbia had authorized but not yet issued GARVEEs as of 2009.59
As with PPPs, in some states—including Idaho, Louisiana, Maine and Washington—the enabling statutes require further legislative approval or appropriation before GARVEE debt can be issued. In contrast, Colorado’s
statute explicitly delegates this authority to the executive branch.60 However, Colorado law authorizes GARVEE
debt only up to a specified level and would require additional legislative approval for the DOT to exceed the
cap; California also limits GARVEE issuance in statute.61
Transportation Planning
States determine their investment priorities for state and federal transportation dollars through structured planning processes that include project identification, selection, prioritization and approval. Both DOTs and legislatures can play a role in this important activity, and the balance of
legislative and executive authority
varies widely across states, as do the
processes themselves.
In all states, DOTs generally take
the lead in conducting transportation planning activities and ensuring compliance with federal and
state requirements. To receive federal
transportation funding, each state
must organize its planning process
to comply with federal laws, regulations and executive orders that
require or influence many elements
of the planning process (Table 9).
The federal government requires
each state to produce a statewide,
intermodal long-range transportation plan (LRP). The plan provides
a vision and a framework over a
horizon of at least 20 years. Each
state also must produce a StateTable 9. Federal Laws that Influence
the Transportation Planning Process
Source: Connecticut Department of Transportation, 2007.
Federal Surface Transportation Authorization Legislation
• Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A
Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
• Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)
• Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA)
Other Federal Laws
• Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA)
• Vision 100: The Century of Aviation Act (Vision 100)
• Wendall H. Ford Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century
(AIR-21)
• National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
• Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
• Environmental Justice Orders
– Executive Order 1298
– DOT Order on Environmental Justice to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income
Populations (DOT Order 5610.2)
– FHWA Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority
Populations and Low-Income Populations (DOT Order
6640.23)
• 23 U.S.C. §109(h)
• The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition
Policies of 1970
Transportation Governance and Finance
36 National Conference of State Legislatures
wide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) that lists all projects a state expects to be funded
with federal participation over a period of not less than four years. The process for these plans must include coordination with metropolitan planning areas and multi-state efforts; consideration of concerns of regional, local, tribal and federal land management entities (Figure 7); compliance with environmental standards; public involvement; and other requirements. States also must develop federally
mandated environmental plans and reports, planning work programs, and highway safety plans and reports.62
Transportation planning processes are further defined at the state level. Thus, in addition to federal requirements, DOTs must meet state-specific mandates concerning transportation plans and capital programs. In
many states, DOTs must prepare one or more state plans in addition to those that are federally required. In
New Jersey, for example, the DOT must annually prepare and submit to the legislature a proposed transportation capital program for the ensuing fiscal year, and must also separately update the federally required STIP.
DOTs also may be required by state law to prepare other mode-specific plans—for example, for rail, aviation,
or bicycles and pedestrians.
The extent of legislative involvement and authority in the process of selecting and approving projects differs
greatly across states. At one end of the continuum are Nebraska and Wyoming, which constitutionally prohibit
the legislature from prioritizing specific road projects.63 At the other end are: Delaware, where legislators each
determine the use of an annual authorization of the state’s Community Transportation Fund for transportationrelated projects in their respective districts; Pennsylvania, where legislative leaders serve on the state Transportation Commission that approves all projects; and Wisconsin, where the legislature is required by statute to review
and approve major highway projects.64 In other states—including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois,
Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island,
Tennessee and Vermont—the legislature actively reviews or approves DOT plans or programs, often as part of
the budget process (see State Profiles).
• Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA)
• Federal Transit Administration
(FTA)
• National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA)
• Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA)
General Policy, Planning
Requirements and Funding
• State DOT
• Other state agencies
• Partners in multi-state efforts
• Transit operators
• Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
• Regional [Transportation] Planning Organizations (RTPOs or
RPOs)
• Local governments
• Local community organizations
and agencies
Cooperative State and Local
Planning Efforts
• Citizens
• Affected public agencies
• Representatives of public transportation employees
• Freight shippers
• Private providers of transportation
• Representatives of public transportation users
• Representatives of users of pedestrian walkways and bicycle
facilities
• Representatives of persons
with disabilities
• Federally recognized Indian
tribes and the Secretary of the
Interior
• Other interested parties
Coordination with
Other Entities
Figure 7. Participants in the Transportation Planning Process
Source: Adapted from Connecticut Department of Transportation, 2007.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 37
Between these poles are many other ways in which legislatures are involved in transportation planning. Arizona,
Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Vermont have set forth in statute
general planning priorities or processes. The Kansas legislature also approves the state’s comprehensive transportation plan, which provides only general priorities rather than specific projects. Legislatures in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota,65 Montana,66 Nevada, Tennessee, Oregon,
Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia have sometimes prioritized projects by enacting project-specific
earmarks or bond bills, whereas those in Ohio, Oklahoma, Kansas and South Dakota have generally chosen not
to legislate in this way. In California, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina and South
Dakota, there is generally little or no direct legislative role, beyond the opportunity for legislators to participate
in hearings or meetings as members of the public. In these states, because funds flow directly to DOTs without
legislative involvement or are appropriated at the agency or program level rather than to specific projects, the
legislative role in project prioritization is further limited.
Other notable models for involving state legislatures in transportation planning include the following.
• In Louisiana, the legislature holds hearings around the state and reviews the proposed construction program. Committee feedback is used to modify proposed programs or to develop future ones. The legislature can delete but not add or substitute projects in the approval process.
• The Connecticut legislature created a Transportation Strategy Board in 2001. This board includes legislatively appointed members and proposes a transportation strategy for legislative approval every four years.
• In North Carolina and Oklahoma, the DOT selects highway projects, but the legislature directs funds to
other modes such as transit and rail as part of the appropriation process.
• The Rhode Island legislature does
not have an active role in prioritizing
federally funded projects, but does
when state capital funds are used.
• Legislators in some states, including
Pennsylvania and Virginia, have been
appointed to the boards of metropolitan planning organizations and
so have participated in the planning
process in that way.
A key theme in the NCSL-AASHTO
survey data was the particular tension between legislatures and DOTs about what
constitutes an appropriate level of legislative involvement or oversight in the critical task of transportation planning. State
legislators and DOT officials identified a
desire to have appropriate checks and balances in place to depoliticize the process
and to prevent promotion of “pet projects”
at the expense of the entire system. Despite these concerns, 77 percent of DOT
Key Survey Finding: Seventy-seven percent of DOT officials surveyed agreed that transportation projects are chosen based
primarily on merit, not political, personal or other considerations. Responses from legislators were divided. Note: See page
2 for a description of this survey’s methodology and data limitations.
Transportation projects in my state are chosen based primarily on
merit, not political, personal or other considerations.
Data expressed in percentage of legislator or DOT respondents.
0
10
20
30
40
50
Legislators
DOT
Agree
Strongly
Neither Agree Agree
nor Disagree
Disagree Disagree
Strongly
DOT
Legislators
Transportation Governance and Finance
38 National Conference of State Legislatures
executives agreed that transportation projects are chosen based primarily on merit, not political, personal or
other considerations; responses from legislators, however, were divided (see Key Survey Finding on the previous
page).
Other Legislative and Executive Interactions
in Transportation Funding and Finance
In most states, legislatures and DOTs also may experience tension or overlap in the areas of retention of surplus
or excess funds and cost-controlling measures.
Retention of Surplus or Excess Funds67
In most states, unspent transportation dollars revert to a DOT-administered dedicated transportation fund
at the end of the fiscal year or biennium (see State Profiles). In some states, such as Virginia, these funds are
retained by the DOT with no restrictions; in Hawaii, Utah and Vermont, at least some funds are retained, but
must be used for the same purpose for which they were originally appropriated. In Oklahoma and Oregon,
funds are retained, but the DOT is subject to an expenditure limit; and in Missouri and Oregon, certain funds
are retained but others expire.
In some states, legislatures have assumed a more substantial role in managing excess transportation funds. In
Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Washington, funds lapse and the DOT must seek new
appropriations or expenditure authority from the legislature. Similarly, in California, Minnesota, Nebraska,
North Dakota and Wisconsin, funds are retained in transportation funds but must be legislatively reappropriated before the DOT can spend the money. In Minnesota, specific language accompanying an appropriation
is needed to grant carry-forward authority across biennia. In Vermont, revenues in excess of appropriations are
credited to the Transportation Fund, although the annual transportation bill may provide for their expenditure
on a contingent basis. In West Virginia, although surplus funds are retained in the State Road Fund at the end
of the fiscal year, the DOT must request additional spending authority from the legislature to spend more than
the amount appropriated for the next year. In all these cases, the legislature is actively involved in management
and oversight of surplus DOT funds.
Controlling DOT Costs
Across jurisdictions, state legislatures have enacted provisions—beyond expenditure limits in budget and appropriations acts—that are intended to control DOT costs. NCSL-AASHTO survey respondents identified
low bid requirements and other guidelines in state procurement codes or other statutes as the most common
legislative controls on DOT costs.
Some legislatures also have taken further action. In Ohio, the legislative Controlling Board must approve waivers of competitive selection when the agency’s non-competitively bid purchases or leases exceed certain amounts;
the Controlling Board also must approve any requested increase in appropriation. Virginia’s 2009 Appropriation
Act directed downsizing the agency to no more than 7,500 employees and use of private contracts for at least 70
percent of annual expenditures. Nevada statute limits the use of highway fund revenues for administrative costs.
In Vermont, the DOT must prepare reports detailing bids versus cost estimates for distribution to a legislative
oversight committee.68 These activities permit additional legislative controls and oversight over DOT costs.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 39
State Profiles69
Transportation Governance and Finance
40 National Conference of State Legislatures
Organizational Facts
Legislature Name
Structure
Chambers
Session
Estimated no. of bills in 2011
Department of
Transportation
Name
FTE
Leadership
Organizational structure
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Road lane miles: ## (2009); bridges: ## (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approx. ## million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,271 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 202; public-use: 85; state-owned: 3 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 2,797,299 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 118,699 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal. The legislature and the DOT…
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The Director of Transportation is appointed by…
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s)…
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Program evaluation office…
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of the DOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes [Statutory citations]
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of rules…
The main source of information for these state-by-state profiles is the
responses from the states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
to NCSL-AASHTO surveys 1, 2 and 4. NCSL-AASHTO survey data was
supplemented by many other resources, listed in endnote 69 and
in the Selected Bibliography, and detailed below. All data is current (2010 – 2011) unless otherwise noted.
This section outlines basic organizational facts for the state’s legislature and its DOT, including the
size and structure of each. The size of the DOT is expressed by the number of full-time equivalents
(FTEs) it employs. Sources: NCSL-AASHTO survey data, original research using Westlaw, various NCSL
and state legislative Web pages, Fazzalaro (2007), StateNet (2010) and Washington State Department of Transportation (n.d.).
This section provides statistics about the state’s entire transportation system, not just those elements
managed by the DOT. Sources: Roads and bridges data is drawn from Federal Highway Administration Highway Statistics tables HM-60 (2009 data), BR-5 (2010 data) and HM-25 (2009 data) and Federal
Highway Administration (2009). Transit trips include unlinked passenger trips made by all modes—
including rail, bus, vanpools, ferries and others—as reported to the National Transit Database
(Federal Transit Administration, 2008 data). Freight rail route-miles are provided by the Association of
American Railroads (2008 data) and exclude trackage rights. Aviation data is from the Federal Aviation Administration (2009 data), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (years as noted)
and various state Web sites. Marine data is from the Federal Highway Administration (2009) and U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (2009 data). In certain identified cases, information is from NCSL-AASHTO
survey data or state DOT communications.
This section describes the collaboration and communication between the state legislature
and the DOT, as described in the NCSL-AASHTO survey data. It includes information about
whether the DOT employs a legislative liaison or an office of governmental relations or affairs. Sources: NCSL-AASHTO survey data and various state DOT Web pages.
This section describes other mechanisms for legislative oversight of the DOT. It includes a list of all mechanisms identified by the state in its survey data. It also identifies
the legislative program evaluation office and whether the state DOT is subject to a
sunset review process (see pages 17 and 18). Sources: Data is primarily from the NCSLAASHTO survey data, supplemented by information from the National Legislative
Program Evaluation Society (NLPES), the Council of State Governments (2010), Council
on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (n.d.), and NCSL and the Florida Office of
Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability (2008).
This section provides citations for the state’s transportation governance statutes
and describes the procedure for reviewing administrative rules (see pages 15 and
16). Sources: NCSL-AASHTO survey data, the Council of State Governments (2010),
Rhyme (1990) and original research using Westlaw.
This section describes the appointment process, authority
and statutory requirements for DOT leadership, with citations.
Sources: Original research using Westlaw and NCSL-AASHTO
survey data. See Appendix D for more information.
State Profile Example
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 41
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The transportation planning process…
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The legislative role in transportation planning…
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins…
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state mainly uses…
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
2011 (approved): $## million
2010: $## million
2009: $## million
2008: $## million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
The legislature appropriates federal funds …
Allocation of State Transportation
Funds to the DOT
The legislature appropriates state transportation funds…
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; outdoor advertising
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General fund…; Aviation: Jet fuel tax…;
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; PPPs (authorized in statute)…
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Use of state revenues from fees or taxes on the registration, operation or use of vehicles or
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The DOT allocates funds to local governments …
This item describes the state’s general approach to budgeting and appropriations, including
whether the budget is annual or biennial and when the fiscal year begins. Source: Various
NCSL Web pages.
This lists the amount of state-level funding provided for DOT budgets, including for
operating and capital expenses in all modes as well as for debt service and administrative costs. It includes funding from state sources only and excludes federal funding
of all kinds. This describes funding for the state DOT only and not for other transportation entities or projects in the state. Source: NCSL-AASHTO survey data.
This section describes innovative funding and financing mechanisms used by the state, including public-private partnerships (PPPs or P3s); design-build; federal debt financing tools
such as grant anticipation revenue vehicles (GARVEEs); federal credit assistance tools such
as state infrastructure banks; federal-aid fund management tools such as advance construction; and other options such as weight-distance taxes and traffic camera fees. Sources:
NCSL-AASHTO survey data, supplemented by American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in Project Finance (2010), Dierkers
and Mattingly (2009), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program
Delivery (2010), Rall, Reed and Farber (2010) and “U.S. & Canadian Transportation Projects
Scorecard” (May 2010).
This section details the state funds, accounts and revenues that are dedicated or restricted
to certain purposes in state law, including whether fuel tax revenues are dedicated exclusively to highway and road purposes by the state constitution or in statute (with citations).
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO survey data, original research using StateNet and Westlaw, and
Puentes and Prince (2003).
This section details how the state allocates transportation funds to counties, townships or
municipalities through local aid programs (with citations). The focus is on allocation of state
funds, but information is included about federal funds if that data was provided on a survey
response. Sources: NCSL-AASHTO survey data and original research using Westlaw.
State Profile Example
This section describes the state’s approach to transportation planning and capital program
management, including a specific description of the legislative role in the process. Sources:
NCSL-AASHTO survey data and original research using Westlaw, supplemented by various
state DOT Web sites and planning documents.
These sections describe state-level funding and finance for highways, transit, passenger and freight rail, aviation, ports, bridges and other modes of transportation.
Sources: NCSL-AASHTO survey data, supplemented by AASHTO (2010), Dierkers
and Mattingly (2009), Farber (2010), Federal Highway Administration (2011) and
Rall (2009).
Transportation Governance and Finance
42 National Conference of State Legislatures
Alabama
Organizational Facts
Legislature Alabama Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (35 members)
Chambers: House (105 members)
Session: Annual, approximately February – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,900
Department of
Transportation
Alabama Department of Transportation
(ALDOT)
FTE: 9,355
Leadership: Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 194,126 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 1 (2009);
bridges: 16,018 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 3 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 2.8 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,271 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 202; public-use: 85; state-owned: 3 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 2,513,150 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 86,050 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 66.2
million (2009); state-operated ferries: 2 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal. The Legislature’s permanent, 14-member Joint Transportation Committee, among other statutory duties, reviews and concurs
in a long-range highway plan that is updated annually; annually reviews the budget for highway construction, maintenance and operation
as well as ALDOT administration; issues annual reports about ALDOT performance; and makes recommendations (Ala. Code §29-2-
4). ALDOT must recommend to the governor and Legislature such legislation as it deems advisable and to furnish any other information
concerning road and bridge improvements as may be deemed expedient by the governor and the Legislature (Ala. Code §23-1-35). ALDOT
has no dedicated legislative liaison or governmental affairs office.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The director of transportation is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the governor (Ala. Code §23-1-21).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s). Oversight is provided by the
permanent Joint Transportation Committee (Ala. Code §§29-2-1 to 8).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, Operational Division
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of ALDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ala. Code §§23-1-20 to 166
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan standing committee; committee may
suspend rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process ALDOT develops a five-year highway plan and is primarily responsible for determining investment
priorities and selecting projects.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature’s permanent Joint Transportation Committee reviews and concurs in a long-range
(five-year) highway plan, and must review and concur in any deviation from the intent of that plan.
Funding and Finance
Alabama
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 43
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins October 1. ALDOT spending levels are set by the Legislature in
the annual appropriation act.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state mainly uses pay-as-you-go financing, but has done a small amount of bonding over the
years.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $484 million
FY 2010: $501 million
FY 2009: $523 million
FY 2008: $433 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
The Legislature appropriates federal funds in the annual appropriation act as a lump sum
appropriation at the department level. The Joint Transportation Committee also approves the longrange highway plan, including the use of federal funds.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
The Legislature appropriates state transportation funds in the annual appropriation act as a lump
sum appropriation at the agency level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; outdoor advertising permit fees.
The state has done a small amount of bonding over the years.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Constitutional limits on use of vehicle taxes and fees prohibit use of any currently levied state taxes
for transit. Attempts to change the constitution to allow funds to be used for transit have been
unsuccessful. Aviation: Aviation fuel tax. Ports: Alabama State Docks fees and self-generated revenue.
Bridges: The Public Road and Bridge Fund, including state fuel tax, vehicle registration and other
miscellaneous ALDOT revenues.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; PPPs (authorized in statute, used for Foley Beach Express); design-build
(authorized in statute); impact fees; advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution limits the use of any state revenues from fees or taxes on registration,
operation or use of vehicles or on motor fuel to the construction, maintenance and repair of roads
and bridges and enforcement of the state’s traffic laws (Ala. Const. art. IV, §111.06). State highway
bond proceeds and revenues appropriated to ALDOT are deposited in the State Highway Fund, use
of which is restricted to transportation purposes (Ala. Code §23-1-62).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Transportation funds are distributed to counties, towns and municipalities based on statutory
formulas. The gasoline tax is the biggest contributor of local transportation funding. Fifty-five
percent of net gasoline tax proceeds and a portion of the supplemental net tax proceeds on gasoline
are allocated to counties and municipalities to be used for highway purposes. These funds are
distributed among the counties by a statutory formula based on equal distribution and population,
and 10 percent of the amount allocated to each county must be distributed among its municipalities
based on population (Ala. Code §§40-17-73 et seq.). A small portion of the diesel and motor carrier
fuel tax is also distributed to counties and municipalities for public road and bridge purposes by
statutory formulas based on equal distribution and population (Ala. Code §40-17-222). These
allocations to local governments are subject to constitutional restrictions on the use of revenues
from fees or taxes on registration, operation or use of vehicles or on vehicle fuel (Ala. Const. art. IV,
§111.06).
Alabama
Transportation Governance and Finance
44 National Conference of State Legislatures
Alaska
Organizational Facts
Legislature Alaska Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (20 members)
Chambers: House (40 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 650
Department of
Transportation
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public
Facilities (DOT&PF)
FTE: 3,500
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by
transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 31,945 (2009); bridges: 1,134 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 1 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 5.0 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 506 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 292; public-use: 264; state-owned: 267 (2003)
Enplanements per year: 4,413,919 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 465,845 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 46.2
million (2009); state-operated ferries: 11 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Proactive. The DOT&PF provides briefings to groups of legislators before construction season and before the legislative session. The
DOT&PF also responds to legislative requests for information and provides educational sessions to House and Senate transportation
committees. The DOT&PF employs a dedicated legislative liaison.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
Department heads—including the Commissioner of Transportation and Public Facilities—are appointed by the governor, subject
to confirmation by the majority of the members of the Legislature in joint session, and serve at the pleasure of the governor. Each is
constitutionally required to be a U.S. citizen (Alaska Const. art. III, §25).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for
information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Division of Legislative Audit
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of the DOT&PF.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Alaska Stat. §§19.05 to 75 and §44.42
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan standing committee and the
Legislative Affairs Agency; committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The DOT&PF develops regional and long-range transportation plans, using the Statewide
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) process for federally funded projects. All entities are
eligible to submit projects and comment on the STIP. For state-funded projects, the DOT&PF
works with the governor’s office to prepare the capital budget that the governor then submits to the
Legislature; the Legislature makes numerous changes. Local governments have a significant voice
and influence legislative priorities.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
There are opportunities for informal, individual legislator participation; the Legislature also can
change the capital budget submitted by the governor.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 45
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $554 million
FY 2010: $619 million
FY 2009: $893 million
FY 2008: $634 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to the DOT&PF through state legislative appropriations
at the program/category and project-specific levels.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds are allocated to the DOT&PF through state
legislative appropriations at the program/category and project-specific levels.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; general funds; interest income; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit (Alaska Marine Highway, the state ferry program): General funds. Rail: The Alaska Railroad
Corporation is a separate, self-sustaining state agency.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; private activity bonds (PABs) (allocated); Build America Bonds; state
infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute for the Knik Arm Bridge
only); design-build (authorized in statute, used for the Anton Anderson Tunnel).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution prohibits dedication of state revenues to any special purpose, unless federally
required or dedicated prior to statehood (Alaska Const. art. IX, §7). Thus, all state revenues
are available for appropriation. The Legislature has tried to dedicate state revenues or funds for
transportation, but has been unsuccessful. In 2010, for example, the Legislature considered but
ultimately did not pass House Joint Resolution 42 and House Bill 329. These bills sought to
establish and define a new, dedicated Transportation Infrastructure Fund that would have been fed
by state fuel taxes and registration fees. The Legislature is considering similar bills—House Bill 30,
House Bill 31, Senate Bill 37 and House Joint Resolution 4—in 2011.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
No. Funds are authorized for expenditure until a project is deemed complete; any unexpended
funding upon project completion is administratively lapsed or reappropriated by the Legislature.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Legislative action is required to move funds between project appropriations; movement between
project allocations requires DOT&PF commissioner approval only.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Federal funds for MPOs flow through the DOT&PF and must be appropriated. The Legislature
appropriates state funding to local governments as project-specific grants; there is no specific statefunded program for local transportation.
Alaska
Transportation Governance and Finance
46 National Conference of State Legislatures
Arizona
Organizational Facts
Legislature Arizona Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (30 members)
Chambers: House (60 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,500
Department of
Transportation
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)
FTE: 4,548
Leadership: Director; Transportation Board
Organizational structure: Mainly by
transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 131,356 (2009); bridges: 7,572 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 92.7 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,679 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 327; public-use: 81; state-owned: 1 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 21,311,026 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, ongoing. Legislative research staff and ADOT communicate about transportation-related legislation before, during
and after it is introduced. ADOT gives formal testimony to committees about relevant legislation, and also participates in formal meetings
with legislators and staff. Legislators and ADOT also have ongoing, informal interactions. ADOT employs a dedicated government relations
official.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The ADOT director is nominated and appointed by the governor, with the consent of the Senate (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §28-361 and §38-
211). The members of the Transportation Board are appointed to six-year terms by the governor, with the consent of the Senate, within statutory requirements for residency and taxpayer status. Each member of the board represents one of the state’s transportation districts (Ariz. Rev.
Stat. Ann. §28-302 and §38-211).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Auditor General, Performance Audit Division
Sunset Review Yes. State agencies are scheduled for termination at least every 10 years unless affirmatively continued by the Legislature after a sunset review process. ADOT will terminate on July 1, 2016, unless
continued (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§41-2951 et seq. and §41-3016.27).
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 28
Administrative Rules Review Legislative and executive review of proposed and existing rules; legislative review by joint bipartisan
committee; committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process ADOT administers the state highway system and coordinates transportation planning. ADOT
develops an annual priority program of capital improvements for highway and aviation and a FiveYear Highway Construction Program based on extensive public participation and technical evaluation, which are approved by the State Transportation Board. The Multimodal Planning Division
facilitates multimodal planning in cooperation with MPOs, federal agencies, tribes, counties, cities,
the public and other stakeholders.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature has the power to appropriate funds for transportation projects in the state. It also
can amend statutes that pertain to transportation planning, e.g., to conform to federal requirements. Otherwise, the legislative role is limited.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 47
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget for large state agencies (such as ADOT), biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets for all others; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The State Transportation Board has exclusive authority to issue revenue bonds for financing needed
transportation improvements in the state.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $440 million
FY 2010: $460 million
FY 2009: $643 million
FY 2008: $581 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to ADOT from the U.S. DOT with no state legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to ADOT as a legislative appropriation at the agency level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; interest income; transportation excise tax in Maricopa County, some of the proceeds of which
are deposited to the ADOT-administered Maricopa County Regional Area Road Fund; revenue
bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Aviation: Aviation fuel tax; flight property tax; aircraft registration fees; interest income; miscellaneous other income. Bridges: Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) funds to match federal funds.
Transit: General funds; lottery. ADOT receives only very limited general funds for transit (around
$50,000 per year) and none for other transportation purposes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute);
design-build (authorized in statute through Dec. 31, 2025; used as a component of at least two
projects); impact fees; advance construction; board funding obligations. Traffic camera fees were
eliminated in 2010.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution dedicates revenues from vehicle-related or fuel taxes and fees—but not the
automobile license tax—to highway and street purposes, including state enforcement of traffic laws,
state administration of traffic safety programs and publication of Arizona Highways magazine (Ariz.
Const. art. IX, §14). These revenues are deposited into the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF)
(Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §28-6533). In recent years, however, HURF funds have been diverted to the
general fund. ADOT receives its main state highway funding from the HURF via the State Highway
Fund, distribution of which is governed by Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§28-6534 et seq. Use of the Aviation Fund is restricted to publicly owned and operated airports (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §28-8202).
Maricopa County transportation excise tax revenues are dedicated to freeways, arterials and transit
(Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §42-6105(E)).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Unspent operating budget appropriations revert to the State Highway Fund or Aviation Fund,
each of which is administered by ADOT.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
ADOT allocates State Highway Fund discretionary funds (state and federal) to counties based on
established percentages. The state treasurer distributes a portion of the Highway User Revenue Fund
(HURF) to counties, cities and towns by statutory formulas based on population and fuel sales
(Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§28-6534 et seq.). The ADOT director distributes a portion of the Vehicle
License Tax to cities, counties and towns by a statutory formula based on population (Ariz. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §28-5808). The state also distributes slightly more than $10 million per year to cities, towns
and counties for public or special needs transit.
Arizona
Transportation Governance and Finance
48 National Conference of State Legislatures
Arkansas
Organizational Facts
Legislature Arkansas General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (35 members)
Chambers: House (100 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
(odd years), approximately February –March
(even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,500
Department of
Transportation
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation
Department (AHTD)
FTE: 3,605
Leadership: Director; Highway Commission
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 204,710 (2009); bridges: 12,587 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 4.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,780 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 101; public-use: 91; state-owned: 2 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 1,744,567 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 10.4 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, ongoing. The AHTD administration and the General Assembly interact in person at transportation committee
meetings. They also meet or communicate directly by phone or e-mail as needed. The AHTD administration and State Highway Commission
consult with legislators on policy issues and appropriate legislative staff about bill drafting or meeting issues. The AHTD has no dedicated
legislative liaison or governmental affairs office.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The State Highway Commission is, unusually, constitutionally created. Commissioners are appointed by the governor, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate and within constitutional and statutory requirements (Ark. Const. Am. 42, §2; Ark. Stat. Ann. §27-65-104). The
governor may remove a commissioner only for the same causes as apply to other constitutional officers and after a hearing; the Senate also can
remove a commissioner by majority vote, following a written request from at least five senators and a hearing. The commission appoints and
can remove the AHTD director, who must be “a practical business or professional person” (Ark. Stat. Ann. §27-65-122).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); reporting requirements (Ark.
Stat. Ann. §27-65-110 and §27-65-144); legislative requests for information. The Blue Ribbon
Committee on Highway Finance does not provide direct oversight of the AHTD, but will propose
and recommend legislation in 2011 (2009 Ark. Acts, Act 374).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Division of Legislative Audit
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ark. Const. Am. 42, Ark. Stat. Ann. §§27-65-102 et seq. and §§27-70-201 et seq.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee role is
mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The AHTD is responsible for all transportation planning processes and develops the Statewide LongRange Intermodal Transportation Plan. The Highway Commission has final approval over the plan
and projects to be funded, and solicits comments from other stakeholders. Projects are identified
by various means, including by MPO plans and transit providers. Projects are selected based on an
AHTD review of proposed needs and available funding.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 49
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly plays a minimal role other than to identify projects it believes are needed and
at times to “earmark” state funds for those projects.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. The General Assembly holds detailed biennial and summary
annual budget hearings. Special language in the AHTD’s annual appropriation act requires quarterly
reporting of the agency’s financial activities.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $498.4 million
FY 2010: $447.6 million
FY 2009: $423.9 million
FY 2008: $424.8 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to the AHTD through a state legislative line-item
appropriation.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to the AHTD through a state legislative line-item
appropriation.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: 75 percent of rental vehicle sales taxes are deposited into a trust fund to be used for public
transit programs. Transit also is funded by general funds (around 10 percent) and interest income.
Rail: Ad valorem tax. Aviation: Sales and use tax on aviation fuel, services and parts.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized for counties in
statute); design-build (authorized in statute); impact fees.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
State statute dedicates fuel tax revenues to the purposes of constructing, widening, reconstructing,
maintaining, resurfacing and repairing the public highways, and retiring highway indebtedness (Ark.
Stat. Ann. §26-55-206). The State Highway and Transportation Department Fund, Department of
Aeronautics Fund and Public Transit Trust Fund are designated special revenues to be used for the
purposes collected (Ark. Stat. Ann. §19-5-1126, §27-70-207 and §27-115-110).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Fund balances remain in most AHTD funds, since they are special revenues to be used for the
purpose authorized.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
State funds are distributed 70 percent to the AHTD and 15 percent each to the counties and cities.
Funds are distributed to counties by a statutory formula based on area, population, license fees
proportion and an equal distribution; funds are distributed to cities by a statutory formula based on
population only (Ark. Stat. Ann. §§27-70-206 et seq.).
Arkansas
Transportation Governance and Finance
50 National Conference of State Legislatures
California
Organizational Facts
Legislature California Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (40 members)
Chambers: Assembly (80 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January –
September (odd years), approximately January –
August (even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,900
Department of
Transportation
California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans)
FTE: 18,406*
Leadership: Director; Commission; Secretary (of
overarching agency)
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
* Number of FTEs as of June 30, 2010, as reported
by Caltrans.
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 385,860 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 96 (2009);
bridges: 24,549 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 8 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 1.45 billion (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 5,200 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 249; public-use: 249; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 80,602,051 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 10,594,794 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year:
201.8 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. The Legislature and Caltrans communicate in various ways. Through the budget process, legislators and legislative staff
make formal requests for information and discuss budget issues in committee hearings. The Legislative Analyst’s Office works with Caltrans to
understand its budget each year; a written report then is published with budget recommendations for the Legislature. Policy committee and
individual members communicate directly with Caltrans about specific issues of interest. Caltrans has a dedicated legislative affairs office that
analyzes bills and can request to propose specific legislation through the administration.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
Nine of the 13 members of the California Transportation Commission are appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. One is appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and one by the Senate Committee on Rules, with neither subject to Senate confirmation.
Two are ex officio, one a member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules and one a member of the Assembly appointed by
the Speaker of the Assembly. All but ex officio members are appointed to staggered four-year terms. All but ex officio members are prohibited
from simultaneously holding elected public office or serving on any local or regional public board or commission with business before the
commission; for governor-appointed members, the governor must “make every effort to assure a geographic balance of representation.” Each
member of the commission, however, represents the state at-large (Cal. Government Code §§14500 et seq.). The Caltrans director is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and holds office at the pleasure of the governor (Cal. Government Code §14003).
Caltrans is one of 14 departments as well as several economic development programs and commissions under the secretary of the Business,
Transportation and Housing Agency. The secretary is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and holds office at the
pleasure of the governor (Cal. Government Code §13976).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements. Oversight occurs mainly through the budget committee process, which includes
public hearings and a legislative analyst budget review. In addition, policy committees frequently
will hold oversight hearings related to specific issues. Reporting requirements usually stem from a
lack of information or past problem with a program. The California Transportation Commission
also publishes an annual report to the Legislature on transportation programs and financing. When
a non-legislative program review is released, the Legislature typically holds an oversight hearing to
understand the findings of the report.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. The Legislative Analyst’s Office also periodically reviews Caltrans programs in depth, informs the Legislature of concerns and makes recommendations.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 51
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of Caltrans.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Cal. Government Code §§14000 et seq.; Cal. Streets and Highways Code; various other state
statutes and portions of the state constitution
Administrative Rules Review Executive review of proposed and existing rules.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Caltrans develops the long-range plan for state highway repairs and expansion of the state’s interregional network—and selects projects for the State Highway Operation Protection Program
(SHOPP) and interregional projects for the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)—
with input from local agencies (counties and MPOs). Local agencies develop long-range plans for
their regions and select projects for the regional portion of the STIP with input from transit operators, other local governments and sometimes Caltrans. Caltrans selects all state highway repair and
rehabilitation projects and 25 percent of capacity expanding projects; county transportation agencies
select 75 percent of capacity expanding projects. The state transportation commission is responsible
for approving an entire program of projects, but cannot approve or reject individual projects. The
governor’s office or the secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency occasionally
will request that Caltrans select certain projects.
Legislative Role in Transportation Planning
The Legislature has no direct role in transportation planning activities. Funds are appropriated on a
program rather than project basis. In some cases, the Legislature has had an indirect role by enacting
policies to guide the transportation planning process.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. Transportation programs receive state funding from several
dedicated revenue sources. The Legislature can make some changes to the mix of transportation
programs that are funded, but within various formulas, requirements and restrictions on funding
certain programs or the uses of certain revenues.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go California mostly uses pay-as-you-go, but voters have approved several general obligation bonds
over the years, including $20 billion for transportation in 2006 and $10 billion for rail and transit
in 2008.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011: $7.1 billion*
FY 2010: $5.5 billion*
FY 2009: $4.9 billion*
FY 2008: $6.4 billion*
*All numbers listed here refer to actual expenditures, not appropriations.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to Caltrans, but Caltrans needs a budget appropriation in
order to have the authority to spend the funds. Appropriation authority is given in the budget under
broad categories (e.g., support, local assistance, capital outlay and others).
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds essentially flow directly to Caltrans, but authority
to spend the funds is given in the budget under broad categories. The governor and Legislature typically include some more specific budget bill language each year regarding the use of some funds.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Excise tax on fuel; truck weight fees; interest income; general obligation bonds. Toll revenues generally go to local transportation agencies or private entities, not the state, but are used to fund some
work on highways and bridges.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit and rail: Sales tax on diesel; general obligation bonds; locally implemented general sales tax;
weight fees; interest income; excise tax on fuel. Most diesel sales taxes are deposited into a trust fund
that can be used only for transit; these also are used to subsidize Amtrak passenger service. Aviation:
Excise tax on aviation fuel; excise tax on jet fuel.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank
(federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute, used for at least two projects); design-build
(authorized in statute, used as a component of at least 10 projects); advance construction. Traffic
camera fees are used only at the local level and fee revenues are not dedicated to transportation uses.
Developer impact fees also are collected only at the local level, and in some cases are dedicated to
transportation.
California
Transportation Governance and Finance
52 National Conference of State Legislatures
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Restrictions are tied to both revenue sources and accounts. Many complex restrictions on the use of
transportation revenues appear in the constitution, statute and case law. The constitution restricts
the use of fuel excise tax revenues to public streets and highways and fixed guideway mass transit
projects (Cal. Const. art. XIX §2). The constitution also dedicates the use of vehicle-related fees and
taxes to the same purposes as fuel taxes, as well as to the administration and enforcement of laws
regulating use, operation or registration of vehicles—including traffic and vehicle laws—and mitigation of the environmental effects of motor vehicle operation (Cal. Const. art. XIX §3). The constitution also dedicates to certain transportation purposes the use of the Highway Users Tax Account
(trust fund) (Cal. Const. art. XIX §2); the Public Transportation Account (trust fund) (Cal. Const.
art. XIXa); and the multimodal Transportation Investment Fund (trust fund) (Cal. Const. art.
XIXb). The constitution, as amended by Proposition 22 (2010), prohibits the state from borrowing
most fuel tax revenues or funds in the accounts listed above. Proposition 22 also restricts the state’s
ability to use fuel tax revenues to pay debt service on transportation bonds. Other special accounts
exist for aeronautics, bicycle, pedestrian and other purposes. Excise taxes and truck weight fees can
be used mainly for highways and local roads. General obligation bonds are restricted as described in
the ballot measures needed to authorize them.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes and no, depending on the type of appropriation. Support appropriations expire after one year.
The budget bill specifies how long Caltrans has to encumber and then liquidate capital appropriations. Caltrans cannot spend appropriations for which the budget authority has expired and the
designated project has been de-obligated unless additional authority is granted in the state budget
act. Unspent dedicated transportation funds remain in state transportation accounts and are available for future transportation purposes.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required. However, approval within the executive branch is required for
certain changes. Specifically, for capital allocations and project development work performed by an
agency other than Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission is required to deprogram
funds on one project and reprogram them on another. For support allocations for project development work performed by Caltrans, the department has authority to move funds between projects
without any approval.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
State and federal funds are allocated to local agencies based on existing formulas, such as the federal
STP formula, and other formulas related to population, lane miles, snow removal needs, etc. The
Legislature must annually approve appropriation of these funds.
California
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 53
Colorado
Organizational Facts
Legislature Colorado General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (35 members)
Chambers: House (65 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 800
Department of
Transportation
Colorado Department of Transportation
(CDOT)
FTE: Approximately 3,000
Leadership: Director; Transportation Commission
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 183,587 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 84 (2009);
bridges: 8,506 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 109.7 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,663 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 444; public-use: 76; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 26,035,706 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal. The General Assembly has formal, statutorily mandated interactions with CDOT through required presentations and reports
before House and Senate transportation committees and before the Transportation Legislation Review Committee during interim sessions, as
well as several other statutorily required CDOT reports to the General Assembly. CDOT employs a full-time legislative liaison who communicates CDOT’s legislative needs to legislators, serves as an information resource for legislators, coordinates statutorily required reports to legislative committees, and formally communicates CDOT’s positions on legislation. CDOT also responds to research and information requests
submitted by legislators or legislative staff.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The 11 members of the Transportation Commission are appointed to four-year terms by the governor with the consent of the Senate, subject
to statutory requirements relating to geographic representation and residency (Colo. Rev. Stat. §43-1-106). The governor must consider
appointment of one or more individuals with knowledge or experience in transit and at least one individual with knowledge or experience
in engineering. The governor is encouraged to include at least one member who is a person with a disability, has a family member with a disability, or is a member of an advocacy group for people with disabilities. The CDOT executive director also is appointed by the governor with
the consent of the Senate and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Colo. Rev. Stat. §43-1-103).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Annually required reports
include the Statewide Bridge Enterprise Report, the High Performance Transportation Enterprise
Report and the Transportation Deficit Report.
Legislative Program Evaluation
Office
Office of the State Auditor. This office conducts financial or performance audits at the request of
legislative committees or individual legislators.
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of CDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Colo. Rev. Stat. §24-1-128.7, §§43-1-101 et seq.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative and executive review of existing rules; legislative review by joint bipartisan committee; no
legislative objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
54 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The Transportation Commission (appointed by the governor and approved by the General Assembly), in coordination with the CDOT executive director, is charged with allocation of funds and
project identification, selection, prioritization and approval. CDOT provides the commission with
reports, statistics, information and assistance. The CDOT executive director is required by state law
to plan, develop, construct, coordinate and promote an integrated transportation system and initiate such comprehensive planning measures as he or she deems necessary. CDOT has an extensive
planning process that includes local governments and other stakeholders in project selection and
planning. Key priority decisions, however, rest with the Transportation Commission.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Limited. The General Assembly determines statutory funding formulas and overall authority, gives
some direction regarding priorities, and enacts some specific appropriations. Specific project planning and approval are delegated to the Transportation Commission.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. The Transportation Commission develops the CDOT budget, subject to review and comment from legislative committees and approval by the governor. Only
a few items in the budget are legislatively appropriated in the state budget bill. The entire CDOT
budget is reflected in the budget bill for informational purposes.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.0 billion
FY 2010: $970 million
FY 2009: $1.6 billion
FY 2008: $1.1 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to CDOT from the U.S. DOT with no state legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
Most state transportation funds flow directly to CDOT with no legislative involvement, besides being reflected in state appropriations for informational purposes only. The General Assembly makes
category-level appropriations for CDOT administration and other limited uses.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; tolls; interest income; general
fund revenues for FY 2012–2016 (2009 Colo. Sess. Laws, Chap. 228); revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Aviation: Aviation fuel taxes. Bridges: Dedicated portion of registration fee revenues. No funding
for ports or rail. Transit: General sales tax.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; private activity bonds (PABs) (issued); Build America Bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA and TIGER); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); congestion pricing;
PPPs (authorized in statute, used for at least two projects); design-build (authorized in statute, used
as a component of at least six projects); traffic camera fees; impact fees; creation of nonprofit, quasipublic entities; tapered matching; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.” The state has
collected a weight-distance tax on commercial vehicles in the past, but that tax has been repealed.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts the use of fuel taxes and other vehicle-related fees or charges to the
construction, maintenance and supervision of public highways (Colo. Const. art. X, §18). These
revenues are deposited into the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) (Colo. Rev. Stat. §§43-4-201
et seq.), from which statutorily formula-based distributions are made to the State Highway Fund,
the State Patrol, motor vehicle regulatory operations in the state Department of Revenue, and local
governments. The constitution also requires all aviation fuel taxes to be used for aviation purposes
(Colo. Const. art. X, §18).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No, except for some legislatively controlled fund sources and uses that are very limited in the context of CDOT’s total budget.
Colorado
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 55
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Highway User Tax Fund (HUTF) revenues are distributed to the State Highway Fund (65 percent),
counties (26 percent), and cities and towns (9 percent). Revenues for counties are distributed by
a statutory formula based on historical allocation ratios, specified percentages, rural motor vehicle
registration, countywide motor vehicle registration, lane miles and square feet of bridge deck (Colo.
Rev. Stat. §43-4-207). Revenues for cities and towns are distributed by a statutory formula based
on adjusted urban motor vehicle registration and street miles (Colo. Rev. Stat. §43-4-208). CDOT
makes discretionary grants to local governments for airport improvements; other grants are made,
within statutory requirements, for enhanced drunk driving enforcement. The state infrastructure
bank makes loans for highway and aviation purposes.
Colorado
Transportation Governance and Finance
56 National Conference of State Legislatures
Connecticut
Organizational Facts
Legislature Connecticut General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (36 members)
Chambers: House (151 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
(odd years), approximately February – May (even
years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 3,200
Department of
Transportation
Connecticut Department of Transportation
(ConnDOT)
FTE: 3,396 authorized; 2,959 filled
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 45,638 (2009); bridges: 4,191 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 42.0 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 330 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 119; public-use: 54; state-owned: 6 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 2,660,132 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 16.8 million (2009); state-operated ferries: 2 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. State statutes require ConnDOT and transportation-related commissions to submit several regular reports to the General Assembly. Executive branch procedures and legislative rules determine how ConnDOT influences legislation. ConnDOT annually submits
bill proposals to the state Office of Policy Management for approval; approved bills are presented to the General Assembly. ConnDOT staff
brief transportation committee members about ConnDOT proposals early in the session and testify on these and other bills at public hearings.
ConnDOT employs a full-time legislative liaison who advances ConnDOT initiatives and answers questions from legislators during the session
and is in direct, frequent communication on various matters throughout the year.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The ConnDOT commissioner is appointed to a four-year term by the governor, with the advice and consent by resolution of either house of
the General Assembly, and serves at the pleasure of the governor. Each department head must be qualified by training and experience for the
duties of the office (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§4-6 to 4-8).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits;
reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The General Assembly’s fiscal committees have oversight of ConnDOT regarding funding and fees, and the State Bond Commission
(of which four members are legislators) authorizes transportation-related bonding. The transportation committee holds annual “oversight hearings” on various ConnDOT projects and processes.
The General Assembly’s Program Review and Investigations Committee may be asked to evaluate
ConnDOT. The General Assembly’s offices of Legislative Research and Fiscal Analysis also may be
asked for information on transportation issues.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee. The committee may be requested by
legislators to evaluate ConnDOT, but is not required to review the department on a regular basis.
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of ConnDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. Titles 13a, 13b and 15
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan standing committee; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process ConnDOT assesses existing transportation facilities biennially and starting in 2010 must develop
a master transportation plan every five years. ConnDOT uses a structured planning process that
requires the participation of regional entities and provides opportunities for public input.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 57
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
State statute provides guidelines for the planning process, including conditions for approving
projects. The General Assembly also passes legislation identifying specific projects or programs for
ConnDOT to implement (see Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §13b-57h). In 2001, the General Assembly created a Transportation Strategy Board that includes legislatively appointed members, which
proposes a transportation strategy for legislative approval every four years. The General Assembly also
approves the five-year State Plan of Conservation and Development, which includes a transportation
component.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. ConnDOT submits budget
requests to the executive branch Office of Policy and Management, which prepares the governor’s
budget proposal and submits it to the General Assembly for review and approval.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $516.9 million
FY 2010: $488.2 million
FY 2009: $512.9 million
FY 2008: $492.7 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to ConnDOT from the U.S. DOT with no state legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to ConnDOT through a legislative appropriation at the
program/category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle
registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; statutory transfers from the general
fund; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
State-owned and -operated public transit: Bond proceeds; appropriations from the Special Transportation Fund, to meet shortfalls in fare collections.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; design-build (reported in survey; no authorizing statute found).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The Special Transportation Fund receives revenues from various sources and is statutorily dedicated
to debt service; payment of general obligation bonds for transportation purposes; and appropriations
to ConnDOT, the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Public Safety for members
of the Division of State Police (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§13b-59 et seq.).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. The Connecticut Special Transportation Fund maintains a cumulative surplus that is carried
forward each year.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, inasmuch as bond acts must be revised to reflect changes in state-funded capital projects.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Allocations generally are given through state legislative appropriations—which can be appropriated
only from state funding sources—and ConnDOT allocation of funds by formula. A certain amount
of funding is allocated to towns through the Town Aid program and is distributed by a statutory formula based on miles of improved road and population (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§13a-175a et seq.).
Connecticut does not have organized county governments.
Connecticut
Transportation Governance and Finance
58 National Conference of State Legislatures
Delaware
Organizational Facts
Legislature Delaware General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (21 members)
Chambers: House (41 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 600
Department of
Transportation
Delaware Department of Transportation
(DelDOT)
FTE: 1,509 operating; 309 capital
Leadership: Secretary
Organizational structure: Modes administered by
separate agencies
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 13,656 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 47 (2009);
bridges: 861 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 1 shared with New Jersey (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 9.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 218 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 11; public-use: 11; state-owned: 2 (one jointly with New Jersey) (2010)
Enplanements per year: 1,677 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 164,013 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 23.6
million (2009); state-operated ferries: 1 shared with New Jersey (operated by the Delaware River
and Bay Authority) (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. DelDOT uses the budget process to communicate its goals and project directions to the General Assembly. DelDOT
attends executive and legislative budget meetings. Ongoing communication occurs as issues arise and projects proceed, through public and
one-on-one meetings, letters, e-mails and phone calls. DelDOT employs a dedicated legislative program manager.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The DelDOT secretary is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate and within statutory requirements for
qualifications, and serves at the pleasure of the governor. Preference must be given to a state resident provided such person is acceptable and
equally qualified (Del. Code Ann. tit. 29, §8403).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits;
reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Joint Sunset Committee
Sunset Review The Joint Sunset Committee can initiate a sunset review of any state entity (Del. Code Ann. tit. 29,
§§10201 et seq.), but has not reviewed DelDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Del. Code Ann. tit. 29, ch. 84; Del. Code Ann. tit. 2, ch. 13 and ch. 14
Administrative Rules Review Executive review of proposed rules.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process DelDOT annually updates its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which
also is the state’s six-year Capital Transportation Plan. The STIP is adopted by the Council on
Transportation.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
DelDOT presents the Capital Transportation Plan to the General Assembly’s Bond Bill Committee
and the operating budget to the Joint Finance Committee for committee approval, before they
go to the full legislature for approval. In addition, the state has a Community Transportation
Fund, from which legislators can each determine the use of an annual authorization for road and
drainage projects in their respective districts. This fund allows individual lawmakers to address small
transportation projects that may not meet DelDOT priorities.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 59
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. The governor outlines priorities in an annual recommended
budget, which must be approved by the General Assembly.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $485.9 million
FY 2010: $416.8 million
FY 2009: $621.2 million
FY 2008: $606.9 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated through state legislative approval of DelDOT’s Capital
Transportation Plan and operating budget.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated through state legislative approval of DelDOT’s Capital
Transportation Plan and operating budget.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls; interest income; general obligation bonds;
revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail and bridges: Funded by the same revenue sources as highways through the
Transportation Trust Fund.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (authorized by Vol. 77 Del. Laws, Chap. 223); Build America Bonds; state
infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute with legislative approval
requirements); design-build (authorized in statute); traffic camera fees.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state’s multimodal Transportation Trust Fund is fed primarily by tolls, motor fuel taxes, DMV
fees and fare revenues. State statute requires certain revenues to go solely to this fund. The transfer
of motor fuel tax revenues or motor carrier registration fees to the general fund is prohibited (Del.
Code Ann. tit. 2, §1415 and §1416). The state Community Transportation Fund is set aside for
legislators to allocate to transportation-related projects in their districts.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. DelDOT can rollover any excess funds to the next fiscal year with approval of the Capital
Transportation Plan (CTP).
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, through a mini-bond bill session. Once changes are approved by the Bond Bill Committee, they
go to the full legislative body for approval.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The General Assembly appropriates funds to local governmental entities. DelDOT also allocates
certain funds by formula. Municipal Street Aid is allocated to municipalities by a statutory formula
based on population and road mileage (Del. Code Ann. tit. 30, §§5161 et seq.).
Delaware
Transportation Governance and Finance
60 National Conference of State Legislatures
Florida
Organizational Facts
Legislature Florida Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (40 members)
Chambers: House (120 members)
Session: Annual, approximately March – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,400
Department of
Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
FTE: 7,443
Leadership: Commission; Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 268,350 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 679 (2009);
bridges: 11,912 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 14 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 271.8 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,874 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 759; public-use: 128; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 64,762,899 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 2,006,827 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year:
98.1 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through leadership. FDOT’s leadership team—which includes the secretary, chief of staff, legislative affairs
director, communications director and director of the office of policy planning—is the main conduit of information between the agency and
the Legislature. Six members of this team are registered lobbyists who can actively advocate for FDOT initiatives. These staff interact with
legislators and legislative committee staff during the interim, appear before committees during session, and pursue FDOT’s policy and funding
issues. FDOT also has a legislative affairs office that provides information to legislators and staff.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The nine members of the Transportation Commission are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate
and within statutory requirements for geographic representation, state citizenship and voter registration. Each appointee also must possess
business managerial experience in the private sector. The secretary of transportation is nominated by the Transportation Commission and appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate and within statutory requirements for qualifications, and serves at the pleasure
of the governor (Fla. Stat. Ann. §20.23).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by one or more legislative committees; legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting
requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Sunset Review Yes. As of April 2011, state agencies and advisory committees are reviewed every 10 years. Each is
abolished on June 30 following the review unless affirmatively continued by the Legislature. Under
this process, FDOT will be reviewed starting July 1, 2012, and terminates June 30, 2013 unless
continued (Fla. Stat. Ann. §§11.901 et seq.). (Note, however, Senate Bill 1204 in the 2011 legislative session proposes to repeal these state statutes and thus eliminate the sunset review process. As of
April 2011, this bill had passed both chambers.)
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Fla. Stat. Ann. §20.23; Fla. Stat. Ann. ch. 334 to 249
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee role is
mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process FDOT is responsible for coordinating and preparing statewide and local government transportation
plans. FDOT collaboratively develops a Five-Year Work Program and the annually updated Florida
Transportation Plan. The Transportation Commission performs an in-depth evaluation of the
Florida Transportation Plan.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 61
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature requires FDOT to develop and annually update the statewide Florida Transportation
Plan, and has set statutory requirements for its purpose and content. Statute establishes the prevailing principles to be considered in planning and developing an integrated, balanced state transportation system (Fla. Stat. Ann. §334.046). Each year, FDOT must develop a tentative work program
and submit it to the Legislature as part of the legislative budget request. Based on appropriations,
FDOT adopts a final work program prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. The tentative and final
work programs are required to be planned to deplete the estimated resources of each fund for the
fiscal year.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Operates on a cash flow basis (combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go). Major project phases
begin before the total amount is available to fund that phase. Project commitments within the work
program are converted to cash flow projections over several years.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $3.69 billion
FY 2010: $2.44 billion
FY 2009: $3.09 billion
FY 2008: $3.96 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated through a state legislative appropriation at the program
level and through approval of the FDOT work program, which is submitted to the Legislature as
part of the legislative budget request. Occasionally, a legislative proviso may direct how funding may
be used.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds also are allocated through appropriation at the
program level and approval of the FDOT work program.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes (indexed to Consumer Price Index; see Fla. Stat. Ann. §206.41); motor vehicle/rental car
sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls; interest income; a portion of documentary
stamp revenue; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
All modes—including transit, aviation, rail, ports and bridges—are funded by revenue sources that
flow into the State Transportation Trust Fund and receive allocations based on statutory guidance
(Fla. Stat. Ann. §339.08, §§332.003 et seq., §311.07(2), §320.20 and §206.46(2)). A minimum of
15 percent of fund revenues must be used for transit (Fla. Stat. Ann. §206.46). Starting in FY 2014-
2015, $60 million of documentary stamp proceeds are to be allocated to the Florida Rail Enterprise
(Fla. Stat. Ann. §201.15(1)(c)(1)(d)).
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (authorized but not used as of 2009); Build America Bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (separate federally and state-only capitalized accounts);
congestion pricing; PPPs (authorized in statute with legislative approval requirements, used for at
least seven projects); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least 14 projects); traffic camera fees; impact fees; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
State Transportation Trust Fund money can be used only for certain purposes, including FDOT administration, highway construction and maintenance, public transit and grants to local governments
(Fla. Stat. Ann. §339.08). This statute also allows a transfer from the trust fund to the general fund
for FY 2010 – 2011 only. Toll revenues may be used only for turnpike projects.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
No. The Legislative Budget Committee must approve carrying forward any work program budget
authority not yet committed. The transportation work program is required by law to deplete available revenues, and operating cash reverts to the fund from which it was appropriated.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. FDOT must submit any work program amendments to affected counties, the governor and the
Legislature. The governor may not approve the amendment until 14 days after legislative notification. The amendment is approved after the 14-day period if there is no legislative objection.
Florida
Transportation Governance and Finance
62 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The state allocates funds to local governmental entities through state legislative appropriations;
FDOT allocation of funds by formula; FDOT allocation of funds within existing statutory requirements; and FDOT discretionary allocation of funds. Florida levies state taxes specifically for
local use. These include the constitutional fuel tax, the county fuel tax and the municipal fuel tax.
The constitutional fuel tax is distributed to counties by a formula based on area, population and
constitutional fuel tax collections (Fla. Const. art. XII, §9(c); Fla. Stat. Ann. §206.47). The county
fuel tax is distributed by the same formula as the constitutional fuel tax (Fla. Stat. Ann. §206.60).
Allowable uses of the municipal fuel tax are described in statute (Fla. Stat. Ann. §206.605). FDOT
also provides funding to local entities through various grant programs, including the Small County
Road Assistance Program (Fla. Stat. Ann. §339.2816), the County Incentive Grant Program (Fla.
Stat. Ann. §339.2817), the Small County Outreach Program (Fla. Stat. Ann. §339.2818) and
the Enhanced Bridge Program for Sustainable Transportation (Fla. Stat. Ann. 339.285). FDOT
is decentralized into seven districts; these districts also receive discretionary funding through the
Transportation Regional Incentive Program (Fla. Stat. Ann. §339.2819).
Florida
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 63
Georgia
Organizational Facts
Legislature Georgia General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (56 members)
Chambers: House (180 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 3,200
Department of
Transportation
Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
FTE: Approximately 4,750
Leadership: Commissioner; Transportation Board;
Director of Planning
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 256,952 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 6 (2009);
bridges: 14,670 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 173.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 4,720 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 465; public-use: 106; state-owned: 4 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 43,487,786 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 1,898,745 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 34.4
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through the DOT legislative liaison. GDOT meets regularly with members of the General Assembly and
must submit several reports every year to the House and Senate transportation committees. In addition to committee hearings, legislators often
request information from GDOT. GDOT employs a dedicated legislative liaison in the commissioner’s office who drafts, finds sponsors for and
lobbies for GDOT legislation and also testifies in legislative hearings. Most legislative-GDOT communication occurs through the liaison.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The 13 members of the State Transportation Board represent congressional districts; they are elected by—and can be recalled by—a majority
vote of state legislators in their respective districts. The board appoints and can remove the commissioner of transportation (Ga. Const. art. IV,
§4; Ga. Code Ann. §32-2-20). The director of planning is appointed by the governor, subject to approval by a majority vote of both the House
Transportation Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee. The director serves during the term of the governor by whom s/he is
appointed and at the pleasure of the governor (Ga. Code Ann. §32-2-43).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); reporting requirements; legislative
requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Department of Audits and Accounts, Performance Audit Operations Division
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ga. Code Ann. tit. 32; Ga. Code Ann. tit. 48 ch. 9. Also relevant: Ga. Code Ann. tit. 12, tit. 13, tit.
40, tit. 45, tit. 46, tit. 50.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by standing committee; no objection constitutes approval of
proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
64 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The position of director of planning was legislatively created in 2009 (2009 Ga. Laws, p. 340). The
director of planning works with many planning partners to develop the state transportation plan
and priorities. GDOT helps to develop projects to take into consideration for inclusion in the STIP.
GDOT evaluates projects to determine the need and whether a project supports the state’s Investing
in Tomorrow’s Transportation Today initiative. This initiative is an effort to bring a results-oriented,
strategic direction to transportation planning and implementation. Once a need is established, a
project is included in GDOT’s program and subjected to GDOT’s project prioritization process.
Priority projects are included in the STIP, which is approved by the governor, the State Transportation Board and the U.S. DOT. GDOT also works with each MPO to develop a draft Transportation
Improvement Program (TIP), which must be approved by the MPO and the governor.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly is given the opportunity to comment on the draft STIP, which typically is
developed annually. Senate Bill 200 (2009) gave the General Assembly the ability to allocate between
10 percent and 20 percent of the motor fuel revenues to a Local Maintenance and Improvement
Grant program. The General Assembly annually appropriates funding to GDOT for intermodal
programs and can choose to emphasize rail, airports, transit or other modes in a given year.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go GDOT has been restricted to using only what is in the budget, so that the full amount for a contract must be encumbered in the current year’s budget, whether or not the project will fully pay out
in the current year. The FY 2011 budget included $200 million in general obligation bonds; the
debt service on these bonds, however, must be paid back with motor fuel funds.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $682 million*
FY 2010: $693 million*
FY 2009: $865 million*
FY 2008: $833 million*
*These numbers include GDOT appropriations only. A portion of motor fuel receipts also is allocated to
debt service on general obligation bonds. Because this money is appropriated directly to the Georgia State
Financing and Investment Commission, not to GDOT, it is not included here.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to GDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the program level, by budgetary program (State Highway Construction, State Highway Maintenance, etc.).
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are allocated to GDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the
program level. Debt service for general obligation bonds paid with motor fuel tax revenues is taken
off the top.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; truck oversize permit fees; interest income; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, aviation, rail, ports and intermodal: General funds. Bridges: Fuel taxes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (state-only capitalized); PPPs
(authorized in statute); design-build (authorized in statute); traffic camera fees; impact fees; advance
construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of motor fuel revenues to roads and bridges, except in case of
invasion or major catastrophe declared by the governor (Ga. Const. art. III, §9 ¶VI(b)). Transportation-related revenues are deposited into the State Public Transportation Fund, which must be used
for certain transportation purposes (Ga. Code Ann. §§32-5-20 et seq.).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, for some funds. GDOT can retain excess motor fuel funds and amend them into the GDOT
budget in a subsequent fiscal year.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, for some funds. GDOT cannot move state motor fuel funds from one program to another
without legislative approval. Federal funds can be moved between programs with the approval of the
governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Between 10 percent and 20 percent of the state motor fuel tax must be appropriated by the General
Assembly to the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program. Funds are distributed to
local governments by a formula that state statute requires the director of planning to create within
certain guidelines (Ga. Code Ann. §32-5-27). The formula used is based on centerline miles and
population.
Georgia
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 65
Hawaii
Organizational Facts
Legislature Hawaii Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (25 members)
Chambers: House (51 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 4,500
Department of
Transportation
Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT)
FTE: 2,160
Leadership: Director; Commission (advisory
only)
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 9,539 (2009)*; bridges: 1,137 (2010)
* Total lane miles above are as reported by Federal Highway Administration. Hawaii’s DOT reported
9,530 lane miles as of Dec. 31, 2009.
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 71.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 0 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 20; public-use: 20; state-owned: 15 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 14,549,137 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 828,929 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 19.0
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. The DOT exchanges formal and informal written and oral communications with individual legislators and legislative
committees. The DOT testifies at, makes presentations for, and otherwise attends relevant legislative hearings during the legislative session and
interim. The Staff Services office within the Highways Division provides coordination and liaison services for legislative matters. The office
reviews legislation for its impact on the division; provides recommendations on legislation; coordinates and assists in drafting legislation and
legislative testimonies; and recommends changes in law.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The DOT director is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and also can be removed by the governor (Hawaii
Rev. Stat. §26-31). The not more than 11 members of the advisory Commission on Transportation are appointed by the governor, within statutory requirements for geographic representation (Hawaii Rev. Stat. §26-19).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Various state statutes
require DOT reports to the Legislature. Legislative bills and resolutions may also request audit or
performance data from the DOT.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Auditor, which performs periodic audits of executive departments, including the DOT.
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of the DOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Hawaii Rev. Stat. §26-13, tit. 15, tit. 17
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by the Legislative Reference Bureau; bureau role is
mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The governor and the DOT are responsible for short- and long-term planning with input from various public and private stakeholder groups, such as the harbor users group and MPOs.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature approves all appropriations, both for operating costs and capital improvements.
Transportation Governance and Finance
66 National Conference of State Legislatures
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.23 billion
FY 2010: $1.46 billion
FY 2009: $1.04 billion
FY 2008: $862.3 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated by state legislative appropriations at the agency level, the
program or category level, and for specific projects. The Legislature also approves a DOT transportation plan. The DOT, via a budget proviso, is allowed to increase federal appropriation ceilings
when the Legislature is not in session, thus effectively allowing federal funds to flow directly to
Hawaii’s DOT from the U.S. DOT during the interim. All such actions, however, must be reported
to the Legislature with details about why the appropriation was not sought during the normal
legislative budgeting cycle.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated by direct flow from revenue sources to the DOT with no
legislative involvement; state legislative appropriations at the agency, program/category and projectspecific level; and legislative approval of a DOT transportation plan.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; state vehicle
weight tax; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Aviation: Consolidated facility charge; passenger facility charge; concession fees. Ports: Moorage,
rental fees, tariffs, dockage, wharfage, demurrage, pipeline tolls and others. Transit and rail are
funded at the county level.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Design-build (used but not specifically authorized in statute); impact fees; advance construction;
toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The State Highway Fund receives revenues from several sources, including the state fuel tax. Expenditures from the fund are statutorily restricted to highways, roads, bikeways and—for vehicle weight
tax revenues—transit and certain other transportation-related purposes (Hawaii Rev. Stat. §248-9
and §249-18). The passenger facility charge special fund must be used for airport capital improvement program projects (Hawaii Rev. Stat. §261-5.5), and the rental motor vehicle customer facility
charge special fund for rental motor vehicle customer facilities at state airports (Hawaii Rev. Stat.
§261-5.6). Aviation fuel tax revenues are deposited in the Airport Revenue Fund, which is restricted
to aeronautics purposes (Hawaii Rev. Stat. §248-8, §261-5). The Boating Special Fund, supported
by boating fuel tax revenues, funds the statewide comprehensive boating program (Hawaii Rev. Stat.
§200-8 and §248-8).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, inasmuch as all excess funds are retained by the respective DOT division. Funds, however, can
be authorized for other purposes only via legislative appropriation unless budget proviso flexibility
provisions apply.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. Budget provisos allow for DOT flexibility to transfer funds for existing projects when the Legislature is not in session, provided that all transfers are reported in detail to the Legislature. Unless
otherwise indicated as part of a lump sum appropriation, funding must be reappropriated in the
following year’s budget acted for new projects.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The state allocates transportation funds to local entities through state legislative appropriations.
Also, a temporary 0.5 percent state general excise tax in one county has been authorized for the
development of a fixed rail system, which will be implemented at the county level.
Hawaii
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 67
Idaho
Organizational Facts
Legislature Idaho Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (35 members)
Chambers: House (70 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 700
Department of
Transportation
Idaho Transportation Department (ITD)
FTE: 1,826.5
Leadership: Director; Transportation Board
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 98,590 (2009); bridges: 4,132 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 1.8 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,591 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 69; public-use: 69; state-owned: 61 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 1,700,595 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 4,785, plus 128 shared with Oregon and Washington
(2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 692,000 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. ITD executive leadership and the governmental affairs manager communicate with legislators face-to-face, by phone or
by e-mail throughout the year, and often attend the Legislature during session. Legislators request information from ITD staff. The ITD conducts legislative outreach meetings at each of its six district offices in December and invites legislators to attend board meetings each year when
the board tours the state. The ITD has a governmental affairs office that monitors and assigns relevant legislation to subject matter experts for
analysis. The analysis is supplied to the governor’s office, the legislative services office and legislators. ITD prepares a package of legislation each
year that, after being approved by the governor, is submitted to the Legislature. ITD staff assist the legislative sponsors of—and testify regarding—these bills.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The seven members of the Idaho Transportation Board are appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate and statutory
requirements regarding state citizenship, residency, party affiliation and geographic representation. None can hold any other elective, appointive or political office, and each must be “well informed and interested in the construction and maintenance of public highways and highway
systems.” At least one must have special training, experience or expertise in aeronautics. Six members are appointed to alternating six-year terms
and represent designated districts; the seventh is appointed from the state at-large to act as chairman of the board; the chairman serves at the
pleasure of the governor for an indefinite period (Idaho Code §§40-302 et seq.). The director of the ITD is appointed by the Idaho Transportation Board within broad statutory guidelines for knowledge and experience, and serves at its pleasure (Idaho Code §40-503).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of Performance Evaluations. The Legislature may request that this office conduct an evaluation of a state agency or program. In 2008, for example, the Legislature requested a comprehensive
review of the ITD (House Concurrent Resolution No. 50). Also, the Legislative Audits Division of
the Legislative Services Office must conduct a full audit of all state agencies every three years.
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for ITD per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Idaho Code title 40; title 49; title 67
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by germane joint subcommittees, then the full Legislature; no
objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
68 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Project ideas are developed through a coordinated, cooperative process involving many stakeholders, including local and tribal governments. ITD identifies and selects projects according to existing
priorities. Projects are confirmed through the public involvement process during the annual update
of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature has limited involvement in transportation planning beyond approving the departmental budget recommended by the Idaho Transportation Board through the office of the governor.
In 2006, the Legislature selected projects and approved the use of GARVEE bonds to construct
large expansion projects.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $224.2 million*
FY 2010: $259.8 million*
FY 2009: $225.9 million*
FY 2008: $214.2 million*
* All these numbers include state-funded GARVEE debt service.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated by a state legislative appropriation at the program or
category level. The Legislature approves the departmental budget by object and program.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are allocated by a state legislative appropriation at the program or
category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees. Rail: $250,000 from fuel tax. Aviation: Tax
on jet fuel. Bridges: $100,000 from fuel tax.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; design-build (authorized in statute); impact fees.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts the use of highway-user revenues to highway construction and
maintenance (Idaho Const. art. VII, §17). Use of all funds in the State Highway Fund is restricted
to defraying the costs incurred in carrying out the powers and duties of the Highway Board (Idaho
Code §40-707).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. The ITD is provided reappropriation or carry-over authority for any unexpended and unencumbered balances of the State Highway Fund appropriated for the Contract Construction and
Right-of-Way Acquisition program.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No. Legislative appropriations are controlled at the program level, not by project. The ITD can
transfer funds between projects in the same program without legislative approval.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The ITD allocates funds to local governments by legislative appropriation, by formula and within
existing statutory requirements. After set-asides, 30 percent of the money appropriated from the
highway distribution account to local units of government is distributed to cities by a statutory
formula based on population. The remainder is apportioned to counties by a statutory formula
based on equal distribution, motor vehicle registrations and miles of improved highways (Idaho
Code §40-709).
Idaho
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 69
Illinois
Organizational Facts
Legislature Illinois General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (59 members)
Chambers: House (118 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 8,500
Department of
Transportation
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
FTE: 5,449
Leadership: Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 292,845 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 284 (2009);
bridges: 26,337 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 1, plus 2 shared with Indiana and 1 shared with
Iowa (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 668.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 7,306 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 601; public-use: 117; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 40,589,152 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 119.1 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. IDOT actively participates in the legislative process, providing testimony and input on relevant legislation during the
year-round session. IDOT annually submits its proposed five-year highway improvement plan to the General Assembly for review during the
appropriations process. IDOT also submits required reports to the General Assembly. Every state executive agency in Illinois, including IDOT,
employs a dedicated legislative liaison.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is appointed to a two-year term by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and can be
removed at the governor’s discretion (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 20, §§5/5-605 et seq.).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Both legislative
chambers require detailed documents pertaining to IDOT budget requests. The General Assembly
holds IDOT budget hearings before various appropriation committees. The General Assembly
recently enacted an expenditure reporting law requiring detailed information on every capital project
undertaken or expected to be undertaken by the state. The Legislative Research Unit maintains
separate research and reporting functions.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Auditor General. Also, the Legislative Audit Commission can review the agency with or
without the assistance of the auditor general, and last did so in FY 2008.
Sunset Review The state’s process for sunset reviews currently is inactive.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 20, art. 5/ and art. 2705/; Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 605, art. 5/ et seq.; Ill. Rev. Stat. ch.
610, art. 5/ et seq.; Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 615, art. 10/ et seq.; Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 620, art. 5/ et seq.; Ill.
Rev. Stat. ch. 620, art. 5/ et seq.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee may
suspend rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process IDOT estimates revenues from federal and state sources, assesses highway needs, and issues funding
targets and technical guidelines to its nine highway districts. IDOT districts develop, prioritize and
submit projects for inclusion in the multi-year highway improvement plan. Each year, the plan is
submitted for review and announcement to the governor. The governor then presents the plan to the
General Assembly and the public for review and discussion during the appropriation process. The
General Assembly approves or modifies the appropriation level, but there is no formal mechanism
for legislative adoption of the plan.
Transportation Governance and Finance
70 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly reviews and discusses the highway improvement plan as part of the appropriation process, during which projects can be added or removed. The annual appropriation is approved
as part of the budget bill.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Pay-as-you-go is the main financing approach; bonding typically requires extraordinary action by
the governor and the General Assembly.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): (No data)
FY 2010: $472 million*
FY 2009: $573 million*
FY 2008: $479 million*
* Numbers include only the state funding for new highway program contracts that were entered into each
fiscal year, and not the balance of appropriations from prior years.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are assumed as a revenue source in the annual and multi-year transportation plans and are reflected in overall appropriation levels, but no legislative action is tied directly
to federal funding.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to IDOT as state legislative appropriations at the agency,
program and project-specific levels. IDOT is required to prepare and present transportation plans
to the General Assembly, but the General Assembly does not formally adopt these plans. Rather, the
General Assembly approves or modifies the appropriation level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; oversize/overweight truck permits; logo signing; general obligation bonds. Toll revenues are retained by the
Illinois Toll Highway Authority, which technically is not a state agency.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General obligation bonds; general funds. Rail, aviation, ports: General obligation bonds.
Bridges: Fuel tax; vehicle registration/license/title fees; interest income; general obligation bonds.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Private activity bonds (PABs) (allocated); Build America Bonds; PPPs (authorized in statute for
high-speed rail, magnetic levitation systems and the proposed Illiana Expressway; used at the city
level for the Chicago Skyway); design-build (authorized for regional transportation authorities in
statute); traffic camera fees; impact fees; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Fuel taxes, vehicle registration/licensing/title fees, truck weight fees, interest income and logo
signing are dedicated revenues that are distributed by statutory formula or direction (e.g., Ill. Rev.
Stat. ch. 625, §5/20-101). Road Fund appropriations are limited to approved uses, including debt
payment, highways and certain administrative expenses (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 30, §105/8.3). Funds
deposited into the State Construction Account must be used for construction, reconstruction and
maintenance of the state-maintained highway system (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 30, §105/5d). Special state
funds also support transit and freight rail (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 30, §105/5.241 and §105/5.152 and
105/5.168). The use of general obligation bonds is limited to the purposes specified in the authorizing bond act.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
No. Unobligated appropriations lapse if they are not reappropriated into the succeeding fiscal year
by explicit action of the governor and the General Assembly.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, if the appropriation is project-specific. In that case, a change in the appropriation is needed for
IDOT to repurpose those funds. No further legislative action is required for lump sum or programlevel appropriations. The General Assembly also can impose “release requirements,” which require
IDOT to obtain special permission from the governor to use certain appropriations. Released appropriations must be de-released and re-released if they are to be used for another purpose.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
After set-asides, 54.4 percent of fuel tax revenues are shared with local entities. Of that amount,
49.1 percent is distributed to municipalities by a statutory formula based on population; 16.74
percent to counties with 1 million or more inhabitants (Cook County only); 18.27 percent to
counties having fewer than 1 million inhabitants by a statutory formula based on motor vehicle
license fees; and 15.89 to road districts by a statutory formula based on road mileage (Ill. Rev. Stat.
ch. 35, §505/8). A certain percentage of federal funds also is allocated annually to the local program
and distributed to local agencies by formula. The state has enacted separate appropriations for the
local match of certain federal funds and the local share of the annual highway program. A series
of separate appropriations termed “local benefits,” each with its own distribution method, also are
made each year.
Illinois
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 71
Indiana
Organizational Facts
Legislature Indiana General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (50 members)
Chambers: House (100 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
(odd years), approximately January – March (even
years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,800
Department of
Transportation
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)
FTE: 4,299
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 198,265 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 157 (2009);
bridges: 18,548 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 2 shared with Illinois (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 33.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 4,448 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 673; public-use: 111; state-owned: 4 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 4,471,068 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 56.5 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through the DOT legislative liaison. INDOT testifies at committee hearings, including those of interim study
committees and state budget committees. INDOT can request that a legislator introduce a bill. INDOT employs a legislative liaison who is
primarily responsible for communication and interaction with the General Assembly.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The commissioner of INDOT is appointed by the governor and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Ind. Code Ann. §8-23-2-2).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements. There are several standing committees,
including the House Committee on Roads and Transportation and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs. The members of these committees also are members of the permanent interim Joint Study Committee on Mass Transit and Transportation Alternatives (Ind. Code Ann. §2-5-28-3). The Illiana Expressway Proposal Committee receives a consultant
report on the Illiana Expressway project. INDOT also is required to report on the proceeds from the
long-term lease of the Indiana Toll Road to a private concessionaire.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Legislative Services Agency. Indiana has a Legislative
Evaluation and Oversight Policy Subcommittee of the Legislative Council that annually assigns topics for the Legislative Services Agency to study.
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ind. Code Ann. art. 8 and art. 8-23
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Governance and Finance
72 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process INDOT is responsible for project selection and for compliance with state and federal planning
requirements; as head of INDOT, the commissioner is ultimately responsible for agency priorities.
The transportation planning process is structured by INDOT’s Annual Program Development Process, which provides a comprehensive set of procedures that formally structure the evaluation, ranking and programming of proposed projects. The process begins with an internal INDOT review of
currently programmed projects. Then a formal INDOT “call for new projects” is extended to all
counties, cities and towns and to INDOT’s district offices. A series of early consultation meetings
follows, to solicit input from MPOs, regional planning organizations and local elected officials. The
final product of this process is the Indiana State Transportation Improvement Program (INSTIP).
Annual Open House District Meetings are held after the draft INSTIP has been published. At
these meetings, the public hears presentations about the INSTIP, the Long-Range Plan and other
transportation issues.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Limited role. The General Assembly does not select projects in general, but does set overall funding
levels and establishes the legal framework for INDOT. Also, Ind. Code Ann. art. 8-15.5 and art.
8-15.7 establish legislative approval requirements for public-private partnership projects.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. The state has two bond payment funds. The
revenue from these funds is being used for repayment only, and is not available for further bond
issues. The State Highway Fund does not have authority to use funds for debt repayment.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.54 billion
FY 2010: $1.10 billion
FY 2009: $1.33 billion
FY 2008: $1.07 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to INDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level. The three divisions in the budget bill are intermodal operations, highway
operations and distributions to local units of government. Each division has subdivisions and
account number identifications for appropriations. The accounts include functions rather than
specific projects. For example, appropriations are made for Highway Maintenance Work Program or
Right-of-Way Purchasing.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds are allocated to INDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit and rail: General sales tax; situs tax. Of the proceeds from the sales and use tax, 0.67 percent
goes to the Public Mass Transportation Fund; 0.029 percent to the Industrial Rail Service Fund;
and 0.123 percent to the Commuter Rail Service Fund. Rail also receives revenues from railroad
property taxes. Ports: Fees, tolls, rentals and other charges (Ind. Code Ann. §8-10-1-17).
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute with legislative approval
requirements, used for the Indiana Toll Road); impact fees. In relation to PPPs, the state also uses
proceeds from lease of the Indiana Toll Road for transportation projects.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Fuel tax receipts are statutorily dedicated to highway and road purposes, including traffic safety
(Ind. Code Ann. §6-6-1.1-801.5). The State Highway Fund is a dedicated fund for construction
and reconstruction of state highways (Ind. Code Ann. §8-14-2-2, §§8-23-9-54 et seq.).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Funds in the Major Moves Construction Fund and the State Highway Fund remain in the accounts
at the end of the year.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
The State Budget Committee is responsible for approving transfers between line items. The overall
budget makes appropriations to INDOT and not to specific projects, so INDOT can move funds
between projects with federal approval.
Indiana
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 73
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Various transportation-related revenues are allocated to local entities by statutory formula. Revenues
allocated through the Motor Vehicle Highway Account of the state general fund—after set-asides—
are distributed 53 percent to the State Highway Fund; 15 percent to cities and towns by a statutory
formula based on population; and 32 percent to counties by a statutory formula based on equal
distribution, road mileage and vehicle registrations. These funds must be used for certain highway,
bridge or street purposes, but cannot be used for any toll road or toll bridge project (Ind. Code
Ann. §8-14-1-3). Proceeds from $0.01 of the gasoline tax and 30 percent of the revenues that go
through the Special Distribution Account also are distributed to local entities according to this
formula (Ind. Code Ann. §6-6-1.1-801.5 and §6-6-2.5-68). Another 30 percent of the Special Distribution Account and 45 percent of the Highway Road and Street Fund are distributed to counties
by a formula based on vehicle registrations, population and road miles (Ind. Code Ann. §6-6-2.5-
68 and §8-14-2-4).
Indiana
Transportation Governance and Finance
74 National Conference of State Legislatures
Iowa
Organizational Facts
Legislature Iowa General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (50 members)
Chambers: House (100 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,100
Department of
Transportation
Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT)
FTE: 3,373 (authorized); 3,109 (actual)
Leadership: Director; Commission
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 235,751 (2009)*; bridges: 24,731 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 1 shared with Illinois and 4 shared with Nebraska (2009)
* Total lane miles above are as reported by the Federal Highway Administration. The Iowa DOT reported
114,740 public road miles as of 2009.
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 20 million (2008)*
* The number above is as reported by the National Transit Database. The Iowa DOT reported 26.6 million transit trips in 2009.
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,925 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 320; public-use: 120*; state-owned: 0 (2003)
Enplanements per year: 1,448,831 (2009)
* The numbers of airports above are as reported by the National Association of State Aviation Officials.
The Iowa DOT reported 116 public-use airports as of April 2011, including seven private airports that
are open for public use.
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 11.8 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. Communication strategies have varied over the years in response to needs. The Iowa DOT director and
staff communicate and work with legislators throughout the year through committees, meetings, phone calls and upon request. The director
of transportation and the Iowa DOT management team give briefings to the General Assembly during session. The Iowa DOT employs a
full-time, dedicated legislative liaison who is the main Iowa DOT contact for the General Assembly; maintains a high level of communication in person, by phone and by e-mail; attends the General Assembly daily during session; responds to legislative requests and inquiries; acts
as the Iowa DOT lobbyist; and brings proposed legislation as well as areas of concern to the attention of legislators and legislative staff. The
liaison is within the Iowa DOT Office of Policy and Legislative Services, which works with legislators, government officials, staff, agencies and
interest groups regarding state and federal legislative and rulemaking processes. The Iowa DOT has traditionally held fall legislative workshops
throughout the state, but not in recent years due to tight budgets. The Iowa DOT also holds a legislative reception at the capitol at the beginning of each session. In Iowa, state agencies may pre-file legislative proposals that are introduced as “study bills” early in session for committee
consideration; the Iowa DOT regularly sponsors such bills addressing both policy and technical matters. The Iowa DOT also works with other
entities to move forward legislative initiatives of common interest.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The seven members of the Transportation Commission are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate and within statutory requirements for party affiliation and restrictions pertaining to conflicts of interest (Iowa Code Ann. §§307.2 et seq.).
Commissioners can be removed from office by a district court according to the process provided in Iowa Code Ann. ch. 66. The director of
transportation is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor. The director may
not hold any elected office or position for profit; engage in any occupation, business or profession interfering with or inconsistent with the
director’s duties; serve on or under a committee of a political party; or contribute to campaign funds (Iowa Code Ann. §307.11).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Services Agency. This agency has an oversight role and requests fiscal and other data for
oversight and evaluation purposes.
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 75
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Iowa Code Ann. tit. 8; Iowa Code Ann. ch. 307; Iowa Code Ann. ch. 307A
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee may
suspend rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The Iowa DOT sets long-term, mode-specific planning and investment priorities that are approved
by the Transportation Commission. The Iowa DOT also plans for more immediate projects in the
annually updated Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program. Projects are identified by a wide
range of sources including the Iowa DOT’s district offices, MPOs and local governments, and public
input at Transportation Commission meetings. The Transportation Commission establishes annual
programming objectives, then Iowa DOT staff evaluate potential projects based on technical factors.
The Iowa DOT then develops the final program, which the Transportation Commission approves or
amends. The governor’s office is briefed but has no other specific role.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Limited. Legislative staff monitor the planning process. The General Assembly appropriates some
funds for operations and non-highway modes—including some project-specific earmarks, which do
not require Transportation Commission approval—but most Iowa DOT funding is not from legislative appropriations. Certain programs may have criteria set by the General Assembly. Individual
legislators may raise constituent concerns to the Iowa DOT in the planning process.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state uses pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $643.2 million*
FY 2010: $640.1 million*
FY 2009: $607.6 million*
FY 2008: $589.9 million*
* These numbers include the Iowa DOT operating budget as well as highway programming funds and
multimodal funds; they exclude funds that flow through to local entities.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to the Iowa DOT from the U.S. DOT with no state
legislative involvement. Federal funds, especially for highways, are incorporated into the funding
estimates in the Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program, which is approved by the Transportation Commission.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
Some state transportation funds—mainly those from registration fees and fuel taxes—flow directly
to the Iowa DOT from revenue sources with no state legislative involvement. These funds are
allocated according to formulas in state statute and are used as programming funds for highway
projects, subject to approval by the Transportation Commission. The General Assembly appropriates funds for other modes such as transit, rail and aviation, either through project-specific earmarks
or at the program or category level. The Iowa DOT operating budget also must go through the
General Assembly and be approved by the governor each year.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes (variable excise tax based on a distribution percentage; see Iowa Code Ann. §452A.3);
vehicle registration/license/title fees; interest income; underground storage tanks fees; special plates;
miscellaneous other permits.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; use tax on mobile
homes, manufactured homes and certain leased vehicles; casino taxes. State Transit Assistance is
allocated by formula to transit agencies (Iowa Code Ann. ch. 920). Rail, aviation and recreational
trails: State infrastructure funds, primarily from wagering taxes paid by casinos and revenue bond
proceeds. Ports: Specific appropriations. Bridges: Included with highways; also a one-time allocation
from revenue bonds.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); tapered matching. Traffic camera fees are used only
at the local level.
Iowa
Transportation Governance and Finance
76 National Conference of State Legislatures
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of all motor vehicle registration fees and all licenses and excise
taxes on motor vehicle fuel, except cost of administration, to construction, maintenance and
supervision of public highways (Iowa Const. art. VII, §8). The Iowa DOT is funded primarily by
the Road Use Tax Fund, the Primary Road Fund and the TIME-21 Fund, which are defined and allocated according to Iowa Code Ann. ch. 312, ch. 312A and ch. 313. The Transportation Commission is required to use a major portion of its annual budget on commercial and industrial highways
(Iowa Code Ann. §313.2A). State Transit Assistance funds are dedicated in statute to transit systems
(Iowa Code Ann. ch. 920), and the State Aviation Fund to aviation purposes (Iowa Code Ann.
§328.56). Restrictions on specific appropriations are included in session law.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Aside from statutory distributions to local entities, the Road Use Tax Fund and Primary Road
Fund are allocated to the Iowa DOT in their entirety each year—either through statutory formula
or appropriations—for road and highway purposes. Generally, any unspent balances remain in
these funds. Funds that remain in the Road Use Tax Fund are re-distributed by applicable statutory
formulas; funds in the Primary Road Fund remain available to the Iowa DOT for use on eligible
projects, subject to approval by the Transportation Commission. Any unexpected revenues are typically allocated to current projects with approval the Transportation Commission after receipt. For
funds that are appropriated by the General Assembly for Iowa DOT operating expenses, the Iowa
DOT may keep half of any unused balance to be used in the next fiscal year for employee training and technology enhancement; otherwise, the money reverts to the respective funds and goes
through the normal distribution process. Multimodal projects typically are funded by Iowa DOT
grants drawn from non-road infrastructure funds and approved by the Transportation Commission;
these funds are appropriated separately from road-related funds and the reversion date usually is
four years. In the unusual case that grants for the total appropriated amounts are not made within
four years, the Iowa DOT must apply to the General Assembly for an extension through the budget
bill. Otherwise, the money reverts to the respective funds.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, but only for projects that received specific allocations or appropriations through the General
Assembly in session law, which happens rarely. Otherwise, approval is through the Transportation
Commission.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Cities and counties receive funding from both the Road Use Tax Fund and the TIME-21 Fund by
statutory formulas. The Road Use Tax Fund, after set-asides, is distributed to the Secondary Road
Fund for counties (24.5 percent), the Street Construction Fund for cities (20 percent), the Farmto-Market fund, which is also used by counties for specified roads (eight percent) and the Primary
Road Fund for state use (47.5 percent) (Iowa Code Ann. §312.2). Of the Primary Road Fund, 1.75
percent goes to the Transfer of Jurisdiction Fund and then is distributed to cities and counties, primarily for roads that formerly were under state management (Iowa Code Ann. §313.4). The TIME21 Fund was created by 2008 Iowa Acts, Chap. 1113, which altered the structure of road funding in
Iowa and caused a portion of registration fee revenues and increases in truck and other vehicle fees
to flow into that fund. The TIME-21 Fund also is allocated to the Secondary Road Fund for counties (20 percent), the Street Construction Fund for cities (20 percent) and the Primary Road Fund
for state use (60 percent) (Iowa Code Ann. §312A.3). The Secondary Road Fund for counties and
the Farm-to-Market Fund are allocated according to a methodology developed under Iowa Code
Ann. §312.3C; money that comes to the Secondary Road Fund through the TIME-21 Fund must
be used for bridge projects and farm-to-market highways (Iowa Code Ann. §312A.3). The Street
Construction Fund for cities is allocated by a statutory formula based on population (Iowa Code
Ann. §312.3). Local entities also receive state legislative appropriations and discretionary grants approved by the Transportation Commission.
Iowa
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 77
Kansas
Organizational Facts
Legislature Kansas Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (40 members)
Chambers: House (125 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 950
Department of
Transportation
Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT)
FTE: Approximately 3,113.5
Leadership: Secretary; Commission (advisory
only)
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 286,962 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 236 (2009);
bridges: 25,328 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 5.8 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 4,849 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 141; public-use: 126; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 799,329 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 519,000 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, proactive. The secretary of transportation has directed KDOT to take a proactive approach to interacting with the
Legislature. KDOT staff provide written updates on the work of the department; track legislator requests and responses; offer information and
testify at committee hearings, sometimes representing a KDOT position on a legislative proposal; and brief key and other requesting legislators
on transportation topics, either with legislative research staff or independently. KDOT employs two state legislative liaisons (one full-time and
one part-time) within an active government affairs office that organizes meetings and press releases and provides both proactive and responsive
information to the Legislature. Legislative Research works closely with KDOT staff, especially in government relations and finance.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor
(Kan. Stat. Ann. §75-5001). The 12 members of the Highway Advisory Commission are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, within
statutory requirements for geographic representation and restrictions on holding other public office or employment (Kan. Stat. Ann. §75-
5002).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information; legislative review of reports and
other information provided to the general public. KDOT provides an annual report to the Legislature.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Division of Post Audit. This division has the authority to review any aspect of KDOT
operations, but legislators have requested no such audits in recent years.
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Kan. Stat. Ann. art. 50
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by joint bipartisan committee; committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Governance and Finance
78 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process KDOT leads all aspects of the transportation planning process. Construction projects are identified
by KDOT, MPOs and other stakeholders. After scoring projects, KDOT solicits further input from
stakeholders on a shortlist of candidate projects within a spending range for each region, including in local consultation meetings. KDOT, using that input, then selects and programs projects for
construction. Maintenance projects are selected based solely on engineering criteria and available
funding. Prioritization decisions ultimately rest with the secretary of transportation.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Limited. The Legislature sets general priorities through statute (see 2010 Kan. Sess. Laws, Chap.
156) and approves the state’s comprehensive transportation plan, which provides only general
priorities and focuses mainly on revenues and financing. Beyond that, the Legislature has only an
advisory role and has not claimed a role in project selection. The secretary of transportation reports
to the Legislature annually on selected projects.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget for most state agencies (including KDOT); fiscal year begins July 1. The governor
submits a budget for KDOT, but most funding comes from sources dedicated to KDOT and is
appropriated without limit.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. KDOT is statutorily limited in the amount
of debt service it may incur, and the state constitution (Kan. Const. art. XI, §9) prohibits the use of
general obligation bonds for highways.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $863.2 million
FY 2010: $864.7 million
FY 2009: $926.4 million
FY 2008: $882.9 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to KDOT from the U.S. DOT without state legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
The Legislature enacts multi-year transportation plans—the most recent in 2010—that direct
KDOT priorities. State transportation funds for capital improvements and preservation projects
mainly come from the State Highway Fund, which is legislatively appropriated to KDOT with no
limit on expenditure authority. Operating expenditures are provided with limits through a legislative
appropriation at the program or category level. Generally, only overhead expenditures and building
expenditures have specific legislative oversight.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; portion of sales tax and compensating use tax.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation and bridges: Funded by the same sources as highways through the State Highway Fund.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (state-only capitalized); design-build (authorized
in statute for one demonstration project only); tapered matching. Special taxing districts may be
used to generate funds to repay bonds for infrastructure improvements, including road and bridge
projects.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution gives the state the power to levy special taxes on motor vehicles and motor
fuels for road and highway purposes (Kan. Const. art. XI, §10; see also Kan. Stat. Ann. §79-3402).
The State Highway Fund is statutorily dedicated to certain transportation purposes (Kan. Stat. Ann.
§68-416 and §68-2314b), including a small amount for transit, rail and general aviation (Kan. Stat.
Ann. §75-5035, §75-5048 and §75-5061).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Excess funds remain within the State Highway Fund. Projects tend to exceed available funding,
so most funds will be programmed or encumbered. If a significant balance were to remain within
the fund, the Legislature might choose to redirect the portion of the sales tax and compensating use
tax revenues that the State Highway Fund currently receives.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Generally, no. KDOT, however, cannot use the funds statutorily dedicated to transit, rail and general aviation airports for other than those purposes.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
All motor carrier property taxes and 33.63 percent of fuel taxes go into the Special City and County
Highway Fund, which is distributed to cities and counties by statutory formulas based on number
of registered vehicles, vehicle miles traveled, road mileage and, for cities only, population (Kan. Stat.
Ann. §§79-3425 et seq. and §79-34,142). At least 25 percent of the funds received by a county
must be used for mail and school bus routes on county roads.
Kansas
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 79
Kentucky
Organizational Facts
Legislature Kentucky General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (38 members)
Chambers: House (100 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
(odd years), approximately January – April (even
years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,300
Department of
Transportation
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)
FTE: Approximately 4,700
Leadership: Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 164,491 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 74 (2009);
bridges: 13,849 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 25.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,558 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 228; public-use: 60; state-owned: 4 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 7,302,094 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 86.0 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly informal, ad hoc. Communication between the General Assembly and the KYTC is not formalized, but exists on more of an ad hoc
basis. The secretary has an open-door policy for legislators and, with other KYTC administrators, is available to legislative staffers. Administrators regularly meet with legislators and appear before legislative committees. The KYTC has some formal reporting requirements to the General
Assembly. The KYTC employs a dedicated legislative liaison, who regularly gives input to legislators—including bill sponsors and Senate and
House transportation committee chairs—and testifies at committee meetings.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of the KYTC is appointed to a four-year term by the governor and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Ky. Rev. Stat. §12.040
and §12.255).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. There is no permanent oversight committee.
During the interim, the General Assembly has an Interim Joint Committee on Transportation and a
Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation (of the Appropriations Committee). Both committees hold monthly meetings where KYTC activities are discussed and examined.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Program Review and Investigations Committee
Sunset Review The state’s process for sunset reviews currently is inactive.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ky. Rev. Stat. ch. 174
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan statutory committee; committee may suspend rule; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The state adopts a biennial highway construction plan and a six-year road plan every two years. The
KYTC spearheads the planning process—coordinating input from MPOs, area development district
agencies and other stakeholders—and is primarily responsible for identifying projects, most of which
originate at the local level. Legislators also identify and recommend projects. The governor presents
the proposed six-year plan to the General Assembly for consideration and approval; the General Assembly can amend the governor’s recommended plan.
Transportation Governance and Finance
80 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Legislators participate by identifying and recommending projects. The General Assembly also is required by statute to adopt the biennial highway construction plan in a bill and the last four years of
the six-year road plan in a non-binding resolution. This allows for significant legislative involvement,
and the final plan may differ significantly from the one prepared by the KYTC and submitted by the
governor.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.49 billion
FY 2010: $1.30 billion
FY 2009: $1.23 billion
FY 2008: $1.74 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are legislatively appropriated to the KYTC through the biennial budget
process within the categories of General Administration and Support, Aviation, Debt Service, Highways, Public Transportation, Revenue Sharing and Vehicle Regulation. Within those appropriations,
additional direction is provided to guide expenditures.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are legislatively appropriated to the KYTC within certain categories,
and with additional direction to guide expenditures.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes (variable excise tax based on the average wholesale price; see Ky. Rev. Stat. §138.220);
motor vehicle/rental car usage taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest
income; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds. Rail: $2 million from the Road Fund in the most recent transportation budget bill. Aviation: Jet fuel taxes; operation of the Commonwealth’s aircraft; discretionary allocations
from the Road Fund. Bridges: Included with highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; design-build (authorized in statute); weight-distance tax;
advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution dedicates revenues from fuel taxes and motor vehicle-related taxes and fees to
administration; statutory refunds and adjustments; payment of highway obligations; construction,
reconstruction, rights-of-way, maintenance and repair of public highways and bridges; and enforcing state traffic and motor vehicle laws (Ky. Const. §230). These revenues are deposited to the Road
Fund. Revenues from the jet fuel tax are statutorily restricted to aviation (Ky. Rev. Stat. §183.525),
but in recent years the budget bill has transferred these funds to the general fund, notwithstanding
the restriction.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, in most areas. Historically, most transportation resources have been retained by the KYTC
for transportation purposes. The General Assembly, however, provides the appropriation authority
necessary for the KYTC to expend the funds. Ky. Rev. Stat. §45.229 provides that appropriations for
executive agencies lapse at the end of a fiscal year; thus, funds carried forward from a previous year
in most areas must be legislatively reappropriated for the KYTC to expend them. Some areas have
been exempted from this requirement through language in the budget bill allowing carry-forward of
appropriation balances. Also, Ky. Rev. Stat. §48.710 requires excess money in the Road Fund to be
deposited to a surplus fund and states that no expenditures can be made from the fund unless appropriated by the General Assembly or required by the branch budget bill.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No, but there is a review and approval process for any modifications to the appropriation levels.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
State law dedicates 48.2 percent of motor fuel tax revenues to county and city governments for
construction, reconstruction and maintenance of local roads and bridges. The County Road Aid program receives 18.3 percent and the Rural Secondary Program 22.2 percent (Ky. Rev. Stat. §177.320).
These funds are distributed by formula based on population, area and public road mileage (Ky.
Rev. Stat. §177.360). The other 7.7 percent goes to the Municipal Aid Program and is allocated by
population (Ky. Rev. Stat. §177.365 and §177.366). Local governments are involved in determining
the projects for which the funds are used.
Kentucky
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 81
Louisiana
Organizational Facts
Legislature Louisiana Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (39 members)
Chambers: House (105 members)
Session: Annual, approximately April – June (odd
years), approximately March – June (even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,000
Department of
Transportation
Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development (DOTD)
FTE: 4,524 authorized; 4,448 actual
Leadership: Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 129,034 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 2 (2009);
bridges: 13,361 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 3 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 27.6 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,789 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 810; public-use: 64; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 5,011,698 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 236,336 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 449.3
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. DOTD staff interact formally and informally with the Senate and House Transportation and Public Works committees as well as other legislators and legislative staff. The secretary and executive staff engage with the Legislature on relevant issues. DOTD
general counsel and legal staff work under the direction of the executive team on drafting, tracking and providing informational testimony on
legislation. The general counsel also ensures that the DOTD is in compliance with legislative mandates or expectations. Transportation committee staff members give the DOTD advance notice of expected submissions. The DOTD employs a dedicated legislative liaison who works
to maintain an engaged relationship with legislators and legislative staff. The DOTD, however, does not engage in lobbying the Legislature or
local government.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation and development is appointed by the governor with consent of the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the
governor (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §36:503). Other leadership positions including the undersecretary and certain assistant secretaries are appointed
by the governor and confirmed by the Senate but serve at the pleasure of the secretary (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §36:506 and §36:508).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The
Legislature also must approve priority programs for highways (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §48:228 to 232),
ports (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§34:3451 et seq.), aviation (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§2:801 et seq.) and
statewide flood control (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§38:90.1 et seq.).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Performance Audit Division, Office of the Legislative Auditor. State law mandates performancebased budgeting for executive agencies. This entails regular review of performance data by the
Legislative Fiscal Office and audits by the Office of the Legislative Auditor.
Sunset Review Yes. All statutory entities in Louisiana, including the DOTD, are subject to sunset provisions (La.
Rev. Stat. Ann. §§49:191 et seq.). The DOTD underwent sunset review in the FY 2009–2010
interim and was re-created in the 2010 legislative session. It will begin termination again on July 1,
2014, and terminates on July 1, 2015, unless affirmatively re-created by the Legislature.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§36:501 et seq.; La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§49:191 et seq.; La. Rev. Stat. Ann.
§36:4A. DOTD powers and duties are referred to in La. Rev. Stat. Ann. titles 2, 24, 32, 38, 47 and
48. La. Const. art. VII, §27 establishes the Transportation Trust Fund.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative and executive review of existing rules; legislative review by standing committee; committee may suspend rule; no legislative objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
82 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Each year, the DOTD provides the Legislature with a program of construction to be begun in the
next fiscal year and an additional list of projects proposed to be begun within the ensuing four
years. DOTD district offices identify projects in coordination with MPOs. DOTD headquarters
staff members select from among those projects and develop the proposed program, which then is
submitted to the Joint Highway Priority Construction Committee. The committee holds public
hearings and submits a report back to the DOTD for use in modifying the plan or developing future
programs. The DOTD then creates the final Highway Priority Program and submits it to the House
and Senate transportation committees for review. Ultimately, the program—both for the next fiscal
year and ensuing years—is made part of the capital outlay bill and voted on by the full Legislature.
The Legislature can delete any projects that are not prioritized according to statutorily provided
criteria but cannot add or substitute projects (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§48:229 et seq.).
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature holds hearings around the state and reviews the proposed construction program.
Committee feedback is used to modify proposed programs or to develop future ones. The Legislature
can delete—but cannot add or substitute—projects in the approval process.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $746.6 million
FY 2010: $706.6 million
FY 2009: $683.6 million
FY 2008: $729.7 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated through legislative appropriation. Each year, after the
Legislature approves the Highway Priority Program, the program is appropriated within the state’s
capital outlay bill (House Bill 2). Appropriations are made within the categories of Preservation,
Operations, Safety and Capacity. Some project-specific appropriations also are made.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are allocated through legislative appropriation following approval of
the Highway Priority Program.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; tolls; general funds; interest income; overweight permits and enforcement fees; general obligation bonds; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation, ports and bridges: Funded by the same sources as highways through the Transportation Trust Fund.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Build America Bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); PPPs (authorized in statute); design-build
(authorized in statute, used for the Audubon Bridge); traffic camera fees; creation of nonprofit,
quasi-public entities; tapered matching; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state’s multimodal Transportation Trust Fund is established and its uses outlined in the state
constitution (La. Const. art. VII, §27). The fund receives revenues from taxes on motor fuels, special
fuels and aviation fuel, and must be used exclusively for highway construction and maintenance, the
highway priority program, statewide flood control, ports and airports priority programs, transit, state
policy traffic control, the Parish Transportation Fund and debt service. Funds must be appropriated
annually. No more than 20 percent annually of the state-generated tax revenues in the Trust Fund
can be used for ports, the Parish Transportation Fund, statewide flood control and state police for
traffic control. The Parish Transportation Fund, however, must receive annually at least the proceeds
of 1 cent of the state tax on gasoline and special fuels. The annual appropriation for airports must
equal the annual estimated revenue from state taxes on aviation fuel.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Unencumbered and unexpended balances at the end of each fiscal year remain in the trust fund
(La. Const. art. VII, §27).
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, but only for projects funded by a project-specific, line-item appropriation. Otherwise, the
DOTD is required only to fund those projects that are consistent with the legislatively approved
construction program.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The Parish Transportation Fund was established in 1990 for local transportation needs (La. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §48:751 to 756) and is funded from the State Transportation Trust Fund. The Parish Transportation Fund must receive annually at least the proceeds of 1 cent of the state tax on gasoline and
special fuels. Funds are distributed to parishes on a per capita basis in population categories. Funding
in excess of the FY 1994–1995 level of $34 million is distributed on a per-mile basis.
Louisiana
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 83
Maine
Organizational Facts
Legislature Maine Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (35 members)
Chambers: House (151 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
(odd years), approximately January – April (even
years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,450
Department of
Transportation
Maine Department of Transportation
(MaineDOT)
FTE: Approximately 2,100
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 46,771 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 106 (2009);
bridges: 2,393 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 3.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,151 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 165; public-use: 69; state-owned: 2 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 1,305,877 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 23.0 million (2009); state-operated ferries: 8 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. The Legislature and MaineDOT interact and communicate in many ways. The Legislature communicates with
MaineDOT on an ongoing basis through letters and memoranda, by overseeing the MaineDOT budget, and in other ways. MaineDOT executive staff—including the commissioner, the deputy commissioner and the director of finance and administration—testify regularly before the
Joint Standing Committee on Transportation about relevant policy and budget issues, participate in work sessions, and are generally accessible
to legislators. Either legislators or the governor may submit bills on behalf of MaineDOT. MaineDOT employs a dedicated legislative liaison
who articulates MaineDOT’s stance on legislation, represents MaineDOT’s interests before the Legislature, provides outreach to legislators and
staff, and acts as the primary contact for legislators who need constituent assistance.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The commissioner of transportation is appointed by the governor, subject to review by the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation and
confirmation by the Legislature, and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §4205). Any person holding any civil
office may be removed by impeachment for misdemeanor in office; any person holding any office may be removed by the governor on the address of both branches of the Legislature (Me. Const. art. IX, §5).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability. Also, each state agency must be
reviewed by its committee of jurisdiction every eight years. MaineDOT was last scheduled for review
in 2007 (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 3, §§501 et seq.).
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of MaineDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23; Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 29A
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan standing committee; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
84 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process MaineDOT has primary responsibility for developing the Biennial Capital Work Plan as well as
other plans (e.g., the Long-Range Plan and the Statewide Rail Plan). MaineDOT works extensively
with other stakeholders, including MPOs, to identify projects. Projects are selected according to
cost/benefit, policy objectives, modal distribution, equitability and funding availability. The plan is
approved by MaineDOT leadership under the direction of the commissioner.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature does not formally approve the Biennial Capital Work Plan, but does provide oversight and may influence the program through the budgetary process and legislation.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. The governor—with
MaineDOT—presents the Highway Fund budget to the Legislature for approval. The budget is
reviewed and voted on by the Transportation Committee before it goes to the full Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. The Legislature must approve any bonding. Highway Fund general obligation bond terms must be assumed to be 10 years, and the rolling,
three-year average ratio of debt service payments for these bonds to highway fund revenue is limited
to not more than 10 percent (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §1604).
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $387.9 million
FY 2010: $477.7 million
FY 2009: $311.2 million
FY 2008: $321.4 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
All funding allocated to MaineDOT is approved by the Legislature. Federal transportation funds are
appropriated to MaineDOT at the program or category level. Any funding received from the federal
government must be allocated to specific programs by the Legislature before it can be spent.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are appropriated at the program level. All state funding must be allocated by the Legislature before it can be spent.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes (indexed to Consumer Price Index; see Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 36, §3321); vehicle
registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; highway fund bonds; motor vehicle
inspection fees; fines; general obligation bonds; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, aeronautics and rail: Rental car sales taxes; bonds; off-road fuel tax. Bridges: Included with
highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute with
legislative approval requirements); design-build (authorized in statute); impact fees. (No data regarding flexible management of federal funds.)
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of revenues from fuel taxes, registration fees and other related
excise taxes to the cost of administration, construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of
public highways and bridges (Me. Const. art. IX, §19). The State Highway Fund receives revenues
from fuel taxes, fees, fines and interest income, and must be used for construction, reconstruction
and maintenance and repair of highways and bridges; administration; and the enforcement of traffic
laws (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §1653). The dedicated fund for transit and rail receives funds from
rental car sales taxes and must be used for transit, aeronautics and rail (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23,
§4210-B).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Unexpended funds at the end of the fiscal year are carried over to the next fiscal year. Also, at the
end of each fiscal year, any unallocated balance in the Highway Fund over $100,000 is transferred to
MaineDOT for capital and maintenance purposes.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes and no. Legislative approval is required to move funds from one program to another, but not
from one project to another.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Funds are mainly allocated through the Urban-Rural Initiative Program to eligible municipalities, counties or Indian reservations by statutory formulas based on lane miles (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann.
tit. 23, §§1801 et seq.). These funds must be used for capital and maintenance needs of roads or
bridges. MaineDOT also awards transit bonus payments, within statutory requirements (Me. Rev.
Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §1807). Funds are also allocated to local entities through legislative appropriation.
Maine
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 85
Maryland
Organizational Facts
Legislature Maryland General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (47 members)
Chambers: House of Delegates (141 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,650
Department of
Transportation
Maryland Department of Transportation
(MDOT)
FTE: 8,979 plus 137.9 contractual
Leadership: Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 69,049 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 28 (2009);
bridges: 5,190 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 6, plus 1 shared with Virginia (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 156 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 759 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 139; public-use: 36; state-owned: 2 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 10,417,883 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 453,125 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 35.3
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. Several opportunities exist for formal and informal communication between the General Assembly and MDOT
throughout the year. The General Assembly and MDOT interact during the legislative session through budget and bill hearings. Outside of session, individual legislators may request meetings with or information from MDOT. During the interim, MDOT interacts with elected officials
on its Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) tour, broader issues of interest and constituent issues. MDOT can introduce legislation
through the governor’s office or through the relevant committee chair. MDOT also can lobby for legislation or policy proposals. MDOT employs legislative liaisons.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Md. Transportation Code Ann. §2-102).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The
General Assembly can request reports from MDOT through the budget or legislation; make funding
contingent upon submission of a report or action; or require legislative notice before an action is
taken. Commissions or study groups are created by the General Assembly to look at specific issues.
Individual legislators can make individual requests of MDOT at any time.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of Legislative Audits, which conducts financial and performance audits of state agencies and
reports to the General Assembly.
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of MDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Md. Transportation Code Ann. tit. 2 establishes MDOT. The state’s tolling authority, the Maryland
Transportation Authority, is a separate entity and is addressed in Md. Transportation Code Ann. tit.
4.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative and executive review of proposed and existing rules; legislative review by joint bipartisan
committee; committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Governance and Finance
86 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process MDOT prepares several long-term planning documents that are used to determine transportation
investment priorities. These include the six-year Consolidated Transportation Program, updated
annually, and the 20-year Maryland Transportation Plan, revised every five years. MDOT uses these
plans to develop annual operating and capital budget requests for the General Assembly’s consideration. The planning approach is bottom-up, in that local jurisdictions submit priority project lists to
MDOT. The state has a consolidated funding mechanism for all modes, so MDOT and the governor
must weigh the demands of all projects in all modes. Final project selection is by the governor, who
approves the capital program before submitting it to the General Assembly for approval. Funding
is provided at the program level in the budget; project-specific detail, however, is provided in the
capital plan.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly has responsibility in the planning process to approve the capital program
and the funding provided for in the budget. The General Assembly can reduce but not add funding
for specific projects in the governor’s budget. The General Assembly can add expenditures through
a supplementary appropriations bill if matched with new revenues. The General Assembly also can
require expenditures in the executive budget for a subsequent fiscal year. The General Assembly also
has passed legislation that affects project prioritization (e.g., 2010 Md. Laws, Chap. 725).
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. MDOT uses bonding only for its capital
program, and the level of debt is constrained by broader state debt limitations, a transportation debt
outstanding limit, and coverage ratio limits agreed upon with bondholders. The state has also used
nontraditional certificates of participation and GARVEE bonds.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $2.41 billion
FY 2010: $2.36 billion
FY 2009: $2.75 billion
FY 2008: $2.88 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are appropriated by the General Assembly to different programs within
each MDOT modal administration’s budget—for example, to the capital program for the State
Highway Administration within MDOT. The General Assembly appropriates at the program level,
but reviews project-specific funding in the Consolidated Transportation Plan. Certain federal funds
(e.g., GARVEE bond revenue) flow directly to MDOT, not through the state budget.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, the General Assembly appropriates state transportation funding at the program level, but reviews project-specific funding in the Consolidated Transportation Plan.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees;
tolls; interest income; corporate income tax; general sales tax; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation, ports and bridges: Funded by the same revenues as highways through the
Transportation Trust Fund. Other revenue sources include the following. Transit: Fares. Rail: Operating revenues for commuter rail. Aviation: Operating revenues collected from airlines and vendors.
Ports: Operating revenues. Toll highways, bridges and certain untolled portions of I-95 and I-395 are
funded through revenue-backed bond proceeds and tolls collected by the Maryland Transportation
Authority (not MDOT).
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
MDOT can use GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); congestion pricing; PPPs (authorized in regulation); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least one project); traffic camera fees; container fees; and toll credits or “soft match.”
The Maryland Transportation Authority can use GARVEE bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA);
congestion pricing; and toll credits. Starting in FY 2013, all traffic camera fees will be transferred to
the Transportation Trust Fund; they currently are split between that fund and the general fund.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Maryland has a consolidated, multimodal Transportation Trust Fund where all funds are collected,
then spent on each mode. State statutes specify what revenues or percentage of revenues are deposited into the fund (e.g., Md. Tax General Code Ann. §2-1103 and §2-1104) to be used for transportation-related purposes. MDOT may use the Transportation Trust Fund for any lawful purposes
related to the exercise of its rights, powers, duties and obligations (Md. Transportation Code Ann.
§3-216). Expenditures from the fund must be in accordance with relevant legislative appropriations.
Maryland
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 87
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. MDOT is funded through the Transportation Trust Fund. Any funds not used in a fiscal year
are retained by the Transportation Trust Fund unless otherwise specified.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No. Annual budget bill language requires MDOT to notify the budget committees of proposed
changes to the transportation capital program that will add a new project or increase a project’s total
cost by more than 10 percent or $1 million due to a change in scope, but legislative approval is not
required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A percentage of the Gasoline and Motor Vehicle Revenue Account in the Transportation Trust Fund
is allocated to the city of Baltimore (by specified percentage) and to counties and municipalities by
statutory formulas based on road miles and motor vehicle registrations (Md. Transportation Code
Ann. §§8-401 et seq.). Federal funds are allocated to Baltimore and local bridges. Funding uses are
limited to debt service and transportation-related construction and maintenance costs, except in
Baltimore and Kent County.
Maryland
Transportation Governance and Finance
88 National Conference of State Legislatures
Massachusetts
Organizational Facts
Legislature Massachusetts General Court
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (40 members)
Chambers: House (160 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 6,700
Department of
Transportation
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
(MassDOT)
FTE: Approximately 10,000
Leadership: Board of Directors; Secretary/CEO
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode*
*Modes were administered by separate agencies
prior to reform by 2009 Mass. Acts, Chap. 25.
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 76,332 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 138 (2009);
bridges: 5,113 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 3 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 398.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 952 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 248; public-use: 43; state-owned: 1 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 13,001,565 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 158,764 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 25.0
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through the DOT legislative liaisons. Primarily, individual legislative offices interact directly with MassDOT
legislative liaisons. The legislative liaisons also testify before the Joint Committee on Transportation on transportation-related legislation and at
oversight hearings on certain transportation topics. At times, MassDOT executives provide written and oral testimony to the Joint Committee
on Transportation. At the discretion of the governor, MassDOT can file its own bills.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The five members of the MassDOT Board of Directors are appointed by the governor to staggered, four-year terms, within statutory requirements for experience, expertise and party affiliation. Two must be experts in public or private transportation finance; two must have practical
experience in transportation planning; one must be a registered civil engineer with at least 10 years experience. The governor can remove any
director for cause. The governor also appoints a secretary to a term that coincides with that of the governor, to serve as MassDOT’s chief executive, administrative and operational officer. The governor has sole discretion to remove the secretary (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 6C, §2).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits;
reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. MassDOT, created in 2009, has many
reporting requirements to the General Court, some of which will end when the transition is complete.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee
Sunset Review No sunset reviews of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 6C (2009 Mass. Acts, Chap. 25)
Administrative Rules Review Executive review of proposed rules.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Projects are identified in three ways: through the regional MPO process; by the General Court in
a transportation bond bill; or by MassDOT based on its selection criteria, to advance through its
statewide capital program. MassDOT works with MPOs to determine investment plans and priorities. Approximately every three years, a transportation bond bill is created to fund transportation
priorities over several years, and some projects are added to this bill by the General Court. Projects
are selected, prioritized and approved by MassDOT through its selection process, and final approval
of all projects rests with MassDOT.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 89
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Court can identify a project through a transportation bond bill or by working with
a local community to advance a project on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The
General Court does not approve MassDOT’s capital program.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing; the state tends to pass a transportation bond
bill approximately every three years.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (proposed as of Sept. 2010): $2.14 billion
(No data for FY 2008, FY 2009 or FY 2010)
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to MassDOT via the Transportation Trust Fund with no
state legislative involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
Certain state transportation revenues—including the gas tax and registration fee revenues and a portion of the sales tax—go into the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, which is subject to annual
appropriation by the General Court at the department level. Certain funds—including aviation,
planning, highway, rail and transit—are allocated through this fund based on a formula, but still
subject to appropriation. Typically, the General Court also appropriates supplemental funding for
snow and ice removal.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls; general funds; sale of excess land; advertisements; revenue bonds. These are part of the Commonwealth Transportation Fund funding formula.
A portion of the sales tax also goes through the Commonwealth Transportation Fund for turnpike
debt repayment.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Funded by fuel taxes, revenue bonds, service city and town payments, and fares through the
Commonwealth Transportation Fund funding formula. A portion of the sales tax goes directly to
transit agencies. Rail: Bonds. Aviation and ports are run by a quasi-public entity, MassPort. Bridges:
Accelerated Bridge Program.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; PPPs (authorized in statute, used for at least one project); design-build (authorized
in statute, used as a component of at least one project); traffic camera fees; creation of nonprofit,
quasi-public entities; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution requires that all revenue derived from vehicles—including fuel taxes and
fees—be used only for certain transportation purposes, including highways, bridges, mass transit
and the enforcement of state traffic laws (Mass. Const., art. LXXVIII). The transportation reform
bill that created MassDOT in 2009 (2009 Mass. Acts, Chap. 25) also reconstituted the then-called
Highway Fund as the Commonwealth Transportation Fund and established the Transportation Trust
Fund; both are multimodal funds. The Commonwealth Transportation Fund mainly uses gas tax
and registration fee revenues to pay debt service and contract assistance, subject to annual legislative
appropriation. Remaining revenues are transferred annually into the Transportation Trust Fund. The
Transportation Trust Fund receives all other transportation revenues, including tolls from the turnpike and the Tobin Bridge, and is used to pay for MassDOT operations and special obligation debt
assumed by MassDOT. This fund is managed by MassDOT and is not subject to annual legislative
appropriation. The 2009 act also specified that revenue from the turnpike and the Tobin Bridge can
be used only for tolled assets.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. MassDOT can retain excess funds from the Commonwealth Transportation Fund in the
Transportation Trust Fund, which is not subject to appropriation. However, excess funds tend to be
minimal because the Commonwealth Transportation Fund is subject to appropriation.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No, unless it is necessary to change bond bill language that was previously approved.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Funds are distributed to cities and towns by a statutory formula based on vehicle registrations, road
miles and property valuation (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 81, §31).
Massachusetts
Transportation Governance and Finance
90 National Conference of State Legislatures
Michigan
Organizational Facts
Legislature Michigan Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (38 members)
Chambers: House (110 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 3,200
Department of
Transportation
Michigan Department of Transportation
(MDOT)
FTE: 3,022
Leadership: Commission; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 255,882 (2009); bridges: 10,928 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 7 (at least 1 operated by an international authority) (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 99.9 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,735 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 499; public-use: 240; state-owned: 5 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 17,370,130 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 52.1 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly during the appropriations process. The main interaction between the Legislature and MDOT occurs during
the annual appropriations process. Most budget communications are channeled through the House and Senate fiscal agencies and the Appropriations Subcommittee chairs on the legislative side, and the director and budget officers on the MDOT side. MDOT tracks the budget bill
and communicates MDOT’s position on line item appropriations and related boilerplate sections. MDOT has a dedicated governmental affairs office. This office is less involved in the budget and more involved in tracking and testifying on transportation policy bills as well as fielding questions or concerns from legislators. In some cases, bills are introduced at MDOT’s request, by legislative sponsors identified through the
governor’s office. When bills are passed over MDOT’s objections, MDOT may ask the governor to veto the bill or particular items.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The six members of the state transportation commission are appointed by the governor to staggered three-year terms, with the advice and
consent of the Senate and within constitutional requirements pertaining to party affiliation (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §247.802; Mich. Const.
art. V, §28). The MDOT director also is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate and within broad statutory
guidelines for abilities, and serves at the pleasure of the governor. If the director is not a licensed professional engineer, the director must designate a deputy director who is, to be responsible for the engineering content of policies and programs (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §16.455 and
§247.805; Mich. Const. art. V, §28).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Auditor General. This office conducts departmental performance audits.
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for MDOT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§16.451 et seq.; Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§247.801 et seq.; Mich.
Comp. Laws Ann. chapters 220 to 260
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee may suspend rules
during interim.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process MDOT has jurisdiction over only 8.1 percent of the state’s road miles, and local agencies control
the rest. MDOT guides the process and selects projects for its capital road and bridge construction/reconstruction program. Projects are selected primarily with a view to meeting pavement and
bridge performance goals established in 1997 within federal constraints, and statewide geographic
distribution. MPOs coordinate local projects but do not select projects for the state plan. The state
transportation commission approves the five-year plan as a broad planning document, but does not
select or question specific projects.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 91
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Legislative involvement is very limited. The Legislature has made efforts to designate specific projects
and to require legislative approval of the five-year MDOT plan. These efforts have largely failed, and
the Legislature neither selects projects nor approves the five-year plan.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins October 1. The Legislature approves the transportation budget,
but the budget is largely driven by how much revenue is generated and by statutory formulas for
distribution.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.97 billion
FY 2010: $2.08 billion
FY 2009: $2.03 billion
FY 2008: $2.21 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are included in the annual state budget. They must be appropriated
before they can be spent by MDOT on state projects or made available for local projects. The Legislature approves a budget with line items at the category level, not for specific projects, and MDOT
decides how to allocate funds within those categories. State law requires 25 percent of most federalaid programs to be set aside for local projects.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are distributed by statutory formula, but still must be appropriated in
the annual state budget (at the program or category level) before they can be spent by MDOT or
distributed to local agencies.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls. Tolls support the toll facilities but not other
transportation projects.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, passenger and freight rail, and ports: Funded by a statutory share of fuel taxes, registration
taxes and a share of the state sales tax on auto-related products—including on gasoline and diesel
fuel—through the state’s Comprehensive Transportation Fund. Aviation: Aviation fuel taxes; aircraft
registration fees; airport parking tax. State trunkline bridges: Share of fuel taxes and registration
taxes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (indirect only); Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); design-build (reported in survey; no authorizing statute found); advance construction; toll
credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution dedicates motor fuel taxes and vehicle registration taxes to transportation purposes; at least 90 percent must be used for roads, streets and bridges, and the balance for comprehensive transportation purposes as defined by law (Mich. Const. art. IX, §9). The Michigan Transportation Fund is the main collection and distribution fund for state transportation revenues, mainly from
fuel and registration taxes. Revenues are credited to this fund, then distributed to other funds and
programs by statutory formula (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§247.660 et seq.). Recipients include the
State Trunkline Fund for state highways and MDOT administration, the Transportation Economic
Development Fund, the Comprehensive Transportation Fund—statutorily dedicated to public
transportation—and local agencies. An auto-related sales tax also is deposited into the Comprehensive Transportation Fund (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §205.75). An earmark of certain driver’s license
fees is statutorily dedicated to transportation economic development (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann.
§28.306). The State Aeronautics Fund is dedicated to aeronautics and funded by aviation fuel taxes,
aircraft registration fees and an airport parking tax (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §259.34 and §259.35).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. MDOT can carry forward appropriated funds for projects into subsequent years. Carry-forward
funds do not need to be reappropriated.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No. MDOT must notify the Legislature before using bond funds for a different project than originally specified, but bond proceeds are not appropriated and no legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Local agencies—including 83 county road commissions and 533 counties and villages—control
nearly 92 percent of the state’s road miles, including many that are federal-aid eligible. Most state
transportation revenue is distributed to local road agencies by statutory formula (Mich. Comp. Laws
Ann. §247.660 and §247.663). State law also requires that an average of 25 percent of federal aid be
set aside for local projects (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §247.660). There is little state oversight of these
local agencies.
Michigan
Transportation Governance and Finance
92 National Conference of State Legislatures
Minnesota
Organizational Facts
Legislature Minnesota Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (67 members)
Chambers: House (134 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
(odd years), approximately February – May (even
years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 4,800
Department of
Transportation
Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/
DOT)
FTE: 5,107
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 283,378 (2009); bridges: 13,108 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 1, plus 1 shared with North Dakota (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 102.1 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 4,528 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 371; public-use: 165; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 15,884,588 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 28.7 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. Mn/DOT and the Legislature have extensive contact. District management and executive staff have regular
contact with legislators to discuss specific transportation issues and projects. Special briefings for legislators are occasionally held to acquaint
them with Mn/DOT activities. Legislators and legislative staff frequently request information from Mn/DOT, which is regarded as the
expert source of transportation-related information, and often contact Mn/DOT offices or districts directly. Mn/DOT provides considerable
information and testimony to the Legislature during session about the transportation-related legislation. Mn/DOT has a dedicated Office of
Government Affairs.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The commissioner of transportation is appointed by the governor to a term that coincides with that of the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The commissioner serves at the pleasure of the governor (Minn. Stat. Ann. §174.02, §15.06, §15.066).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by one or more legislative committees or commission; interim charges; legislative
program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Legislative Auditor, Program Evaluation Division. This office conducts various studies.
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for Mn/DOT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Minn. Stat. Ann. chapters 15, 160 to 174A, 218 to 222, and 360 to 362
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by joint bipartisan standing committee; committee
role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Mn/DOT develops a 20-year state plan, a 10-year highway investment plan and an annually
updated four-year State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) using an extensive public involvement process. These plans are informed by special studies and metropolitan, regional and tribal
plans. Mn/DOT identifies and develops projects for the state trunk highway system and coordinates
involvement of other stakeholders on all modes. The process of prioritizing projects for funding in
the STIP is done with the participation of Area Transportation Partnerships, which are committees
of local government office holders or their delegates and Mn/DOT employees.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 93
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature has no formal role in this process. With rare exceptions, the Legislature does
not identify projects in legislation. Legislators do, however, regularly introduce bills that would
prioritize certain projects more highly than in the existing plan. The Legislature does not approve
the transportation plans, but may review them at legislative hearings. The Legislature appropriates
funds within broad categories, and can set investment priorities in that way.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. Unanticipated federal funds
may be appropriated through a contingent appropriations process, which requires the written approval of the governor and at least five members of a subset of the Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.80 billion*
FY 2010: $1.60 billion*
FY 2009: $1.74 billion*
FY 2008: $1.46 billion*
*These numbers include year-specific, direct appropriations; continuing appropriations; ongoing, statutory
appropriations; and bonding.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal funds that flow through the state’s federal fund are reviewed by the Legislature, but do not
require legislative appropriation or approval to be spent. Federal funds that flow through the state’s
trunk highway fund are appropriated through the biennial budget process, usually in categories
such as construction or maintenance and occasionally as project-specific appropriations. These
funds also can be approved via a contingent appropriation process in the case of unanticipated
federal funds, maintenance emergencies or tort claims.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State revenues are constitutionally dedicated to the state’s Highway User Tax Distribution Fund,
then appropriated through direct and statutory appropriations to state agencies and programs. Appropriations usually are at the category level, but occasionally are project-specific.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes (up to 60 percent of the motor vehicle sales tax starting in FY 2012); vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; various
fines and fees; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds; general obligation bonds; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes (at least 40
percent of the motor vehicle sales tax starting in FY 2012). Rail: General funds; general obligation
bonds. Aviation: Airport property taxes; aviation fuel taxes; license taxes; general obligation bonds.
Ports: General funds; general obligation bonds.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); congestion pricing; PPPs (authorized in statute); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least five projects); advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution establishes the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund, which consists of
motor fuel taxes and taxes on motor vehicles and is dedicated solely to highway purposes (Minn.
Const. art. XIV, §§1 et seq.). The constitution distributes the fund to trunk highways (62 percent),
county roads (29 percent) and municipal streets (9 percent); 5 percent is set aside and can be apportioned to any of those purposes. Starting in FY 2012, the constitution also distributes at least
60 percent of motor vehicle sales tax receipts to the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund, and not
less than 40 percent to a Transit Assistance Fund, where money is statutorily dedicated to greater
Minnesota and metro area transit (Minn. Stat. Ann. §16A.88). Aviation-related revenues go to the
State Airport Fund (e.g., Minn. Stat. Ann. §270.077, §296A.18 and §360.66), which is dedicated
to aviation purposes (Minn. Stat. Ann. §360.017). These revenues are only statutorily dedicated,
and transfers have been made from the State Airport Fund to deal with budget deficits. The use of
aviation taxes is statutorily restricted by type of airport, zoning requirements, type of projects, and
so on. Truck weight fees and other various fines and fees flow through the state’s Trunk Highway
Fund via statutory requirements; the constitution restricts uses of this fund (Minn. Const. art. XIV,
§2 and §6). General obligation bonds are constitutionally restricted to public purposes and capital
expenditures only (Minn. Const. art. XI, §5). Bonds may be designated to specific projects.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes and no. Appropriations can be carried forward within a biennium. Specific language accompanying an appropriation is needed for carry-forward authority across biennia. This authority generally is given in the aviation section of the transportation budget, but not necessarily in others.
Minnesota
Transportation Governance and Finance
94 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. Based on session law, Mn/DOT may transfer spending authority between maintenance funds
and other Mn/DOT funds (other than construction) through a notification process. This authority
may also be transferred to the construction appropriation. However, the spending authority from
the construction appropriation may not be transferred to other areas of the budget without a legislative charge.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
In the biennial budget process, the Legislature makes lump sum appropriations to Mn/DOT for
county roads and municipal streets based on a constitutional formula for distributing Highway
User Tax Distribution Fund resources (Minn. Const. art. XI, §5). Mn/DOT then allocates funds to
counties using statutory formulas based on equal distribution, need, motor vehicle registrations and
lane miles (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§162.07 et seq.) and to municipalities based on needs and population (Minn. Stat. Ann. §162.13). The state’s general obligation bonds assist with local road and
bridge projects, which are mostly funded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Minnesota
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 95
Mississippi
Organizational Facts
Legislature Mississippi Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (52 members)
Chambers: House (122 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 3,800
Department of
Transportation
Mississippi Department of Transportation
(MDOT)
FTE: 3,464
Leadership: Commission; Executive Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 156,532 (2009); bridges: 17,065 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 1.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,618 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 251; public-use: 80; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 1,199,015 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 156,507 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 52.2
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. MDOT representatives are at all transportation-related committee meetings and represent MDOT’s position on pending legislation. MDOT employs a dedicated legislative liaison who, with the MDOT executive director, briefs transportation committees about
relevant issues and policies. The liaison also is available to legislators on an ongoing basis, and responds to legislative requests for information.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The three members of the Mississippi Transportation Commission are elected by the people, one from each of the state’s three Supreme Court
districts, at the same time and in the same manner as the governor. They must be qualified electors and citizens of the district in which they
offer for election (Miss. Code Ann. §65-1-3). The executive director is appointed to a four-year term by the commission, with the advice and
consent of the Senate and within statutory requirements for expertise and knowledge; can be removed by a majority of the commission; and
cannot have been a member of the commission within two years of appointment (Miss. Code Ann. §65-1-9).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative review of
non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative requests for information; reporting
requirements. MDOT is required to make reports to or notify the Legislature about certain MDOT
programs, activities or actions. MDOT also must file detailed annual reports with the Legislature on
its operations, major programs and six-year program of work. MDOT is audited at the end of each
fiscal year by the State Auditor, and a copy of the audit is sent to the Legislative Budget Office (Miss.
Code Ann. §65-1-149).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Joint Legislative Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee
Sunset Review No sunset reviews of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Miss. Code Ann. §65-1-1 through §65-1-709
Administrative Rules Review No formal review process.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process MDOT identifies projects with input from MPOs and develops the Statewide Transportation
Improvement Program (STIP). The Transportation Commission approves all projects, contracts
and expenditures. MDOT maintains a Six-Year Plan of projects submitted to the Legislature each
January. MDOT also produces a long-range plan called the Mississippi Unified Long-Range Transportation Infrastructure Plan (MULTIPLAN) that is a comprehensive analysis of transportation
infrastructure and needs throughout the state with a 25-year horizon.
Transportation Governance and Finance
96 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
MDOT submits its Six-Year Plan of projects to the Legislature each January, but the Legislature
does not approve this plan. The Legislature can identify a project through a transportation bond
bill. The Legislature also has passed statutes identifying specific projects or programs for MDOT
to implement, for example, the 1987 Four-Lane Program and the Vision 21 Program (Miss. Code
Ann. §65-3-97 and §65-1-145). These statutes generally provide MDOT with guidelines for
project prioritization but give MDOT flexibility to change prioritization of these projects and to
determine when each prioritized project is to be completed.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. MDOT’s annual budget request is approved by the elected,
three-member Transportation Commission before it is submitted to the Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $575.0 million
FY 2010: $509.5 million
FY 2009: $539.2 million
FY 2008: $434.2 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to MDOT through a state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State taxes and fees dedicated to transportation are deposited directly into the State highway Fund,
but still must be appropriated annually to MDOT by the Legislature.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; contractors’ tax
on certain highway projects; lubricating oil tax; general obligation bonds; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit has no dedicated state funding but has received allocations from the Multi-Modal Transportation Improvement Fund, which is funded by MDOT out of its state source special funds that are
not otherwise dedicated (i.e., a portion of the fuel tax, truck and bus taxes, and other). Rail: Tax on
locomotive fuel. Aviation: Tax on aviation fuel (distributed to the Mississippi Aeronautics Commission). Ports: General funds. Bridges: Included with highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; private activity bonds (PABs) (allocated); Build America Bonds; PPPs (authorized
in statute); design-build (authorized in statute); advance construction; bridge credits (in-kind or
“soft match”).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
State statute indicates that gasoline taxes are to be used to provide highways, streets and roads
(Miss. Code Ann. §27-55-3). Fuel taxes and certain other transportation-related taxes and fees—
including vehicle registration/license/title fees and truck weight fees—are dedicated to the State
Highway Fund and can be used for MDOT operations and programs. Any bond proceeds usually
are dedicated to a specific project or program by the bond enabling legislation. The state also has
a Multi-Modal Transportation Improvement Fund, which is distributed to ports, airports, transit
and railroads (Miss. Code Ann. §§65-1-701 et seq.). The Legislature established this fund in 2001
(2001 Miss. Laws, Chap. 552) but has not appropriated any funding to it since its passage; MDOT
has chosen to fund the program from its state revenues.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. All state fees and taxes dedicated to transportation and all federal reimbursements on federal
projects are deposited directly into the State Highway Fund and retained until spent.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Local entities receive state transportation funds through statutory formulas. MDOT allocates part
of its federal funds to local projects through the Local Public Agencies program, and part through
the separate Office of State Aid. A portion of state fuel tax revenues is distributed to counties for
local bridge and highway projects through the Office of State Aid by a statutory formula based on
equal distribution, rural road miles and rural population (Miss. Code Ann. §27-65-75); another
portion is received directly by cities and counties for transportation projects (Miss. Code Ann. §27-
5-101 and §27-5-103). Cities and counties also receive part of the state sales tax, which can be used
for any local government purpose, including transportation.
Mississippi
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 97
Missouri
Organizational Facts
Legislature Missouri General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (34 members)
Chambers: House (163 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,000
Department of
Transportation
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
FTE: 6,125 salaried; 115 temporary
Leadership: Commission; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 270,903 (2009); bridges: 24,245 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 1 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 75.2 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 4,078 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 516; public-use: 130; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 11,460,911 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 24.1 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. Communication occurs formally and informally through visits at a legislative member’s request, written
policy statements, testimony before committees, and distribution of annual reports and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
(STIP) documents, as well as Tracker, MoDOT’s quarterly performance management document. MoDOT has a Division of Governmental
Relations, the role of which includes advocating for MoDOT objectives, advancing legislative initiatives, and communicating and interacting
with the General Assembly on an ongoing basis. Governmental relations staff and MoDOT’s senior management team testify before legislative
committees. MoDOT’s director and governmental relations staff are registered lobbyists and interact with legislators regarding transportationrelated legislation. During session, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission holds monthly meetings at MoDOT headquarters.
This provides convenience to any legislator who wishes to attend the meeting or address commission members. Finally, the Joint Committee on
Legislative Research Oversight Division is required to prepare a fiscal note for each bill. To do this, the division solicits a statement of impact
from all potentially affected agencies; MoDOT responds to approximately 650 fiscal note requests annually.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The six members of the bipartisan Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission are appointed to staggered six-year terms by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, subject to statutory requirements for party affiliation, taxpayer status and residency.
Any commissioner may be removed by the governor if fully satisfied of his inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct in office (Mo. Rev. Stat.
§226.030). The MoDOT director is appointed by the commission—subject to statutory requirements for state citizenship, residency and experience—and serves at the pleasure of the commission (Mo. Rev. Stat. §226.040).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Legislative committees having
some oversight of MoDOT include the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight and the Joint
Committee on Legislative Research Oversight Division. Reporting requirements include an annual
accountability report that is provided to the General Assembly, the governor and the lieutenant
governor, and presented in person before the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight. The
General Assembly periodically creates interim committees to study certain aspects of MoDOT.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Joint Committee on Legislative Research, Oversight Division. This division has the authority to conduct performance audits of state executive departments and has performed five audits of MoDOT
programs and funds.
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of MoDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Mo. Rev. Stat. §§226.005 et seq.; Mo. Rev. Stat. §§227.010 et seq.
Transportation Governance and Finance
98 National Conference of State Legislatures
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by joint bipartisan standing committee; committee
may suspend rule; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process MoDOT annually develops a rolling five-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
(STIP) through a collaborative process called the planning framework. MoDOT coordinates the
involvement of MPOs, regional planning commissions, local elected officials and the general public,
who work collaboratively with MoDOT to select and prioritize projects. The plan is approved by
the Highways and Transportation Commission.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
No formal legislative role. Legislators have opportunities to be involved in the decision-making
process by attending a public meeting, contacting their respective regional planning partners or
contacting MoDOT directly.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations The state’s operating budget is annual, and the capital budget is biennial; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.81 billion
FY 2010: $1.68 billion
FY 2009: $1.77 billion
FY 2008: $1.49 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal highway funds are deposited directly into the State Road Fund per statute, without legislative involvement. The State Road Fund is authorized by the Missouri Highways and Transportation
Commission. Federal funds for highway safety and other modes—including transit, rail and aviation—must be appropriated by the General Assembly at the program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
Various state funds flow directly to MoDOT per statute, without legislative involvement, for construction and maintenance of highways and bridges. The funding for other modes is appropriated
by the General Assembly at the program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; interest income; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Rail: Railroad regulation fees. Aviation: Sales tax on jet fuel; aviation fuel tax; interest income. Ports:
General revenue. Transit, rail, waterways and aviation also are funded by 2 percent of half the proceeds from the state sales tax on motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles, mopeds and motortricycles.
General revenue also may be appropriated to these uses by the General Assembly.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs
(authorized in statute with legislative and voter approval requirements); design-build (authorized in
statute, used as a component of three projects according to MoDOT); creation of nonprofit, quasipublic entities; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.” Traffic camera fees are used only
at the local level.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution dedicates use of all motor vehicle-related taxes and fees—including fuel
taxes and license fees and less certain set-asides—to roads, bridges and tunnels and prohibits any
state revenues from highway users that are allocated to the State Road Fund from being diverted
from highway purposes and uses (Mo. Const. art. IV, §30(b)) and §30(d)). Fuel tax proceeds are
distributed by constitutional formulas to the State Road Fund, cities and counties. The same section
of the constitution also dedicates half the proceeds from the state sales tax on motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles, mopeds and motortricycles to highway and transportation use. These revenues are
distributed to counties (10 percent), cities (15 percent), the State Road Fund (73 percent) and the
State Transportation Fund (2 percent); the State Transportation Fund also supports other transportation modes such as rail, transit, waterways and aviation. The other half of the proceeds from the
state sales tax on motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles, mopeds and motortricycles is constitutionally
directed to the State Road Bond Fund for the repayment of bonded debt issued by the Highways
and Transportation Commission (Mo. Const. art. IV, §30(b)). The Aviation Trust Fund, which
collects a 9-cent-per-gallon tax on aviation fuel and a portion of the state sales tax on jet fuel (Mo.
Rev. Stat. §155.090 and §144.805), is dedicated to aviation purposes (Mo. Rev. Stat. §305.230).
General revenue is legislatively appropriated and restricted by language.
Missouri
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 99
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, for certain funds. The remaining balance of the State Road Fund, which is dedicated to roads
and bridges, is used and expended at the sole discretion of and under the supervision and direction
of the Highways and Transportation Commission (Mo. Const. art. IV, §30(b)). All other funds with
remaining balances also are authorized to retain excess funds, with the exception of the state Grade
Crossing Safety Account, which may be swept at the end of a biennium if funds are not already
obligated to future projects.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The state constitution allocates portions of the state motor fuel tax and a state sales tax on vehicles
to cities and counties. After set-asides, 15 percent of the proceeds of the fuel tax are deposited in the
County Aid Road Trust Fund. A portion of this fund is distributed to cities not within any county,
and the remainder to counties by a formula based on road mileage and rural land valuation; these
funds are dedicated to the construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repairs of roads, bridges
and highways. Fifteen percent of fuel tax proceeds goes to cities, towns and villages for roads and
street purposes, and are distributed by a population-based formula (Mo. Const. art. IV, §30(a)).
Half the proceeds from the state sales tax on motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles, mopeds and
motortricycles are constitutionally dedicated to highway and transportation use. Of this half, 10
percent is distributed to counties and 15 percent to cities as provided in section 30(a) (Mo. Const.
art. IV, §30(b)).
Missouri
Transportation Governance and Finance
100 National Conference of State Legislatures
Montana
Organizational Facts
Legislature Montana Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (50 members)
Chambers: House (100 members)
Session: Biennial, approximately January – April
(odd years only)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,350
Department of
Transportation
Montana Department of Transportation (MDT)
FTE: 2,242
Leadership: Commission; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 150,125 (2009); bridges: 5,119 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 2 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,179 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 569; public-use: 120; state-owned: 15 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 1,455,588 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal and through DOT staff members and legislative committees. Communication mainly takes place between MDT staff
members and legislative committees. During the interim, MDT staff—generally the director—provide reports on MDT activities, planning
and activities to the Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee. This committee also can request legislation on behalf of MDT. During
session, MDT frequently appears before the House Transportation Committee and the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee to influence or provide input on transportation-related legislation. MDT also appears before the Senate Finance and Claims and House Appropriations Joint Subcommittee on General Government, which deals with the MDT budget. MDT has no dedicated legislative liaison; however,
the Legal Services Division drafts, reviews and may provide testimony on legislation, rules and policies.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The five members of the Transportation Commission are appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate (Mont. Const. art.
VI, §8) and statutory requirements for residency, geographic representation and party affiliation. At least one must have specific knowledge
of Indian culture and tribal transportation needs, and must be selected by the governor after consultation with the Montana members of the
Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council. No elected or appointed state official or state employee may serve on the commission (Mont.
Code Ann. §2-15-2502). The MDT director is appointed by the governor to hold office until the end of the governor’s term, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Mont. Code Ann. §2-15-2501 and §2-15-111).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Audit Division
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for MDT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Mont. Const. art. VIII, §6; Mont. Code Ann. title 2, ch. 15; Mont. Code Ann. title 15; Mont.
Code Ann. title 60; Mont. Code Ann. title 61; Mont. Code Ann. title 67; Mont. Code Ann. title
75
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by germane joint bipartisan committees; committee may suspend rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process MDT staff engage in a number of different planning processes, including the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The Transportation Commission selects and prioritizes projects
for construction and maintenance, based on information, research and recommendations provided
by MDT staff and local governments (Mont. Code Ann. §60-2-110).
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 101
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
No formal legislative role. Legislators may testify at commission meetings like any member of the
public. Rarely, the Legislature will require or address an individual highway or project in statute (for
example, Mont. Code Ann. §60-2-133). This kind of special legislation is generally discouraged.
The Legislature approves the MDT budget at the program, not project-specific, level.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. Biennial budget requests are
reviewed and approved by the Legislature, but projects are approved by the Transportation Commission, not the Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state uses pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $256.5 million*
FY 2010: $227.4 million*
FY 2009: $244.0 million*
FY 2008: $230.6 million*
*These numbers include local transit matches that pass through MDT.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are legislatively appropriated at the program or category level as part of
the biennial budget process.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds are legislatively appropriated at the program or
category level in the biennial budget process.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; interest income.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Primarily local government funding; also some state fuel taxes and registration/license/
title fees. Aviation: Aviation fuel tax; allocation of gasoline and diesel taxes. Bridges: Included with
highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; design-build (authorized in statute); impact fees.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution requires highway user fee revenues (including weight fees and fuel taxes) to
be used as authorized by the Legislature—after deduction of statutory refunds and adjustments—
solely for specific road and bridge funding purposes, including enforcement of highway safety,
driver education, tourist promotion and administrative collective costs. Such revenues may be appropriated for other purposes by a three-fifths vote of the members of each house of the Legislature
(Mont. Const. art. VIII, §6). State statute allocates a small portion of the gasoline dealers’ license
tax to other purposes, including aeronautics (Mont. Code Ann. §60-3-201).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Funds derived from highway user fees are constitutionally protected from diversion from the
highway fund. MDT is authorized to retain excess funds with no stated limit.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Transportation funds are allocated to local entities through a statutory distribution of gasoline and
diesel taxes (Mont. Code Ann. §15-70-101). The funds provided for counties are distributed by
a statutory formula based on rural road mileage, rural population and land area; the amount for
incorporated cities and towns is distributed by a formula based on population and street and alley
mileage; consolidated city-county governments receive a single payment based on a combined calculation. All funds are subject to low-bid requirements. These funds must be used for construction or
maintenance of streets or roads.
Montana
Transportation Governance and Finance
102 National Conference of State Legislatures
Nebraska
Organizational Facts
Legislature Nebraska Legislature
Structure: Unicameral, nonpartisan
Chamber: Legislature (49 members*)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
(odd years), approximately January – April (even
years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,050
*All members go by the title of senator.
Department of
Transportation
Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR)
FTE: 2,292
Leadership: Commission (advisory only); Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 190,478 (2009); bridges: 15,376 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 4 shared with Iowa (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 6.1 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,215 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 241; public-use: 83; state-owned: 3 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 2,279,966 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 179,000 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through legislative committees and the DOT legislative liaison. NDOR has a government affairs office;
most communication occurs between that office and the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications committee. All senators’ offices
also have direct contact with the NDOR government affairs office when they have questions or need information. As a “code agency” subject to
the governor’s direct control, NDOR must work through the Governor’s Policy and Research office to introduce legislation, support or oppose
a bill, or offer an amendment to a bill. If NDOR is given permission, then the government affairs office or director will usually work through
the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. NDOR also must present certain reports to the Legislature, including an annual
Needs Assessment Report.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The eight members of the State Highway Commission are appointed by the governor with the consent of a majority of all the members of the
Legislature, within statutory requirements for geographic representation, U.S. citizenship, age, residency and party affiliation (Neb. Rev. Stat.
§39-1101). The governor can remove commission members for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct in office, after an opportunity for
a hearing (Neb. Rev. Stat. §39-1104). The commission is advisory only and has no authority over NDOR (Neb. Rev. Stat. §39-1110). The
NDOR director is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the members elected to the Legislature, and can be
removed by the governor (Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-102; Neb. Const. art. IV, §10).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits;
reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Performance Audit Section
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for NDOR per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Neb. Rev. Stat. §39-1301 to §39-1308; Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-101; Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-701.01 to
§81-704.04
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by standing committee; committee role is mainly advisory; no
objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process All transportation planning and project prioritization is done by NDOR with ultimate authority
resting with the governor. The State Highway Commission reviews NDOR’s plans, but acts in an
advisory and informational capacity only. MPOs, city and county departments work with NDOR
when the need arises.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 103
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The state constitution expressly prohibits the Legislature from laying out, planning or directing
the construction of roads or highways (Neb. Const. art. III, §18). The role of the Legislature is to
determine the amount of funding to provide. NDOR presents its annual needs assessment to a joint
meeting of the Appropriations and Transportation committees before session. The Legislature then
determines the overall level of state funding to be provided for transportation through the normal
budgeting process for executive agencies.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. NDOR is required by statute to present an annual needs assessment to the Legislature. This occurs before session and provides
a forum for discussion. Once in session, the Legislature determines the overall amount of state
funding to be provided to NDOR through the normal budget and appropriations process, which
includes Appropriations Committee review, public hearings, and discussion and passage by the full
Legislature. The governor approves NDOR’s budget request before it is submitted to the Legislature
and can exercise veto power.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state uses pay-as-you-go financing. No bonds have been issued since 1969.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $370.0 million
FY 2010: $368.0 million
FY 2009: $370.3 million
FY 2008: $359.5 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly into NDOR’s cash fund. The Legislature does not limit
the flow of federal funds, but does provide an appropriation at the program level that reflects a cash
flow estimate. NDOR can exceed this estimate as needed without legislative involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
A department-wide Highway Cash Fund appropriation sets the amount of state funds available to
the agency. The variable fuel tax is then set to generate revenue equal to this amount when added to
other revenue sources. The Legislature provides an appropriation of these same state funds at the program level that reflects a cash flow estimate. NDOR can exceed this estimate as needed without legislative involvement. The exception is the appropriation for transit aid, which is a set dollar amount.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes (variable based on state debt service and appropriations; see Neb. Rev. Stat. §§66-4,140
et seq.); motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; interest income;
train-mile tax for grade separation projects.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Funded by the same sources as for highways through the Highway Cash Fund (but not the
train-mile tax). Aviation: Aviation fuel tax; jet fuel tax. Bridges: Included with highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Statutes require fuel tax and other revenues to be credited to the Highway Trust Fund and, after
set-asides, allocated to the Highway Cash Fund (Neb. Rev. Stat. §66-499, §60-3,104.01 and §39-
2215). This fund must be used for highway construction and maintenance, with limited exceptions,
including transit aid (Neb. Rev. Stat. §66-4,100). The use of aviation fuel taxes are limited by statute
to aviation-related purposes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §3-149) and, after credits and refunds, are credited to the
Department of Aeronautics Cash Fund. Transfers may be made from this fund to the general fund at
the direction of the Legislature through June 30, 2011 (Neb. Rev. Stat. §3-126). Other state funds include the State Aid Bridge Fund, the Recreation Road Fund and the Grade Crossing Protection Fund.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. The Highway Cash Fund appropriation determines the amount of state funding available to
NDOR each year and the variable fuel tax is set to attempt to generate this amount of revenue. The
tax rate can be raised or lowered mid-year if needed. If actual revenues exceed the appropriation,
they remain in the Highway Cash Fund until subsequently appropriated by the Legislature. If collections fall short, NDOR is simply out this amount of money.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No. The Legislature does not get involved in project earmarking. NDOR is given the discretion to
select and prioritize projects.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A portion of state fuel taxes and other transportation-related revenues is distributed to counties
and municipalities by the Department of Revenue and the state treasurer, according to statutory
formulas, via the Highway Allocation Fund. Funds are distributed to counties for road purposes by
a statutory formula based on rural and total population, lineal feet of bridges and overpasses, rural
and total motor vehicle registrations, road mileage and value of farm products sold (Neb. Rev. Stat.
§39-2507). Funds are distributed to municipalities for street purposes,by a statutory formula based
on population, motor vehicle registrations and lane miles (Neb. Rev. Stat. §39-2517). Counties and
municipalities also can receive incentive payments based on population and the level of license of
the county highway superintendent or city street superintendent (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§39-2501 et seq.
and §§39-2511 et seq.).
Nebraska
Transportation Governance and Finance
104 National Conference of State Legislatures
Nevada
Organizational Facts
Legislature Nevada Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (21 members)
Chambers: Assembly (42 members)
Session: Biennial, approximately February – June
(odd years only)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,150
Department of
Transportation
Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT)
FTE: 1,785 (approved)
Leadership: Board; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 73,242 (2009*; miles of tolled roadway: 6 (2009);
bridges: 1,753 (2010)
*The number of total lane miles above is as reported by the Federal Highway Administration. NDOT
uses centerline miles and reports 5,401 centerline miles as of April 2011.
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 75.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,192 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 140; public-use: 84; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 21,541,766 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal. NDOT and the Legislature interact primarily through committee hearings, the budget process and policy decisions. NDOT
can request legislation through the executive branch and has open access to legislators. The chief of the Communications Office acts as
NDOT’s legislative liaison, among other duties.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
Three of the seven members of NDOT’s Board of Directors are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, within statutory requirements
for geographic representation, state residency and qualifications as well as restrictions pertaining to conflicts of interest. The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state controller serve ex officio. The three appointed members must be informed on and interested in the
construction and maintenance of highways and other transportation matters, and must possess either knowledge of engineering; demonstrated expertise in financial matters and business administration; or demonstrated expertise in the business of construction (Nev. Rev. Stat.
§408.106). The NDOT Director is appointed by the Board of Directors, within statutory requirements for qualifications and experience as
well as prohibitions on other employment, and serves at its pleasure (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§408.160 et seq.).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The
NDOT Director is required to submit a performance report to the Board of Directors and the
Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee (Nev. Rev. Stat. §408.133). The Interim Finance Committee reviews executive branch fiscal and programmatic operations during each interim and considers
modifications to NDOT’s biennial work program when necessary. Other interim committees are
occasionally formed to review state financing of highway construction and other projects. The Legislative Council Bureau’s Fiscal Analysis Division provides ongoing fiscal and programmatic oversight
of NDOT’s interim activities.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Counsel Bureau, Audit Division
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for NDOT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Nev. Rev. Stat. tit. 35
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by ongoing statutory committee (Legislative Commission); committee may suspend rule; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 105
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process NDOT is responsible for identifying projects, developing and approving transportation plans, coordinating with the state’s four MPOs and facilitating all transportation improvements in non-MPO
areas. NDOT develops the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) annually in collaboration with MPOs, local entities and 23 tribal governments; the MPOs have primary stewardship
for transportation planning within their boundaries. Projects are evaluated by a standardized criterion,
which determines the projects’ feasibility and user benefits. Areas not under MPO authority must
submit applications for proposed transportation improvement projects; these applications are ranked
by an NDOT project evaluation team, and high-priority projects are forwarded to the director and
deputy director for final selection. The number of projects in the STIP is limited by the amount of
anticipated available funding. The NDOT Board of Directors approves the STIP annually.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature approves the overall NDOT budget in its biennial session, but not specific line-item
projects. To do this, the Legislature considers investment priorities, the state funding levels needed
to satisfy federal requirements, and NDOT’s combination of funding as recommended by the
governor. The Legislature also may adopt specific legislation authorizing tax modifications or bond
issuances for use toward highway construction projects, as necessary.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $345 million
FY 2010: $419 million
FY 2009: $348 million
FY 2008: $377 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to NDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the agency level or, when the Legislature is not in session, are approved by the Interim Finance Committee.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to NDOT as state legislative appropriations at the agency,
program/category and project-specific levels.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; general funds; interest income; general obligation bonds; revenue bonds. 2007 Nev. Stats.,
Chap. 344 requires counties with a population of 100,000 or more to allocate a portion of ad
valorem tax for capital projects to the State Highway Fund. It also allocates a portion of recovery
surcharge fees to that fund and requires the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to provide
up to $300 million in bond funding to NDOT for Clark County Projects.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
No state funds are allocated to transit or other modes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (authorized but not used as of 2009); federal credit assistance (TIFIA); PPPs
(authorized in statute, used for at least one local project); design-build (authorized in statute, used
as a component of at least two local projects); traffic camera fees; advance construction. NDOT uses
soft match but not toll credits.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts the use of proceeds from any fuel tax or motor vehicle-related fee
or charge—except any tax imposed upon vehicles in lieu of an ad valorem property tax—to the
construction, maintenance and repair of public highways and administrative costs (Nev. Const.
art. IX, §5). These revenues are deposited into the State Highway Fund, established by Nev. Rev.
Stat. §408.235. This statute limits the costs of administration for the collection of any fuel tax to
not more than 1 percent of the total proceeds collected. It also restricts the Department of Motor
Vehicles’ (not within NDOT) Highway Fund appropriations to not more than 22 percent of fund
revenues, not including fuel tax, for funding administrative expenses.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Unspent appropriations—unless specifically eligible to carry forward to the second year within a biennium by approval of the Legislature—typically revert to their respective funds at the end of each
fiscal year. Excess bond proceeds may be carried forward to future years relative to specific construction schedules for NDOT investment priorities.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No. NDOT’s funding is established for each year of the biennium based on the authorized level of
state Highway Funds, federal funds and bond proceeds to implement the state’s capital construction
priorities. However, NDOT retains authority within those legislatively approved funding levels to
modify project-specific funding to maintain flexibility in its program and ensure approved investment priorities are implemented efficiently and effectively.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The state allocates transportation funding to local entities by state legislative appropriation.
Nevada
Transportation Governance and Finance
106 National Conference of State Legislatures
New Hampshire
Organizational Facts
Legislature New Hampshire General Court
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (24 members)
Chambers: House (400 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – July
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,000
Department of
Transportation
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
(NHDOT)
FTE: 1,671
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 33,008 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 131 (2009);
bridges: 2,409 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 7, plus 1 shared with Vermont (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 1.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 415 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 118; public-use: 25; state-owned: 2 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 1,602,066 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 3.6 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. Legislators and legislative staff develop direct lines of communication with NHDOT staff at every level of
the agency. Communications are both formal and informal, depending on the circumstances. NHDOT staff are available to discuss issues
involving transportation planning, funding and systems. Agency officials also appear regularly at public hearings before the House and Senate
Transportation Committees. Legislators rely on this communication to consider all aspects of state transportation policy. NHDOT employs a
director of policy and administration, who oversees the Office of Hearings and Legislation, among others (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21-L:5-b).
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The NHDOT Commissioner is appointed to a four-year term by the governor, with the consent of the Executive Council. The Executive
Council is a five-member, elected, executive branch agency that has authority and responsibility, with the governor, over the administration of
the affairs of the state. State statute requires the NHDOT commissioner only “to be qualified to hold the position by reason of education and
experience.” (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21-L:3) The commissioner can be removed only for cause. The attorney general, the governor or an Executive Council member may petition for a commissioner’s removal, which is effected by a vote of three or more council members in concurrence with the governor (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §4:1).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. A reporting requirement for the 2009 – 2011 biennium is for the NHDOT commissioner to submit quarterly reports
on the status of the highway fund balance to the House and Senate Ways and Means committees,
the General Court’s Fiscal Committee, the governor and the Executive Council (N.H. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §143.8).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Budget Assistant Office, Audit Division
Sunset Review No sunset reviews of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. chapter 2L
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by joint bipartisan committee; committee role is mainly advisory; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule; full legislature may permanently block rule
through legislation.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 107
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process NHDOT uses the Governor’s Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) process for
transportation planning and creation of the Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan, which by
statute must be updated every other year (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §228:99 and ch. 240). In this process, NHDOT gathers information and input from the local level, which is presented to the GACIT
and debated during public hearings. After the hearings, the governor reviews the plan, then submits
it to the General Court for consideration and approval. After further hearings, the General Court
adopts the plan. MPOs then incorporate approved projects into their plans, and NHDOT updates
the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan. NHDOT also developed a Long-Range Transportation Plan with extensive review by NHDOT, the General Court and others. The latest version was
released in July 2010.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Court biennially adopts the 10-year plan after holding public hearings. The General
Court also reviewed the Long-Range Transportation Plan.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. The governor approves the
NHDOT budget.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $286.5 million
FY 2010: $277.1 million
FY 2009: $258.0 million
FY 2008: $247.9 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to NHDOT as a state legislative appropriation as a lump
sum to the agency.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to NHDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; tolls; interest income; general
obligation bonds; revenue bonds (for turnpikes only). A surcharge on registration fees will sunset in
June 2011.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit and rail: General funds; bonds; Highway Fund. Ports: Other funds and fees.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (authorized but not used as of 2009); Build America Bonds; design-build (authorized in statute); advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of revenues from any charges or taxes on the operation of motor
vehicles or the sale or consumption of motor fuel to the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of public highways, including traffic supervision, and prohibits diversion of these revenues to
any other purpose (N.H. Const. part II, art. 6-a). The restrictions are on the revenues that feed the
highway fund, rather than on the fund itself.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, NHDOT is authorized to retain excess funds.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Local aid is generally allocated by the commissioner of transportation. State statute requires at least
12 percent of fuel tax and motor vehicle fee revenue to be allocated to the local highway aid fund,
which is distributed to cities, towns and unincorporated places by a statutory formula based on
population and class IV and V highway mileage. An additional amount is allotted to municipalities by a statutory formula based on population and valuation (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §235:23).
A portion of fuel tax revenues is distributed to highway districts through the highway and bridge
betterment program, by a statutory formula based on class I, II and II highway and highway bridge
mileage (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §235:23-a). A city or town may apply to the commissioner for discretionary state aid for class I, II or III highway projects; a local match is required (N.H. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §§235:10 et seq.). The state also allocates transportation funds to local entities through state
legislative appropriations.
New Hampshire
Transportation Governance and Finance
108 National Conference of State Legislatures
New Jersey
Organizational Facts
Legislature New Jersey Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (40 members)
Chambers: General Assembly (80 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,650
Department of
Transportation
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)
FTE: 3,443
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Modes administered by
separate agencies
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 84,463 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 335 (2009);
bridges: 6,520 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 6 shared with New York and 15 shared with Pennsylvania (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 418.2 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 993 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 448; public-use: 45; state-owned: 42 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 17,217,644 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 100,468, plus 3,761,330 shared with New York
(2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 155.6 million (2009); state-operated ferries: 1 shared with
Delaware (operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority) (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. Formal communication between NJDOT and the Legislature or legislative committees occurs at the budget committees’ hearings on the Executive Budget for NJDOT each spring, and under the statute governing the adoption and financing of the annual
Transportation Capital Program, as well as other transportation plans (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-22). NJDOT also advises the chairs, members
and staff of the two transportation committees of its position on pending legislation and, in many cases, offers suggestions for amendments.
NJDOT employs an assistant commissioner of government and community relations; an assistant commissioner of legislation, regulation and
multimodal services; and a director of policy, legislative and regulatory actions.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The commissioner of transportation is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the
governor during the governor’s term of office. The commissioner must be “qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of his office” (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1A-4). The state also has a legislatively created, seven-member Transportation Trust Fund Authority, the sole purpose
of which is to finance the annual capital programs of NJDOT and the New Jersey Transit Corporation. Five members are appointed by the
governor, within statutory requirements for party affiliation. Three of these are appointed to four-year terms with the advice and consent of the
Senate, and may be removed by the governor for cause; one must represent the interest of trade unions and another the interests of owners of
eligible construction firms. The fourth is appointed to a four-year term upon recommendation of the president of the Senate and the fifth to a
two-year term upon recommendation of the speaker of the General Assembly. The commissioner of transportation and state treasurer serve ex
officio (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-4).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the State Auditor. The Legislature reviews periodic operational audits conducted by this office.
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for NJDOT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes N.J. Stat. Ann. Title 27, Chapter 1A
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of rules by joint bipartisan committee; committee role is mainly advisory; no
objection constitutes approval of proposed rule; full Legislature may invalidate or prohibit proposed
or existing rules.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 109
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process NJDOT annually prepares a proposed Annual Transportation Capital Program. NJDOT selects and
prioritizes projects for the program in consultation with MPOs. The commissioner of transportation
then submits it to the Legislature; either chamber may return it with objections or recommended
modifications (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-22). The Legislature approves the program as part of the annual appropriations act.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature approves the Annual Transportation Capital Program as part of the annual appropriations act. It also has some discretion in how it appropriates transportation funds. Constitutional
dedication of revenues is considered binding, but the appropriations act traditionally takes precedence over statutory dedication language.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. The Transportation Trust Fund Act caps
bonding at $1.6 billion annually. The cap is reduced by any revenue appropriations in excess of $895
million (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-9).
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.6 billion*
FY 2010: $1.6 billion*
FY 2009: $1.6 billion*
FY 2008: $1.6 billion*
*These numbers are for the NJDOT/NJ TRANSIT Transportation Capital Program only. In addition, in
FY 2011, NJ TRANSIT has a total operating budget of $1.8 billion.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds that support the capital program, like other funding of state government activities, is constitutionally subject to appropriation by law through the annual appropriations
act (N.J. Const. art. VIII, §1, ¶2). Any federal funds that become available to the state for transportation projects that have not been appropriated to NJDOT in the annual appropriations act are
deemed appropriated and may, subject to approval by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee and
the state treasurer, be expended for any qualified purpose (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-21).
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are generally legislatively appropriated as a lump sum appropriation to the
Transportation Trust Fund, from which they are appropriated for specific projects as part of the annual appropriations act. The Transportation Trust Fund Act limits the final appropriation, exclusive
of federal funds, to $1.6 billion (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-21.1 and §27:1B-22.2).
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees and surcharges;
truck weight fees; interest income; $200 million from the general sales tax; $200 million from the
petroleum products gross receipts tax; contractual contributions; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation, ports and bridges: Funded by the same sources as highways through the multimodal Transportation Trust Fund. Dedicated revenue supports the state transportation system generally.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; PPPs (used for at least two transit projects); design-build
(no authorizing statute found, used as a component of at least three projects); traffic camera fees; toll
credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution dedicates certain revenues—including from the motor fuel tax, petroleum
products gross receipts tax and a portion of the general sales tax—to transportation system capital
improvements, and prohibits the Legislature from borrowing, appropriating or using any part of
these funds for any other purpose (N.J. Const. art. VIII, §2, ¶4). Statute dedicates other revenue
sources—including certain vehicle registration fees and contractual contributions—to the multimodal Transportation Trust Fund (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-20). The statutory dedication of revenues,
unlike that in the constitution, is not binding on the Legislature. The appropriation act takes precedence over dedication language in statute, and the Legislature has chosen not to fully appropriate the
statutory revenues eight times since 1985.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
No. Funds lapse at the end of the fiscal year to the general fund and are reappropriated to NJDOT
the following year.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, in some cases. In general, executive agencies may apply to the director of the Division of Budget
and Accounting to transfer appropriated funds. If approved, the funds are transferred and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer must be notified. Certain requests, however, must be submitted to
the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer for legislative approval.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Local aid is allocated by the commissioner of transportation, pursuant to annual legislative appropriations from the Transportation Trust Fund and subject to statutory minimums. Aid is allocated to
municipalities and counties by statutory formulas based on road mileage and population, then the commissioner determines the priority for funding projects based on certain criteria. Municipal aid is used
for road improvement projects and county aid for road and transit projects (N.J. Stat. Ann. §27:1B-25).
New Jersey
Transportation Governance and Finance
110 National Conference of State Legislatures
New Mexico
Organizational Facts
Legislature New Mexico Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (42 members)
Chambers: House (70 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
(odd years), approximately January – February
(even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,250
Department of
Transportation
New Mexico Department of Transportation
(NMDOT)
FTE: 2,448
Leadership: Commission; Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 142,939 (2009); bridges: 3,903 (2010)*
* The number of bridges above is as reported by the Federal Highway Administration. NMDOT reported
3,733 bridges as of April 2011.
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 12 million (2008)*
* The number above is as reported by the National Transit Database. The New Mexico Legislature
reported 16.1 million transit trips in 2010.
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,835 (2008)*
* The number above is as reported by the Association of American Railroads. The New Mexico Legislature reported 2,005 freight rail miles as of April 2011.
Aviation Airports (total): 170; public-use: 53; state-owned: 2 (2008)*
Enplanements per year: 2,950,912 (2009)
* The numbers of airports above are as reported by the National Association of State Aviation Officials.
NMDOT reported 178 total airports including 50 public-use airports as of April 2011.
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly during the legislative session. Frequent communication occurs between NMDOT and legislative analysts,
and communication occurs as needed between NMDOT and legislators. NMDOT has ongoing communication with the Legislature regarding transportation-related legislation all year, but especially from the time the fiscal year legislative cycle begins until the end of the session.
NMDOT does not employ legislative liaisons. Legislative committee staff members communicate with senior NMDOT staff directly in an
informal, hands-on manner as required to prepare budgets and legislation or provide answers for legislators.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The six members of the State Transportation Commission are appointed to staggered six-year terms by the governor, with the advice and
consent of the Senate and subject to statutory requirements for geographic representation and residency. Commissioners serve at the pleasure
of the governor. If the governor fails to follow the procedure for Senate confirmation, however, the Senate appoints and confirms the commissioners and must approve their removal (N.M. Stat. Ann. §67-3-2 to §67-3-5). The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor,
with the approval of the transportation commission and the advice and consent of the Senate (N.M. Stat. Ann. §67-3-23).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative
program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Finance Committee
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of NMDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes N.M. Stat. Ann. §67-1-1 through §67-16-14
Administrative Rules Review Executive review of rules.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 111
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The Legislature, the Department of Finance and Administration and NMDOT come to agreement during the legislative session on budget numbers and priorities. NMDOT then develops the
state’s Long-Range Multi-Modal Transportation Plan and coordinates the process for the Statewide
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), with input from MPOs, tribes and other stakeholders.
The State Transportation Commission provides advice and amends these plans as appropriate, given
changing needs in the state. The Legislature has oversight of and can comment upon the commission’s
amendments, but cannot change the amendments. The governor provides input through the budget
process and prior to State Transportation Commission meetings.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature is one of the three critical actors in the planning process, along with NMDOT
and the State Transportation Commission. The primary legislative role is to set budget priorities in
cooperation with the Department of Finance and Administration and NMDOT and then to approve
those priorities through committee action. The Legislature has oversight of and can comment upon
the commission’s amendments to the State Transportation Improvement Program, but cannot change
the amendments.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. Unusually, both the governor and a legislative agency (Legislative Finance Committee) propose comprehensive state budgets to the Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing (see N.M. Const. art. IX, §6; N.M. Stat.
Ann. §§67-3-59.1 et seq. and §67-3-72).
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $402.4 million
FY 2010: $446.7 million
FY 2009: $467.7 million
FY 2008: $445.9 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to NMDOT in several ways, including direct flow from
the U.S. DOT with no state legislative involvement; legislative appropriation at the agency level;
appropriation at the category level; appropriation to specific projects; and through approval of the
NMDOT transportation plan.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to NMDOT in the same ways as federal funds.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle
registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; general obligation bonds; revenue
bonds. More than 95 percent of NMDOT’s operating budget is dedicated to highways.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation, ports and bridges: Funded by the same sources as highways through the multimodal State Road Fund, which can be used for state transportation projects generally. Additional
sources of funds for aviation: Aircraft registration fees; aviation fuel tax.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); design-build (N.M. Stat. Ann.
§13-1-119.1 specifically excludes highway and road projects from design-build authorization; used
as a component of one project in 2002); weight-distance tax; traffic camera fees (collected by local
governments); impact fees; tapered matching; advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Fuel tax receipts go to the State Road Fund, the State Aviation Fund, the Motorboat Fuel Tax Fund,
local governments, qualified tribes and the general fund (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§7-1-6.7 et seq.). The
State Road Fund consists of transportation-related revenues including from the fuel tax, special fuel
tax, motor carrier use and trip tax, and vehicle registration fees. State statute dedicates the fund to
maintenance, construction and improvement of state transportation projects; federal allotments
under federal-aid road laws; and debt payments for state transportation revenue bonds (N.M. Stat.
Ann. §67-3-65.1). The Highway Infrastructure Fund is dedicated to state highway projects (N.M.
Stat. Ann. §67-3-59.2) and use of the State Aviation Fund is restricted to aviation-related purposes
(N.M. Stat. Ann. §64-1-15).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Funds are reverted to next fiscal year appropriations.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. Legislative approval is obtained through budget adjustment requests to the Legislature.
New Mexico
Transportation Governance and Finance
112 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
NMDOT distributes aid by formula. The NMDOT-administered Local Governments Road Fund
receives a portion of transportation-related revenues, including the fuel tax (N.M. Stat. Ann. §7-1-
6.28 and §7-1-6.39). NMDOT has discretion over some allocations to localities in financial hardship. Otherwise, the fund is distributed by percentage to the cooperative agreements program, the
municipal arterial program, school bus routes and the county arterial program. Funds for the county
arterial program are further allocated by a statutory formula based on road mileage. Preference for
the cooperative agreements program, the municipal arterial program and school bus routes must be
given to local entities that provide at least 25 percent of the project cost; distribution of an entitlement amount from the county arterial program requires a county to contribute at least 25 percent of
the entitlement (N.M. Stat. Ann. §67-3-28.2 and §67-3-32). A portion of fuel tax revenues is also
distributed directly to local entities (N.M. Stat. Ann. §7-1-6.9 and §7-1-6.27).
New Mexico
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 113
New York
Organizational Facts
Legislature New York Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (62 members)
Chambers: Assembly (150 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 16,000
Department of
Transportation
New York State Department of Transportation
(NYSDOT)
FTE: Approximately 8,700
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 242,920 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 512 (2009);
bridges: 17,364 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 26 plus 6 shared with New Jersey (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 3.83 billion (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,528 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 490; public-use: 147; state-owned: 2 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 42,588,961 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 3,761,330 shared with New Jersey (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 52.0 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. Interaction between NYSDOT and the Legislature occurs at all levels. Individual legislators reach out to
NYSDOT, and vice versa. Legislators and NYSDOT often work together on legislative initiatives. The legislative approval process includes
“departmental” bills that are sent to the governor’s office by NYSDOT and that NYSDOT wants to advance. NYSDOT staff participate in
public hearings in order to promote or refine transportation-related legislative initiatives. NYSDOT has an Office of External Relations that
maintains communication with stakeholders and governmental partners and provides advice and counsel to elected officials; the office contains
a State and Local Relations Bureau.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The commissioner of transportation is appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and holds office until the
end of the term of the governor by whom s/he was appointed and a successor is appointed and qualified (N.Y. Transportation Law §11).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program review or performance audit; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. NYSDOT is required to
submit numerous reports to the Legislature.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for NYSDOT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes N.Y. Transportation Law; N.Y. Highway Law
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by joint bipartisan commission; commission role is
mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process In general, NYSDOT develops the state’s transportation plans and the governor and the Legislature
are responsible for developing and approving the necessary funding to support these programs.
NYSDOT takes the lead role in advancing the planning process and developing the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) in collaboration with MPOs, local transportation agencies and
other stakeholders. NYSDOT oversees project identification, prioritization and the approval process
as part of a comprehensive planning process that includes public outreach. The governor’s approval
is required to advance the process. NYSDOT also oversees the state rail plan and aviation and port
issues.
Transportation Governance and Finance
114 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Limited. The Legislature authorizes programs and funding allocations in the state budget process.
State transportation plans—including multi-year capital programs—are usually prepared as part of
the budget, which is proposed by the governor and requires legislative approval. In addition, the
Legislature’s approval of a multi-year capital spending program often involves a memorandum of
understanding with specific statewide and regional goals that have been agreed upon by NYSDOT.
Legislators also typically work with NYSDOT to advance specific projects of interest or to resolve
specific issues.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins April 1. The governor proposes the budget and the Legislature
gives final approval.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $6.28 billion
FY 2010: $6.52 billion
FY 2009: $4.97 billion
FY 2008: $4.67 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to NYSDOT through state legislative appropriation at
the agency level; state legislation appropriation at the program or category level; and state legislative
approval of an NYSDOT transportation plan.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to NYSDOT through state legislative appropriation at
the agency level; state legislation appropriation at the program or category level; state legislative
appropriation at the project-specific level; and state legislative approval of an NYSDOT transportation plan.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; general funds; petroleum business tax; various other revenues; general obligation bonds. The
Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund no longer is able to fully support existing commitments
and now requires significant annual support from the state’s general fund. The New York State
Thruway Authority is supported by toll revenues; the authority is a separate operating entity, and
its finances are not part of the state budget.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation, ports and bridges: Funded by the same sources as highways through the
Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund. In 2009, the Legislature also enacted a payroll tax in
the 12-county region served by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to help support authority operations.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (used for
at least one transit project); design-build (no authorizing statute found, used as a component of
at least two projects); weight-distance tax; traffic camera fees; advance construction; toll credits or
“soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund is a multimodal fund that can be used for highways, airports, ports, rail, ferries and transit (N.Y. State Finance Law §89-b).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
NYSDOT typically obligates annually the majority of the capital program funding that is appropriated. Funds that are not obligated in the year of appropriation are reappropriated. NYSDOT
is largely funded by a dedicated fund; if revenues in the enacted budget exceed projections, the
additional money remains in the dedicated funds.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No. In general, legislative approval is not required for NYSDOT to be able to move funds from one
project to another.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Funds are appropriated to the Consolidated Local Highway Assistance Program, from which New
York City and the counties receive 41.4 percent by a statutory formula based on motor vehicle
registrations and highway mileage. The rest of the appropriated funds are distributed to cities,
counties, villages and towns by a formula based on vehicle miles of travel and, for municipalities
within each jurisdiction, lane miles (N.Y. Highway Law §10-c ).
New York
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 115
North Carolina
Organizational Facts
Legislature North Carolina General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (50 members)
Chambers: House (120 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – July
(odd years), approximately May–July (even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,800
Department of
Transportation
North Carolina Department of Transportation
(NCDOT)
FTE: 12,395
Leadership: Secretary; Transportation Board
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 262,871 (2009); bridges: 18,099 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 53.9 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,250 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 413; public-use: 112; state-owned: 1 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 23,773,561 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 184,268 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 10.7
million (2009); state-operated ferries: 4 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through DOT leadership and legislative committees. The primary formal means of communication between
NCDOT and the General Assembly are appearances of the secretary of transportation and members of the Board of Transportation before the
Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee (which meets several times per year) and before the legislative appropriations committees during session. NCDOT employs a dedicated legislative liaison, who serves as the main contact at the General Assembly and is responsible
for representing NCDOT’s interests in the development and passage of state laws. The liaison also works with NCDOT staff to manage issues
during the legislative session.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The 19 members of the Board of Transportation are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the governor. Fourteen members represent the
state’s highway divisions. Five at-large members must meet statutory requirements for knowledge and expertise. One must have knowledge of
environmental issues; one of ports and aviation; one of government-related finance and accounting; one must reside in a rural area and have
knowledge of rural transportation issues; and one must reside in an urban area and have knowledge of transit issues. The governor may remove
a member for any cause the governor finds sufficient, and must remove a member for certain convictions or violations (N.C. Gen. Stat. §143B350). The secretary of transportation is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the governor (N.C. Gen. Stat. §143B-9).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits;
reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The Joint Legislative Transportation
Oversight Committee can consider any transportation-related topic. The State Auditor regularly
reviews NCDOT programs.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Program Evaluation Division
Sunset Review No sunset reviews of state agencies. The General Assembly’s appropriations committees have, however, instituted “continuation reviews” of certain executive agency funds, programs and divisions to
determine if they should be continued.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes N.C. Gen. Stat. Chapter 136; N.C. Gen. Stat. §143B-346 to §143B-350
Administrative Rules Review Executive review of proposed and existing rules by the Rules Review Commission (public membership appointed by the General Assembly).
Transportation Governance and Finance
116 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Executive Order No. 2 (2009) required transportation projects to be awarded based on professional
standards that meet the needs of citizens and not other considerations. To support this, NCDOT
developed a “strategic prioritization process.” The initial process focused primarily on highway
projects and was based on data, multimodal benefits and stakeholder input inclusive of MPOs, rural
planning organizations and NCDOT staff. After projects were categorized, a series of investment
summits were held to determine funding allocation for each category using level-of-service grades.
Then, other financial and scheduling constraints were applied, including restrictions on funding
distribution. The initial prioritization effort was completed with the release of the draft State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) in June 2010. Executive Order No. 2 also transferred some
authority of the Board of Transportation to NCDOT, so the roles of these entities are in transition.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly reviews transportation plans, and NCDOT submits regular reports to the
Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee (N.C. Gen. Stat. §136-12). The General Assembly also reviews the NCDOT budget as part of the appropriation process. NCDOT selects and
approves highway projects, but transit and rail projects are approved as part of the appropriation
process.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. The budget of the Highway Fund is recommended by the governor and goes through the full legislative process. The
distribution of the Highway Trust Fund is determined by statute, the Board of Transportation and
NCDOT.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $2.72 billion
FY 2010: $2.62 billion
FY 2009: $2.93 billion
FY 2008: $2.96 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to NCDOT from the U.S. DOT, with no state legislative
involvement. These funds generally are project specific, and individual projects typically have no
legislative involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
All state spending must be authorized by appropriation as part of the budget approved by the General Assembly, either at the agency, program or category, or project-specific level. Highway projects
are selected by NCDOT, while many transit and rail projects or programs are approved as part of
the legislative appropriation process.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight
fees; tolls; interest income; general obligation bonds. The motor fuel excise tax includes a variable
component based on average wholesale price (see N.C. Gen. Stat. §105-449.80). The first toll
road project of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority—which operates as a separate business unit
within NCDOT—is set to open in 2011.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation and bridges: Funded by the same revenue sources as certain highways through
the multimodal Highway Fund, which is fed by fuel taxes, vehicle registration/license/title fees,
truck weight fees and interest income. Ports: General funds (not under NCDOT).
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized);
PPPs (authorized in statute with legislative approval requirements); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least three projects); traffic camera fees; tapered matching; advance
construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state has two transportation funds: The multimodal Highway Fund and the Highway Trust
Fund. The Highway Fund receives revenues from various transportation-related sources—including
fuel taxes—and is used for maintenance, transit and rail, aviation, ferries, the Division of Motor
Vehicles, the State Highway Patrol, local aid and secondary road improvement. The budget of the
Highway Fund is recommended by the governor and goes through the full legislative process. Some
continuing appropriations from this fund, however, are determined by statute (see N.C. Gen. Stat.
§§136-16.4 et seq.). The second fund, the Highway Trust Fund, receives funds from fuel taxes, motor vehicle use taxes, titling fees and interest. It is a construction budget for certain highways, local
aid, secondary road improvement and toll road construction. Distribution of the Highway Trust
Fund is determined by statute (N.C. Gen. Stat. §136-176), although the General Assembly sometimes overrides the statutes during the appropriations process. Specific projects for the trust fund are
selected by the Board of Transportation and NCDOT.
North Carolina
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 117
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Excess funds revert to the funds from which they came—the Highway Fund or the Highway Trust
Fund—and are available for expenditure.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes and no. Generally, legislative approval is required for transit and rail projects that have specific
appropriations, but not for highway projects that are selected by NCDOT.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The state provides aid to eligible municipalities from the Highway Fund and the Highway Trust
Fund. These so-called Powell Bill funds are appropriated by statutory formula based on population
and road mileage (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§136-41.1 et seq., §136-176 and §136-181). The funds must
be used for streets, bikeways or sidewalks (N.C. Gen. Stat. §136-41.3). North Carolina has a centralized transportation funding system, and secondary roads are built and maintained by NCDOT;
there are no county road departments.
North Carolina
Transportation Governance and Finance
118 National Conference of State Legislatures
North Dakota
Organizational Facts
Legislature North Dakota Legislative Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (47 members)
Chambers: House (94 members)
Session: Biennial, approximately January – April
(odd years only)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,150
Department of
Transportation
North Dakota Department of Transportation
(NDDOT)
FTE: 1,054.5
Leadership: Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 175,976 (2009); bridges: 4,418 (2009); toll bridges and
tunnels: 1 shared with Minnesota (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 0.7 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,478 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 310; public-use: 90; state-owned: 2 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 728,771 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal. NDDOT provides reports and updates to legislative committees regarding transportation issues. NDDOT is allowed to introduce legislation relating to any transportation topic, and can testify on any bill being considered by the Legislative Assembly. NDDOT has no
dedicated legislative liaison; it disseminates information to NDDOT stakeholders, including legislative bodies, through its Communications
Division.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The NDDOT director is appointed by the governor and serves at the pleasure of the governor (N.D. Cent. Code §24-02-01.3).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
The Legislative Assembly requires certain reports to be provided to legislative committees regarding
the use of transportation funding.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Council
Sunset Review No sunset reviews of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes N.D. Cent. Code title 24; N.D. Cent. Code §26.1-23-03; N.D. Cent. Code §26.1-41-02; N.D.
Cent. Code title 39; N.D. Cent. Code §49-10.1-17; N.D. Cent. Code chapter 49-17.1; N.D.
Cent. Code §49-17.2-27; N.D. Cent. Code §55-01-01; N.D. Cent. Code chapter 57-40.3
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of existing rules by interim committee; no objection constitutes approval of
proposed rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process NDDOT is responsible for developing and maintaining transportation plans for the state, including
the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan (TransAction) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). NDDOT identifies transportation needs, selects projects and develops
the plans, with input from political subdivisions and members of the public. The governor may
provide direction in determining investment priorities.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
No formal process exists to involve the Legislative Assembly in transportation planning, and transportation plans do not need legislative approval. The Legislative Assembly can provide input into
the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and occasionally provides direction for
specific plans. NDDOT may be asked to provide transportation plan updates to legislative committees.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 119
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of one 24-month budget; fiscal year begins July 1. NDDOT presents a budget
request to the Legislative Assembly that may be modified. The Legislative Assembly approves the
budget at the agency level.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state uses pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
2009 to 2011 biennium: $280.5 million
2007 to 2009 biennium: $248.5 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to NDDOT as a lump sum at the agency level. NDDOT
receives a lump sum legislative appropriation from all funding sources for roadway construction
projects. Appropriations do not include funding for specific projects.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are allocated to NDDOT as a lump sum legislative appropriation at
the agency level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees;
general funds; interest income.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds; vehicle registration/license/title fees; net unobligated balance. Aviation: Aircraft registration fees; aircraft excise tax; aircraft fuel tax. Bridges: Included with highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute, used
for at least one project); design-build (authorized in statute for two pilot projects).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts the use of revenues from motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle registration fees and license taxes to public highways (N.D. Const. art. X, §11). All transportation-related
revenue received by NDDOT is deposited into the State Highway Fund (N.D. Cent. Code §24-
02-41), which is used for NDDOT projects and administration. State Highway Fund priorities are
set forth in statute (N.D. Cent. Code §24-02-37). Revenues dedicated to aviation must be used for
airport projects approved by the Aeronautics Commission (N.D. Cent. Code §57-43.3-06 and §57-
40.5-09).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. However, NDDOT must receive legislative appropriations to spend any funds from state or
federal sources. Though any funding that is not spent by the end of the biennial budget cycle is retained by NDDOT, it must be reappropriated to be spent in a subsequent biennium. NDDOT may
seek legislative approval to spend any additional funds received that are above the biennial budget
appropriation.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A highway tax distribution fund is used to allocate state funding to counties and cities. The state
treasurer allocates the funds by statutory formula based on number of vehicles registered and population (N.D. Cent. Code § 54-27-19). The funds are subject to constitutional restrictions on the use
of revenue from motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle registration fees and license taxes (N.D. Const.
art. X, §11). A township highway aid fund is used to distribute funds to eligible townships. To
receive any funds, townships must provide 50 percent matching funds. The state treasurer allocates
these funds by statutory formula based on road miles. Funds must used for highway and bridge purposes (N.D. Cent. Code §54-27-19.1). NDDOT has discretion over how to allocate federal funds.
North Dakota
Transportation Governance and Finance
120 National Conference of State Legislatures
Ohio
Organizational Facts
Legislature Ohio General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (33 members)
Chambers: House (99 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,050
Department of
Transportation
Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
FTE: 5,536
Leadership: Director
Organizational structure: Modes administered by
separate agencies*
* ODOT is a multimodal agency organized by
functional division. Transit and aviation are administered by modal offices in ODOT’s Division of
Transportation System Development. Rail programs
are handled by the Ohio Rail Development Commission, an independent commission within ODOT.
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 262,024 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 241 (2009);
bridges: 28,033 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 2 shared with West Virginia (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 131.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 5,318 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 783; public-use: 174; state-owned: 6 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 9,877,234 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 90.6 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, limited. ODOT interacts with legislators and testifies in hearings about transportation-related legislation. No unique,
formalized methods exist by which ODOT influences or provides input about transportation-related legislation. ODOT also interacts with the
General Assembly through making required reports and responding to legislative requests for information. ODOT has a dedicated legislative
affairs coordinator.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The director of transportation is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for the duration of the term of the
appointing governor, and is subject to removal at the pleasure of the governor (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §121.03, Ohio Const. art. III, §21). The
director also may be removed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate for cause as specified (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3.04).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Legislative oversight generally is ad
hoc. Among the reports required are a biennial report to the General Assembly and the governor,
approved by the Transportation Review Advisory Council, on the selection, prioritization and progress of transportation capacity projects (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §5512.06). ODOT also must provide
reports on its transactions, proceedings and expenditures for each fiscal year and a fiscal forecast at
least biennially (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §5501.06, §5501.20, §5501.52 and §5512.04).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office None.
Sunset Review The state conducted sunset reviews from 2009 to 2010 (per 2004 Ohio Laws, H. 516), but not of
ODOT. Under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §101.83, the Transportation Review Advisory Council was to
sunset on Dec. 31, 2010, if not renewed; 2010 Ohio Laws, H. 495, however, postponed operation
of this law until July 1, 2011.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §121.02; Ohio Rev. Code Ann. Title LV [55].
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of new, amended, rescinded and existing rules by a joint bipartisan committee;
committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 121
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Projects are nominated by ODOT, rail development commissions, MPOs, transit and port authorities, local governments and other authorized entities. The director of transportation develops the
project selection process for prioritizing new transportation capacity projects (Ohio Rev. Code
Ann. §§5512.02 et seq.). The director also serves on the Transportation Review Advisory Council
with eight other appointees. The council reviews and ranks nominated projects. The council was
legislatively created in 1997 to bring an open, numbers-driven system to choosing major new transportation projects. It is required to hold no more than six public hearings per year and accept public
comment on new projects (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §5512.05).
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Minimal legislative involvement. The General Assembly sets general appropriation limits, within
which funds are allocated to projects and programs. The General Assembly historically has refrained
from establishing or controlling specific projects by legislation. ODOT submits a biennial report
to the General Assembly and the governor, with approval of the Transportation Review Advisory
Council, on the selection, prioritization and progress of transportation capacity projects (Ohio Rev.
Code Ann. §5512.06).
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. State executive agencies,
including ODOT, submit a budget request to the Office of Budget and Management, which then
makes recommendations to the governor. The governor submits a budget bill to the General Assembly, and has line item veto power over the legislatively approved version.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. State motor fuel tax revenues are supplemented by state highway bonds that are retired with motor fuel tax proceeds and by GARVEE
bonds that are retired primarily with federal-aid highway program revenues.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.29 billion
FY 2010: $1.32 billion
FY 2009: $1.20 billion
FY 2008: $1.32 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to ODOT by legislative appropriation based on line items
rather than by programs or projects. The governor’s budget submission to the General Assembly,
however, includes a document that details the programs funded within each line item.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal transportation funds, state transportation funds are allocated to ODOT by legislative
appropriation based on line items.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; leases of rightof-way; highway logo sign program; general obligation bonds; miscellaneous. The Ohio Turnpike
Commission is not a state agency and is not appropriated state funds; it manages the turnpike using
revenues from tolls; service concession agreements; truck weight fees; a portion of the tax on fuel
sold at turnpike gas stations; and other sources.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General fund appropriations for transit system operating and capital grant support. Rail (via
a dedicated fund): General funds; loan repayments; loan servicing fees; permit fees; private contributions. Aviation (via a dedicated fund): General funds; aircraft registration fees. Bridges: Included
with highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (separate federally and state-only
capitalized accounts); PPPs (authorized by 2011 Ohio Laws, House Bill 114); design-build (authorized in statute); traffic camera fees; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.” The state
transportation budget increased the limit on ODOT design-build contracts from $250 million to $1
billion for FY 2010 – 2011 only.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts expenditure of revenues from fuel tax and vehicle fees to certain uses,
including highway obligations; construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways and bridges; other statutory highway purposes; state enforcement of traffic laws; and hospitalization of indigent people injured in motor vehicle accidents on public highways (Ohio Const. art.
XII, §5a; also in Ohio Rev. Code. Ann. §5501.05). State statute provides that, to the extent practicable, Ohio products, materials, services and labor shall be used in any project financed in whole
or in part from the Highway Capital Improvement Fund (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §5528.53). Use of
the Rail Development Fund is restricted to rail-related purposes (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §4981.09).
Use of the Airport Assistance fund is restricted to maintenance and capital improvements of publicly
owned airports (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §4561.21(B)).
Ohio
Transportation Governance and Finance
122 National Conference of State Legislatures
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, inasmuch as the transportation budget bill routinely includes language permitting unencumbered appropriations remaining at the end of one fiscal year to be reappropriated into the next. Reappropriations are subject to the approval of the director of the Office of Budget and Management.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Portions of each of the five levies making up the state fuel tax are allocated to counties, townships
and municipalities by formula. The percentages allocated to municipalities as a whole then are
distributed to individual municipalities by formula based on number of motor vehicle registrations.
The percentages for counties as a whole are distributed among counties equally, and the same is
done for townships. The main operating budget appropriates these distributions in two line items
corresponding to the funds that receive the revenue, the Gasoline Excise Tax Fund (created in Ohio
Rev. Code Ann. §5735.27) and the State and Local Government Highway Distribution Fund (created in Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §5735.23(B)(1)). State statute generally applies the restrictions on fuel
tax revenue used by the state to fuel tax revenue distributed to local governments (Ohio Rev. Code
Ann. §5735.27). Likewise, a portion of the revenue from motor vehicle license taxes is distributed to
local governments according to a statutory formula. Five percent of these funds are divided equally
among all of the counties in the state, 9 percent among all counties by a formula based on county
road miles and 5 percent among townships by a formula based on township road miles (Ohio Rev.
Code Ann. §4501.04). License tax revenues are appropriated mainly in one line item in the main
operating budget. Sub-allocated federal funding for local projects also is included within the ODOT
budget and appropriated in two line items, one for federal funds and the other for local matching
dollars. ODOT has discretion in allocating these funds to various programs, and selects projects to
fund using a criteria-based process.
Ohio
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 123
Oklahoma
Organizational Facts
Legislature Oklahoma Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (48 members)
Chambers: House (101 members)
Session: Annual, approximately February – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,800
Department of
Transportation
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
(ODOT)
FTE: 2,850 (authorized)
Leadership: Secretary of Transportation (governor’s cabinet); Transportation Commission;
Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 234,747 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 596 (2009);
bridges: 23,692 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 6.9 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,240 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 448; public-use: 149; state-owned: 4 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 3,154,263 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 3.8 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through the DOT legislative liaison. ODOT communicates with the Legislature mainly through the dedicated legislative liaison. The legislative liaison maintains constant contact with members of the Legislature, works to influence relevant legislation,
and remains available to respond to legislative requests and inquiries. ODOT also provides legislation for consideration.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is appointed to the governor’s cabinet by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at
the pleasure of the governor (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 74, §10.3). The eight members of the Transportation Commission are appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 69, §302), within statutory requirements for residency and geographic
representation. The ODOT director is elected by a majority vote of the commission and serves at the pleasure of the commission (Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 69, §305).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the State Auditor and Inspector. This organizationally independent office provides oversight through audits. The Legislature also conducts annual performance reviews of all appropriated
state agencies.
Sunset Review The state’s process for sunset reviews is currently inactive.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 69
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by standing committee; committee role is mainly
advisory; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule; the full Legislature may suspend rules
by resolution.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The entire planning process for projects on the highway system is completed within ODOT.
MPOs are responsible for projects that are eligible for local surface transportation program funding. ODOT submits the eight-year construction work plan to the Transportation Commission for
approval. After the plan is approved, it is delivered to the governor and the Legislature and made
publicly available on the ODOT Web site, and projects are initiated.
Transportation Governance and Finance
124 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
No formal role. The Legislature in recent years has avoided directing ODOT about project prioritization. The Legislature directs certain expenditures towards such elements as public transit, rail and
other modes besides roads and bridges.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. Unusually, the Legislature develops a budget completely
separately from the governor’s.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. All bond financing must be authorized by
the Legislature in a bill or joint resolution.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $592.6 million
FY 2010: $576.3 million
FY 2009: $412.9 million
FY 2008: $396.2 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to ODOT from the U.S. DOT, with no state legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
A portion of fuel tax and motor vehicle fee revenues are apportioned to the State Transportation
Fund directly. A maximum amount of expenditure in a fiscal year is authorized by the Legislature at
the program or category level. In addition, legislation enacted in 2005 annually increases funding to
ODOT through the newly created “ROADS” Fund, whereby each year $30 million is added to the
previous year’s apportionment until the annual amount reaches $370 million. This money comes
from the general fund as authorized by the State Board of Equalization.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; general funds; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Fuel taxes; general funds. Rail: $2 million per year from the “ROADS” fund created in
2005. Aviation: Aviation fuel tax; aircraft registration fees and taxes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
State statute apportions gasoline tax receipts to the State Transportation Fund, the High Priority State Bridge Revolving Fund, the Public Transit Revolving Fund, the Oklahoma Tourism and
Passenger Rail Revolving Fund and local entities (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68, §500.6). State statute
dedicates use of all money accruing to the credit of the State Transportation Fund—including
gasoline tax and other revenues—to construction, repair and maintenance of state highways, other
transportation systems and such other transportation purposes as the Legislature may authorize
(Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, §1501.1). State statute also dedicates the use of the Public Transit Revolving Fund (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 69, §§4031 et seq.) and the Oklahoma Tourism and Passenger Rail
Revolving Fund (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 66, §325) as well as the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
Revolving Fund, which receives revenues from aircraft fuel taxes and registration fees (Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 3, §91).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. ODOT is authorized to retain any excess funds. All appropriations and authorizations are subsequently transferred to various revolving funds within ODOT, making them non-fiscal. However,
the maximum amount per year of expenditure from the State Transportation Fund is legislatively
authorized.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A percentage of motor fuel taxes is distributed to counties and incorporated cities and towns by statutory formulas based on road mileage, population, area and/or other formulas developed by ODOT
and approved by the DOT County Advisory Board. Funds allocated to cities and towns must be
used for construction, repair and maintenance of streets and alleys. Funds allocated to counties must
be used to construct and maintain county highways and bridges and cannot be diverted (Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 68, §500.6).
Oklahoma
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 125
Oregon
Organizational Facts
Legislature Oregon Legislative Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (30 members)
Chambers: House (60 members)
Session: Ballot Measure 71 (2010) changed from
biennial (odd years only) to annual (shorter session in even years)*
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,800
*This change may affect the descriptions below.
Department of
Transportation
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)
FTE: 4,538 (4,635 total positions)
Leadership: Commission; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation
mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 122,163 (2009); bridges: 7,255 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 2 shared with Washington (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 122.9 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,155 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 478; public-use: 97; state-owned: 27 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 7,331,244 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 178,588, plus 128 shared with Idaho and Washington (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 26.9 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. ODOT personnel testify regularly on the status of ODOT programs before House and Senate Committees, the Joint
Ways and Means Committee and the Legislative Emergency Board. ODOT introduces agency bills at the beginning of every session. ODOT
provides information to the Legislative Fiscal Office to develop fiscal impact statements for proposed bills; occasionally gives technical support
for bill and amendment drafting; and testifies on transportation-related measures. ODOT employs two dedicated legislative liaisons who provide an interface between the Legislative Assembly and ODOT’s director and division administrators. The liaisons coordinate legislative committee testimony by ODOT personnel and provide periodic updates to the Legislative Assembly on activities of ODOT and the Transportation
Commission. Legislative leadership, the co-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee and its Transportation Subcommittee, and the chairs of
the House and Senate Committees on Transportation communicate regularly with ODOT leadership and liaisons, and occasionally request
background information on ODOT programs, procedures and past legislation.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The five members of the Oregon Transportation Commission are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, subject to confirmation by the
Senate and within statutory requirements for residency, geographic representation and party affiliation (Or. Rev. Stat. §184.612; Or. Const. art.
III, §4). The director of transportation is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and holds office at the pleasure of
the governor (Or. Rev. Stat. §184.620).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative review
of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests
for information. Required reports include a Highway Construction Plan (Or. Rev. Stat. §184.658)
and a report on audits of ODOT (Or. Rev. Stat. §184.649). Other required ODOT reports to
legislative committees concern the flat fee weight-mile tax alternative (Or. Rev. Stat. §825.482) and
the congestion pricing pilot program (2009 Or. Laws, Chap. 865).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office None.
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Or. Rev. Stat. §184.610 to §184.639
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of existing rules by the Office of Legislative Counsel; office role is mainly advisory;
office may suspend rule; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
126 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The Transportation Commission—in consultation with stakeholders—reviews, updates criteria for,
and selects projects for the four-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). ODOT’s
primary responsibility is in its capacity as staff and support for the commission. Other entities
that participate in the STIP process include ODOT divisions and regions; Area Commissions on
Transportation; the Oregon Freight Advisory Committee; tribal and local governments; MPOs; and
transportation management areas. ODOT staffs some of the Area Commissions on Transportation
that organize stakeholder input for regional transportation planning. ODOT prepares, publishes
and presents the draft STIP for review and comment in public hearings across the state.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislative Assembly does not approve the STIP. The Legislative Assembly has in recent years
enacted legislation that identified and funded specific transportation projects, including multimodal
projects and highway projects (see Or. Rev. Stat. §§367.080 et seq.; 2009 Or. Laws, Chap. 865).
The Legislative Assembly also approves the two-year budget plan for transportation projects.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of one 24-month budget; fiscal year begins July 1. ODOT prepares a two-year
budget request, which is approved by the Transportation Commission, then by the governor. The
governor’s proposed budget is presented to the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly,
through the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, hold public hearings, incorporates any legislative
policy initiatives, makes modifications based on legislative priorities and adopts an appropriation
bill, which is subject to gubernatorial approval or veto.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. Bonding, which historically had been low
in Oregon, was substantially increased by three bonding programs passed in 2001, 2002 and 2003,
known collectively as the Oregon Transportation Improvement Act. The resulting bond revenue
now supplies most state funds available for highways.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.36 billion
FY 2010: $1.36 billion
FY 2009: $1.11 billion
FY 2008: $1.11 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal formula funds for transportation flow directly to ODOT with no state legislative appropriation. However, ODOT is subject to an expenditure limit on those funds that is set by the Legislative
Assembly on a biennial basis. Legislative approval also is required for ODOT to apply for federal
grants that are not allocated by formula (Or. Rev. Stat. §291.375).
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds flow directly from the revenue source to ODOT but, like federal funds,
are subject to the biennial expenditure limit. Some state funds are appropriated to specific projects
in special legislation.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds; tobacco tax revenue; personal identification card fees; a portion of fuel tax
attributable to non-road uses; Mass Transit Tax (administrated by the Department of Administrative Services, not ODOT). Rail: Custom license plate fees; safety inspection and rail regulation fees;
fares. Aviation: Jet fuel taxes; aviation fuel taxes; lease income; pilot registration fees; aircraft registration fees. Air, marine, rail and transit projects also can receive funds from the Multimodal Transportation Fund, which is supported by lottery-backed revenue bonds (Or. Rev. Stat. §367.080).
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs
(authorized in statute); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least two
projects); vehicle-miles traveled fees (pilot project); weight-distance tax; container fees; traffic camera fees; impact fees; tapered matching; advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts the use of motor fuel tax and motor vehicle-related revenues to
highways, roads, streets roadside rest areas, administrative expenses and bond repayment. Taxes or
excises levied on ownership, operation or use of recreational vehicles and snowmobiles may be used
for parks or recreation areas; taxes on commercial vehicles may be used to enforce commercial vehicle regulations (Or. Const. art. IX, §3a). Net revenues from dedicated taxes and fees are deposited
into the State Highway Fund, to be used only for the purposes authorized by law (Or. Rev. Stat.
§366.505). Revenues from taxes on jet fuel and aviation gasoline are deposited in the State Aviation
Account and statutorily dedicated to aviation (Or. Rev. Stat. §319.417). The Multimodal Transportation Fund, supported by lottery-backed revenue bonds, is statutorily dedicated to air, marine, rail
and transit projects, and cannot be used for projects that are eligible for motor fuel tax expenditures
(Or. Rev. Stat. §367.080).
Oregon
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 127
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes and no. Other than general funds, excess highway funds are retained in the ODOT ending
balance that serves as a beginning balance for the next biennial budget. Excess general funds are
reverted to the general state ending balance for reallocation by the Legislative Assembly. ODOT
cannot spend funds in excess of its expenditure limit without legislative approval.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, in some cases. Generally, ODOT must seek approval from the Transportation Commission,
not the Legislative Assembly, to move funds between projects. In 2009, however, the Legislative Assembly allocated funds to 37 specific projects and 12 local governments; these allocations cannot be
changed except by legislative action.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The State Highway Fund is distributed among the state, cities and counties for road construction
and maintenance. ODOT allocates a portion of several transportation-related revenues, including
fuel tax receipts, from the State Highway Fund to counties and cities by statutory formula. Funds
are distributed to counties by a statutory formula based on vehicle registrations, with additional
funds distributed to counties with a road base funding deficit in the prior fiscal year. Funds are
distributed to cities by a statutory formula based on population (Or. Rev. Stat. §§366.739 et seq.).
State funds also are allocated to local entities through state legislative appropriations and ODOT
discretionary allocation of funds.
Oregon
Transportation Governance and Finance
128 National Conference of State Legislatures
Pennsylvania
Organizational Facts
Legislature Pennsylvania General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (50 members)
Chambers: House (203 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 4,100
Department of
Transportation
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
(PennDOT)
FTE: 12,833 (authorized)
Leadership: Commission; Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 255,552 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 533 (2009);
bridges: 22,359 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 15 shared with New Jersey (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 445.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 5,139 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 739; public-use: 134; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 20,475,824 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 203,164 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 90.8
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. The House and Senate Committees on Transportation share their agendas with the PennDOT Office of
Legislative Affairs and the governor’s office. The committees also have maintained an open line of communication with PennDOT officials.
PennDOT provides office staff to assist legislators with driver licensing and motor vehicle issues. The PennDOT Office of Legislative Affairs
provides a liaison staff of five to interact with legislators and legislative staff.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The State Transportation Commission consists of 15 members including, by virtue of their office, the chairs and minority chairs of the Senate
and House transportation committees. The secretary of transportation serves as chair of the commission. The remaining 10 members are appointed to six-year terms by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and within statutory requirements for residency,
party affiliation and general characteristics, as well as restrictions on holding other state employment. At least one appointee must hold at least
a private pilot’s license and derive part of his or her livelihood from aviation-related activities or be otherwise actively involved in aviation, and
at least two must be members of the board of directors of a transportation authority at the time of appointment. Each member is appointed to
represent the interests of the state, not a region or district (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 71, §178). The secretary of transportation is appointed by
the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 71, §67.1).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. This committee periodically conducts performance
audits.
Sunset Review The state’s process for sunset reviews is currently inactive.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes 1970 Pa. Laws, Act 120 (found in Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 71, art. 20); 1836 Pa. Laws, Act 169
(The General Road Law); 1945 Pa. Laws, Act 428 (The State Highway Law); 1984 Pa. Laws, Act
119 (Rail Freight Preservation and Improvement Act)
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of existing rules by joint bipartisan standing committee; committee may suspend
rule; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 129
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Every two years, PennDOT—in cooperation with other planning partners—prepares and submits to
the State Transportation Commission a multimodal, fiscally constrained Twelve-Year Transportation
Program that details transportation improvements to be undertaken during the next 12 years, along
with anticipated schedules and costs. Projects are identified by diverse stakeholders, then prioritized
by MPOs, rural planning organizations or county planning agencies in conjunction with PennDOT.
Other modal organizations are provided the opportunity for representation on the MPO/rural
planning organization coordinating and technical committees. The program is approved by the State
Transportation Commission.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The State Transportation Commission includes legislative leaders. Legislators generally can provide
testimony for specific projects during the update of the Twelve-Year Transportation Program. On
occasion, legislators also are appointed to MPO and rural planning organization boards.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing, with heavier reliance on pay-as-you-go. Bond
financing includes $200 million per year for bridges; $150 million per year for transit, aviation and
rail; and bonding by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for transit and highways.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $4.18 billion
FY 2010: $4.65 billion
FY 2009: $4.48 billion
FY 2008: $4.36 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to PennDOT from the U.S. DOT. The General Assembly
has statutorily authorized PennDOT to expend federal funds for highway projects so no further
appropriation is needed (1970 Pa. Laws, Act 120). Federal funds for transit systems, however, are
appropriated at the program or category level when not directly sent to a transit agency by the U.S.
DOT. Similar to highway funds, federal aviation funds are executively authorized by the governor.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
Spending levels are generally determined by the available revenues in the various funds established
for transportation. Some state transportation funds flow directly to PennDOT from the revenue
source by statutory formula; others are appropriated in the annual budget bill.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls; interest income; general obligation bonds;
revenue bonds. Revenue bonds are issued by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Tolls are used
by the turnpike and a few bridges connecting to New Jersey. Fuel taxes include an oil company
franchise tax for maintenance and construction, which is a variable rate tax adjusted annually within
a wholesale price floor of 90 cents and ceiling of $1.25 (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 75, §9004).
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Portion of the sales tax; payments from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission generated by
tolls and revenue bonds; transfer from the Lottery Fund; rental car excise tax; tire tax; general obligation bonds. Rail: General fund appropriations; portion of the sales tax dedicated to transit. Aviation:
Restricted revenue account primarily from tax on jet fuel. Ports: General fund. Bridges: Portion of
Turnpike Commission payments; restricted account for bridges using an excise tax on diesel fuel and
a portion of registration fees; supplemented with the same funding as is used for highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (separate federally and state-only capitalized accounts); design-build (authorized in statute); traffic camera fees (limited program in Philadelphia
only); impact fees; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of motor fuel taxes and registration and license fees to public
highways and bridges, administration thereof and public safety thereon, and prohibits diversion to
other purposes. The same section restricts use of aviation fuel excise taxes to aviation purposes and
prohibits diversion (Pa. Const. art. VIII, §11). State statute dedicates use of the Aviation Restricted
Revenue Account to aviation purposes (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 71, §210). Use of the Public Transportation Trust Fund is statutorily restricted to transit purposes (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 74, §1506),
and use of the Highway Bridge Improvement Restricted Account to bridges (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit.
75, §§9619 et seq.).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, in most cases. The general rule in the case of transportation is that unspent money is lapsed
back into the dedicated transportation fund from which it came. The exception is rail freight, which
is legislatively appropriated in the annual budget bill. Unspent rail freight funds lapse back into the
general fund and lose the dedication for rail projects.
Pennsylvania
Transportation Governance and Finance
130 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No, but funds cannot be spent outside the appropriations or statutory revenue streams from which
they were made. In addition, transit funding cannot be moved to a highway project or vice versa.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Funds to local governments are mainly distributed by statutory formula. Municipalities receive a
certain amount of fuel tax receipts, a portion of the Motor License Fund and supplemental funding for municipal highway maintenance as appropriated by the General Assembly. These funds are
distributed by a statutory formula based on population and road mileage (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit.
72, §2615.4; tit. 75, §8915.6; tit. 75, §9301; and tit. 75, §9511). Counties receive a certain amount
of liquid fuel tax receipts based on a historic formula (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 75, §9010) and a portion of the Motor License Fund based on bridge deck area (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 75, §8915.6). A
limited amount of funding to local governments is made for selected bridge projects and for transferring state-owned roads to local ownership.
Pennsylvania
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 131
Rhode Island
Organizational Facts
Legislature Rhode Island General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (38 members)
Chambers: House (75 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,450
Department of
Transportation
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
(RIDOT)
FTE: 780.2
Leadership: Director
Organizational structure: Modes administered by
separate agencies
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 13,513 (2009); bridges: 757 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 1 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 21.9 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 87 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 7; public-use: 7; state-owned: 6 (2010)
Enplanements per year: 2,170,616 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 8.4 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly informal and through the DOT legislative liaison. House and Senate fiscal staff interact with deputy directors, financial administrators and other RIDOT staff for issues involving RIDOT program status, expenditure patterns and statutory compliance. RIDOT employs a
dedicated legislative liaison who attends the General Assembly during the legislative session. During the months when the General Assembly is
in session, legislators and legislative staff communicate with RIDOT about legislative and municipal issues, often through the RIDOT legislative liaison. The liaison also helps legislators work through any concerns they may have with RIDOT.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The director of transportation is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate (R.I. Gen. Laws §42-13-1).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Auditor General. Neither the legislative Office of the Auditor General nor the executive
Bureau of Audits has recently audited RIDOT.
Sunset Review The state’s process for sunset reviews is currently inactive.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes R.I. Gen. Laws ch. 24; R.I. Gen. Laws ch. 91; R.I. Gen. Laws ch. 37
Administrative Rules Review No formal review process.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Because of the state’s size, transportation planning is carried out on a consolidated statewide basis
rather than at state, regional and metropolitan levels, as in other states. Projects are selected by the
Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) of the State Planning Council; RIDOT has one of 24
seats on the TAC, which meets monthly. The Statewide Planning Program within the Department of
Administration—in collaboration with the TAC, RIDOT and the statewide transit operator—prepares the state’s long-range planning document and the four-year state Transportation Improvement
Program (TIP) for adoption by the State Planning Council. The council also serves as the single
statewide MPO for the state. The governor also makes a series of recommendations for state-generated transportation funding. The planning process must be in accordance with the Unified Planning
Work Program for Transportation Planning that is approved annually by the council.
Transportation Governance and Finance
132 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
In recent years, the legislative role has been to approve the five-year RIDOT capital plan, appropriate additional revenues for transportation outside the federal apportionment, set motor fuel tax rates
to generate revenues for transportation, and include referendum questions on the ballot for voters
to approve initiatives funded by general obligation bonds. The General Assembly does not have an
active role in prioritizing federally funded projects, but does when state capital funds are used.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. RIDOT’s budget request is submitted to the State Budget
Office in the Department of Administration, the House, the Senate and the governor’s office. The
Budget Office provides analysis and recommendations to the governor, who then prepares a unified
budget request for all state departments and agencies. The General Assembly makes adjustments to
proposed expenditures and revenues, and appropriates funding at the program level.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Bonding is the major source of financing; about 25 percent is pay-as-you-go.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $152.4 million
FY 2010: $177.9 million
FY 2009: $181.3 million
FY 2008: $149.4 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to RIDOT through a state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds also are allocated to RIDOT through a state legislative appropriation at
the program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds; fuel taxes; general obligation bonds.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized);
PPPs (reported in survey; no authorizing statute found); design-build (reported in survey; no authorizing statute found); traffic camera fees; impact fees; creation of nonprofit, quasi-public entities
(one for transit and one to operate the state’s single toll bridge).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
State statute restricts use of motor fuel tax revenues to transportation purposes. Fuel tax receipts are
deposited primarily to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Fund, with a certain portion set aside
for transit (R.I. Gen. Laws §31-36-20). General obligation bonds must be used for the purposes set
forth in the ballot question and may not exceed the amount authorized by the voters.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Excess federal funds can be carried forward into the next fiscal year. Certain state funds, such
as capital funds, are automatically reappropriated to the following fiscal year. Revenues in excess of
budgeted amounts are retained in the fund dedicated to transportation uses.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, if RIDOT is using funds derived from the state fuel tax or other state sources.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Funds for road construction and maintenance are allocated by RIDOT to cities and towns by a
formula based on road miles (R.I. Gen. Laws §24-8-17). RIDOT also allocates state aid for maintenance of town highways and bridges, up to one-fifth of an eligible town’s appropriations for these
purposes (R.I. Gen. Laws §24-5-4). Rhode Island does not have organized county governments.
Rhode Island
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 133
South Carolina
Organizational Facts
Legislature South Carolina General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (46 members)
Chambers: House (124 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,100
Department of
Transportation
South Carolina Department of Transportation
(SCDOT)
FTE: 4,861
Leadership: Commission; Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 139,952 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 24 (2009);
bridges: 9,252 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 8.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,289 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 214; public-use: 68; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 3,093,818 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 941,091 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 16.0
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, proactive. The General Assembly—especially the four committees that handle most transportation issues—often
contact SCDOT for input on bills and budget provisos before they are scheduled for public hearing. The General Assembly notifies SCDOT of
hearings on any transportation-related bills so SCDOT may testify. The General Assembly has a lower level of staff support, and expects state
agencies like SCDOT to perform research when requested. SCDOT monitors bills and contacts key legislators when bills will affect SCDOT.
The secretary of transportation also contacts legislators regarding important or urgent transportation matters. SCDOT employs a dedicated
legislative liaison.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
Six of the seven members of the Commission of the Department of Transportation are elected to four-year terms by the legislators residing
in each of the state’s six congressional districts, and can be removed by the governor for cause (S.C. Code Ann. §1-3-240). The seventh is an
at-large member appointed by the governor who serves at the pleasure of the governor. Such elections or appointments must take into account
race and gender so as to represent all segments of the state’s population to the greatest extent possible. Candidates and appointees must be
screened by the Joint Transportation Review Committee to determine whether they meet statutory requirements for education and experience.
No legislator or legislator’s immediate family member is eligible (S.C. Code Ann. §§57-1-310 et seq.). The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate and within statutory requirements for knowledge and ability, and serves at
the pleasure of the governor (S.C. Code Ann. §57-1-410). The gubernatorial appointment of the secretary of transportation expires in 2015, at
which time the responsibility reverts to the commission (2007 S.C. Acts, Act 114).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits;
reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Various reports are produced by the
State Comptroller as well as SCDOT at the request of the General Assembly. State law requires two
annual audits of SCDOT, one by the Budget and Control Board, with copies made available to the
governor and the legislative oversight committees.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Audit Council. The council published an audit of SCDOT in 2006 that resulted in restructuring SCDOT to place it in the governor’s cabinet, setting up a legislative committee to oversee
the agency, and allowing for periodic audits (S.C. Code Ann. §57-1-490).
Sunset Review No sunset review of state agencies or programs.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes S.C. Code Ann. tit. 57
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a standing committee; no objection constitutes approval of
proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
134 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The commission develops a long-range Statewide Transportation Plan and must also approve a
Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), with input from MPOs, councils of government and SCDOT staff. The commission selects and approves projects, according to a statutory list
of criteria (S.C. Code Ann. §57-1-370).
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
When SCDOT was restructured in 2007, the General Assembly provided criteria for project
prioritization in statute. The General Assembly has no formal role in the project selection process.
Legislators have the opportunity to participate in public hearings, and the commission is sensitive to
their interests.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $517.3 million
FY 2010: $581.2 million
FY 2009: $524.1 million
FY 2008: $529.4 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are considered “other” revenues to the state and flow directly to
SCDOT from the U.S. DOT. The General Assembly approves the SCDOT budget as “other funds”
in total and at the program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are restricted funds classified as “other funds” in the state Appropriation Act. The General Assembly approves the SCDOT budget as “other funds” in total and at the
program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Fuel taxes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized
in statute, used for the Southern Connector); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least five projects); impact fees; tapered matching; advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Fuel tax revenues go to counties, SCDOT and the State Highway Fund. State statute dedicates a
portion of fuel tax revenues to mass transit (S.C. Code Ann. §12-28-2725). Some uses of the State
Highway Fund are directed in statute (e.g., S.C. Code Ann. §57-5-150 and §57-5-1610).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. SCDOT is allowed to retain any unspent funds remaining in the cash account. The annual
SCDOT budget is developed based on projected revenues plus unspent funds carried forward into
the next budget year.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A portion of motor fuel tax revenue is distributed to counties for use on county or regional transportation projects, by a statutory formula based on land area, population and road mileage (S.C.
Code Ann. §12-28-2740). SCDOT also allocates a portion of the federal funds received each year
to MPOs and councils of government; this allocation is not required by statute. The commission
determines the funding amount and established the distribution formula.
South Carolina
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 135
South Dakota
Organizational Facts
Legislature South Dakota Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (35 members)
Chambers: House (70 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 600
Department of
Transportation
South Dakota Department of Transportation
(SDDOT)
FTE: 1,026
Leadership: Commission; Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 169,359 (2009); bridges: 5,891 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 1.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,675 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 74; public-use: 74; state-owned: 1 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 643,205 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal. SDDOT usually makes a report to the Senate and House Transportation Committees at the beginning of each legislative
session regarding the state’s highway needs and funding to meet those needs. A process exists by which standing committees will introduce
legislation at the request of SDDOT. SDDOT monitors legislative committees and tracks bills of interest. SDDOT officials testify about bills
that the agency supports or opposes. SDDOT has no dedicated legislative liaison; its Legal Office assists in formulating, drafting and monitoring legislation that affects the department.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The nine members of the Transportation Commission are appointed by the governor to four-year terms, within statutory requirements for
party affiliation, residency and geographic representation (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §§1-44-4 et seq.). The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor (S.D. Const. art. IV, §9;
S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §1-32-3).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative requests for information.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Department of Legislative Audit. This department conducts a financial audit of SDDOT; there is no
legislative performance audit.
Sunset Review Every state agency and the statutes that govern it are reviewed by an interim legislative committee
every 10 years (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. ch. 1-26E). This is not a true sunset, however, because
the statutes do not automatically repeal if there is no action of the Legislature. SDDOT was last
reviewed in 2009.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes S.D. Codified Laws Ann. ch. 1-44; S.D. Codified Laws Ann. ch. 31-2
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by joint bipartisan committee; committee may suspend rule; no
objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Each year, the Transportation Commission with the assistance of SDDOT proposes, holds public
hearings about, and adopts a highway construction program for the next year. SDDOT administers the entire planning process and gathers input from various stakeholders, including MPOs, the
governor, local governments, the commission, legislators and the public. The program—synonymous
with the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)—is based on highway needs and
funding availability.
Transportation Governance and Finance
136 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
No formal legislative role. Legislators can participate in the public hearings. The Legislature has
essentially given control over the SDDOT budget and transportation investment priorities to the
Transportation Commission, with guidance from SDDOT.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. The appropriations committee holds hearings for SDDOT
to present its budget but do not become involved in project-level details.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state does not have state bonding authority, according to the AASHTO Center on Excellence
for Project Finance (2010).
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $189.1 million
FY 2010: $182.1 million
FY 2009: $183.5 million
FY 2008: $177.6 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to SDDOT through a state legislative appropriation at
the agency level as well as at the program or category level. This appropriation, however, is only for
informational purposes, and budgetary control lies with the Transportation Commission. Thus, in
effect, the funds flow directly to SDDOT from the U.S. DOT.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds are allocated to SDDOT through a state legislative
appropriation that is for informational purposes only. Budgetary control lies with the Transportation Commission.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle
registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; sign fees; billboard permits.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Nearly all revenue generated for transportation is restricted to highways and bridges. No revenues
are dedicated to transit, although operating assistance has been provided from general funds. The
Railroad Board has a fund that grants or loans money to regional railroad authorities for construction or maintenance of rail lines.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of any fuel tax or motor vehicle-related revenues to highways and
bridges (S.D. Const. art. XI, §8). These revenues are deposited into the State Highway Fund, use of
which is restricted by statute to construction, maintenance and supervision of highways and bridges,
related administrative costs, matches for federal funds and the Highway Patrol (S.D. Codified Laws
Ann. §32-2-11, §31-2-14.2, §31-5-8 and §31-6-9).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Unspent or unencumbered funds revert to the fund in which the appropriation was made. For state
purposes, this is the State Highway Fund.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Local aid is distributed by the secretary of revenue from the Local Government Highway and Bridge
Fund, which receives revenues from various transportation-related sources. Funding is allocated to
counties for highways, roads and bridges by a statutory formula based on population, road mileage
and area. Funding is allocated to municipalities for municipal streets by a statutory formula based
on population (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §32-11-35).
South Dakota
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 137
Tennessee
Organizational Facts
Legislature Tennessee General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (33 members)
Chambers: House (99 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 6,550
Department of
Transportation
Tennessee Department of Transportation
(TDOT)
FTE: Approximately 4,600
Leadership: Commissioner
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 196,969 (2009); bridges: 19,892 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 30.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,641 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 210; public-use: 78; state-owned: 1 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 10,783,463 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 9,229 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 38.2 million (2009); state-operated ferries: 1 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly informal. Few formal mechanisms exist for interactions between TDOT and the General Assembly. TDOT leadership frequently
contacts the General Assembly to provide input on transportation-related legislation. TDOT employs dedicated legislative liaisons who respond
to legislative inquiries, provide information, work with sponsors of legislation that affects TDOT, and seek help from legislators who sponsor
legislation proposed by TDOT.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The commissioner of transportation is appointed by the governor and serves at the pleasure of the governor, within broad statutory guidelines
for qualifications (Tenn. Code Ann. §4-3-2302). TDOT is a cabinet agency that reports directly to the governor.
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program
reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Required
reports to the General Assembly include the annually updated transportation improvement program,
quarterly status reports on highway projects in each district, quarterly status reports on projects approved in the TDOT budget and an annual report on transit projects. Seven legislative committees
oversee TDOT: Senate and House Transportation Committees (general oversight); Senate and House
Ways and Means Committees (budget and expenditures); Senate and House Government Operations Committees (rules and regulations, as well as review of performance audits); and the Fiscal
Review Committee (contracts).
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Offices of Research and Education Accountability
Sunset Review Yes. Tennessee’s sunset law (Tenn. Code Ann. §§4-29-101 et seq.) requires that each agency, board,
commission and other entity be reviewed at least once every eight years by a joint legislative committee. TDOT is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2011, unless affirmatively continued by the
General Assembly (Tenn. Code Ann. §4-29-232).
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Tenn. Code Ann. §§4-3-2301 et seq., §13-10-107(d), §54-1-105, §54-1-115, §54-1-302, §§54-5-
101 et seq. and §54-5-1401
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee may suspend rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
138 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process TDOT is generally responsible for all transportation planning and project identification. TDOT
sets priorities based on needs and available funding, with input from the governor’s office, local
governments and MPOs, transit agencies, and rural planning organizations. TDOT presents the
“Proposed Highway Program” to the General Assembly annually for review. The General Assembly
approves the program by reference in the state budget.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly reviews and approves the annual work program. Occasionally legislation is
introduced to specify a particular project, but overall project identification is done by TDOT.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Mainly pay-as-you-go financing. A three-year bond program using federal highway bridge funds to
pay debt service was authorized, but as of June 2010, the bonds were unissued. In general, since the
mid-1990s, Tennessee’s highway program has been debt-free.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $868.0 million
FY 2010: $885.6 million
FY 2009: $1.03 billion
FY 2008: $840.4 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to TDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to TDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the program
or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; vehicle registration/license/title fees; vehicle or
truck weight fees.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute with legislative approval
requirements); design-build (authorized in statute); advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
All revenues allocated to TDOT, including a portion of fuel tax receipts, are deposited into the State
Highway Fund and distributed according to broad statutory guidelines. The fund is used mainly for
highways and transit projects; diversions or transfers are prohibited (Tenn. Code Ann. §67-3-901
and §§54-2-102 et seq.). All revenues from fuels used for railways, waterways and aviation are deposited into the Transportation Equity Trust Fund, and those funds must be used in the same mode
of transportation by which they were generated (Tenn. Code Ann. §9-4-207 and §67-6-103).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes, TDOT retains excess funds.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A portion of state fuel tax funds is allocated to counties and municipalities (Tenn. Code Ann. §67-
3-901). County funds are used for roads, bridges and transit projects by a statutory formula based
on equal distribution, population and area. No more than 22.22 percent of county aid funds can be
used for transit (Tenn. Code Ann. §54-4-103). A portion of fuel tax funds is allocated to municipalities for street aid by a statutory formula based on population (Tenn. Code Ann. §54-4-203).
Funds are distributed by the commissioner of finance and administration.
Tennessee
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 139
Texas
Organizational Facts
Legislature Texas Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (31 members)
Chambers: House (150 members)
Session: Biennial, approximately January – May
(odd years only)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 12,400
Department of
Transportation
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
FTE: 14,067 (authorized); 11,819 (actual)
Leadership: Commission; Executive Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 669,190 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 306 (2009);
bridges: 51,448 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 24 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 298.1 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 10,743 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 1,653; public-use: 369; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 66,385,453 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 1,328,801 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year:
451.8 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. TxDOT staff members provide updates to the Legislature on Texas Transportation Commission actions and TxDOT activities, usually through reports, correspondence, e-mail or bimonthly electronic newsletters. TxDOT also responds to requests for information
from legislators and legislative staff. State agency employees are prohibited from influencing legislation, but can act as neutral resource witnesses;
the Texas Transportation Commission has the authority to provide recommendations to the governor and the Legislature on department operations and efficiencies (Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §201.0545). Upon request, TxDOT gives input to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to
inform its fiscal notes on legislation. TxDOT has a dedicated government affairs office.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The five members of the Texas Transportation Commission are appointed to staggered six-year terms by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate and within statutory requirements for geographic representation and reflection of the diversity of the state as well as restrictions pertaining to conflicts of interest. One member must reside in a rural area (Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §§201.051 et seq.). Grounds
for removal are provided in Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §201-057. The executive director of TxDOT is elected by the commission, within
broad statutory guidelines for experience and skills, and serves at the will of the commission (Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §201.301).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. House and Senate interim committees oversee various TxDOT budget and policy issues during the legislative interim. TxDOT also
is required to submit monthly revenue and expenditure forecast reports to the Legislative Budget
Board and the governor.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office(s) The Legislative Budget Board, the State Auditor’s Office and the Sunset Advisory Commission
Sunset Review Yes. The Texas Sunset Act makes the Sunset Advisory Commission responsible for auditing each
state agency every 12 years. In most cases, agencies under review are automatically abolished unless
legislation is enacted to affirmatively continue them. TxDOT was reviewed in 2009, but the bill
to continue it was not enacted; instead, an extension until another, limited-scope review in 2011
was granted in a special session. Unless continued, TxDOT will now expire on Sept. 1, 2011 (Tex.
Transportation Code Ann. §201.204).
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §§201.001 et seq.
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a standing committee; committee role is mainly advisory.
Transportation Governance and Finance
140 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The Transportation Commission, TxDOT and MPOs work together to create the Unified Transportation Program and the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). Project needs are identified at the local level by TxDOT district offices, MPOs, transit and rail agencies, port authorities
and local toll project entities. TxDOT works with local entities to identify, develop and approve
plans and funding strategies, with commission oversight. After funding is identified, the project
planning and development process begins, with public involvement and hearings. Projects contracts
then must be approved. The Transportation Commission finally approves funding and authorizes
construction based on funding availability and local priorities. TxDOT oversees implementation.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature has no formal role in transportation planning, except to set statutory guidelines for
the process and to help set spending levels through appropriations. The Legislature has statutorily
delegated responsibilities for transportation planning and determining investment priorities to the
Texas Transportation Commission (Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §201.103).
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins September 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Texas used pay-as-you-go financing until the Transportation Commission was granted approval
through a 2001 constitutional amendment to issue bonds secured by a newly created Texas Mobility
Fund. Another amendment—approved in 2003—allows the Legislature to authorize the commission to issue bonds, known as Proposition 14 bonds, secured by revenues deposited to the State
Highway Fund such as motor fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. The Transportation Commission and TxDOT started using these bond programs in 2005. In 2007, Texas voters approved
Proposition 12 bonds secured by revenues deposited to the General Revenue Fund. The Legislature
authorized issuance of a portion of these bonds in 2009, and the bond program began in 2010.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $6.1 billion
FY 2010: $5.1 billion
FY 2009: $4.9 billion
FY 2008: $5.2 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to TxDOT through state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level. The state General Appropriations Act provides appropriation authority
for federal funds. All funds received are deposited into the State Highway Fund. TxDOT is the state
administrative authority for these funds.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to TxDOT through state legislative appropriation in the
General Appropriations Act by category.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; vehicle or truck weight fees; tolls; interest income;
sales tax on motor lubricants; vehicle inspection fees; driver record information fees; general obligation bonds; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
No dedicated funding sources for other modes. TxDOT can and has used State Highway Fund revenues from sources that are not constitutionally dedicated to highway purposes for other functions
carried out by the department (Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §222.002), including transit, rail,
aviation, ports and bridges.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (authorized but not used as of 2009); private activity bonds (PABs) (issued); Build
America Bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized);
PPPs (authorized in statute, many provisions expired in 2009; used for at least four projects);
design-build (authorized in statute, many provisions expired in 2009; used as a component of at
least eight projects); impact fees; creation of nonprofit, quasi-public entities; tapered matching; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match;” pass-through financing (shadow tolls); other. Traffic
camera fees are used only at the local level; 50 percent of the revenues after operating costs must be
used for traffic safety programs (Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §707.008).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts the use of motor fuels taxes, sales tax on motor lubricants and vehicle
registration fees to acquiring rights-of-way, constructing, maintaining and policing public roadways
and for administration of laws pertaining to the supervision of traffic and safety on such roads. A
quarter of motor fuel tax revenues, however, are constitutionally allocated to the Available School
Fund (Tex. Const. art. VIII, §7-a). The State Highway Fund, which receives the rest of these revenues, cannot be used to guarantee a loan or issue bonds for a toll facility (Tex. Transportation Code
Ann. §222.001). The Texas Mobility Fund cannot receive revenues from motor fuel taxes, sales tax
on motor lubricants or vehicle registration fees, and use of the fund is constitutionally restricted to
financing state highways, public toll roads and transit projects (Tex. Const. art. III, §49-k).
Texas
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 141
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
TxDOT has traditionally been granted authority through the General Appropriations Act to carry
forward unspent appropriations between years of a state fiscal biennium for major transportation
planning, construction and maintenance. In general, unexpended appropriations remaining at the
end of one biennium are subject to legislative appropriations for the next.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes, at the category level. TxDOT must receive approval from the Texas Legislative Budget Board
and the governor to transfer funds between items of appropriation at the General Appropriations
Act category level. Legislative approval is not required to transfer funds between projects within
those categories, however.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
A portion of state gasoline tax receipts is deposited to the County and Road District Highway Fund
(Tex. Tax Code Ann. §162.503), from which the state comptroller distributes money to counties
by a statutory formula based on area, rural population and lateral road mileage (Tex. Transportation
Code Ann. §256.002). Counties also receive funds from appropriations to the Special County Road
Assistance Program. These funds are distributed by a statutory formula based on total and unincorporated population; and lineal, paved and concrete road miles (Tex. Local Government Code Ann.
§§615.101 et seq.). In addition, counties act as agents for the state in collecting vehicle registration
fees; a portion of these fees is retained by the collecting county (Tex. Transportation Code Ann.
§502.102). The state allocates federal local aid per federal requirements; some is discretionary based
on the state transportation plan and, for aviation, project qualifications.
Texas
Transportation Governance and Finance
142 National Conference of State Legislatures
Utah
Organizational Facts
Legislature Utah Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (29 members)
Chambers: House (75 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January –
March
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 800
Department of
Transportation
Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)
FTE: 1,730 (authorized); 1,603 (actual)
Leadership: Commission; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 94,410 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 1 (2009);
bridges: 2,911 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 43.7 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,365 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 141; public-use: 47; state-owned: 1 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 10,018,345 (2009)
Marine State-operated ferries: 1 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. UDOT mainly interacts with the Legislature by testifying before and providing information to standing and interim
committees—as well as interacting with individual legislators—about relevant bills or issues. UDOT also makes annual reports to interim
committees. UDOT may ask legislators to sponsor particular bills or be invited to present to a caucus on a particular issue. UDOT has a dedicated office of Legislative and Government Affairs.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The seven members of the Transportation Commission are appointed by the governor, with the consent of the Senate and within statutory
requirements for residency and geographic representation (Utah Code Ann. §72-1-301). Prior to July 1, 2009, six commissioners represented
counties and one was at-large. Now, four commissioners represent each of the four UDOT regions and three are at-large; no more than two
can be from any one region. At least one must be selected from a rural county. The executive director of UDOT is appointed by the governor,
with recommendations from the Transportation Commission and the consent of the Senate, and within broad statutory guidelines for experience and training (Utah Code Ann. §72-1-202).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative
program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The Legislature
requires UDOT to make annual reports to its interim committees, both by statutory requirements
and as the need arises.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Office of the Legislative Auditor General. This office has authority to audit any branch, department,
agency or political subdivision of the state.
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of UDOT.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Utah Code Ann. tit. 72, ch. 1; Utah Code Ann. §72-2-104, §72-2-118, §72-2-123, §72-2-124,
§72-4-102, §72-6-118, §72-6-206, §72-10-106, §41-6a-702 and §63g-6-502
Administrative Rules Review Annual review of proposed and existing rules by the full Legislature; all existing rules not legislatively reauthorized by February 28 of any calendar year expire on May 1 of that year (Utah Code
Ann. §63G-3-502).
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 143
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process The state adopts a long-range plan, and priority projects from that plan are added to the Statewide
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). In general, UDOT and MPOs identify projects. The
Transportation Commission prioritizes new capacity projects using a written process, the Decision
Support System, which was established per Utah Code Ann. §72-1-304 and §72-1-305. Besides new
capacity projects on the long-range plan, smaller-scale projects to alleviate specific traffic bottlenecks
also are prioritized. UDOT’s role is to recommend projects to the Transportation Commission for
construction; the commission approves or rejects this recommendation.
Legislative Role in Transportation Planning
The Legislative Management Committee approved the rules establishing the written project prioritization process and must approve any amendments to those rules. The Legislature determines general
funding levels and can fund specific new capacity projects in the annual appropriations act. Delays
of any projects with specific appropriations must be prioritized and approved by the Transportation
Commission (Utah Code Ann. §72-1-305).
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1. The governor works with UDOT to develop budget recommendations, which are submitted to the Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.3 billion
FY 2010: $1.4 billion
FY 2009: $1.1 billion
FY 2008: $1.1 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to UDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds also are allocated to UDOT as a state legislative
appropriation at the program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees;
general funds; interest income; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: A portion of the general sales tax. Aviation: Aviation fuel tax; aircraft registration fees.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute,
with legislative approval required only to convert an existing facility to a privately operated toll road);
design-build (authorized in statute, used for at least two projects); impact fees.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of revenues from the fuel tax and related to the operation of motor vehicles on public highways primarily to construction, maintenance and repair of state and local
roads, driver education, and enforcement of motor vehicle and traffic laws (Utah Const. art. XIII,
§5). The state Transportation Fund is statutorily dedicated to highway purposes (Utah Code Ann.
§72-2-102). The Aeronautics Restricted Account within the Transportation Fund is dedicated to
aviation purposes (Utah Code Ann. §72-2-126).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Transportation Fund balances can be reallocated within the same line item.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Transportation funds are allocated to local entities through state legislative appropriations and
UDOT allocation of funds by formula. UDOT receives an annual appropriation from the Transportation Fund for deposit into the Class B and Class C Roads Account, which is expended under
the direction of UDOT as the Legislature provides. Funds in the account are apportioned among
counties and municipalities by a statutory formula based on weighted mileage and population (Utah
Code Ann. §§72-2-107 et seq.).
Utah
Transportation Governance and Finance
144 National Conference of State Legislatures
Vermont
Organizational Facts
Legislature Vermont General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (30 members)
Chambers: House (150 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – May
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 750
Department of
Transportation
Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans or
AOT)
FTE: (No data)
Leadership: Transportation Board; Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 29,672 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 12 (2009);
bridges: 2,712 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 1 shared with New Hampshire (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 2.3 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 590 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 122; public-use: 16; state-owned: 10 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 705,091 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Mainly formal and through DOT leadership. The heads of the various divisions of VTrans testify before the House and Senate Transportation Committees at the beginning of each session to provide an overview of agency activities and to discuss its annual multi-year transportation
program, which includes a recommended budget and describes project priorities. In February, VTrans counsel typically transmits to legislative
counsel other proposed legislation; agency officials with relevant expertise then testify before the transportation committees about each proposal. Legislative committees frequently solicit testimony from VTrans officials on transportation-related bills and other specific issues that may
arise. VTrans also communicates through required written reports. The responsibilities of the director of the Policy, Planning and Intermodal
Development Division include state and federal legislative relations.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The seven members of the Transportation Board are appointed to three-year terms by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate
and within statutory requirements for party affiliation and restrictions pertaining to conflicts of interest. The governor must, so far as is possible, appoint members “whose interests and expertise lie in various areas of the transportation field” (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, §3). The board
provides appellate review of various VTrans decisions and rulings, has original jurisdiction over certain claims and conducts public hearings.
The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, §7).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by one or more legislative committees; reporting requirements; legislative requests
for information. VTrans is obligated to report on major transportation-related developments during
the interim to the General Assembly’s Joint Transportation Oversight Committee. Since the annual
transportation budget process is detailed and the state is small enough, the legislative transportation
committees are able to review progress on nearly all active projects.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office In the past, the Legislative Council conducted programmatic audits and evaluations of state agencies
and departments, but does not do so at this time. Among other duties, permanent council staff continue to be responsible for legal and general research as well as review of agency rules. No legislative
office is now tasked with conducting program evaluations of state agencies. The Joint Fiscal Office,
however, does conduct audits that at times contain programmatic elements. The State Auditor of
Accounts, a statewide elected officer, also conducts audits that sometimes contain programmatic
components.
Sunset Review Sunsets are at the General Assembly’s discretion, and their structure varies on an individual basis.
VTrans has not been subject to the sunset process.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, §2 to §10l, §12a and §12b
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed rules by a joint bipartisan committee; a committee vote opposing
a rule does not prohibit its adoption but assigns the burden of proof in any legal challenge to the
executive agency.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 145
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Annually, VTrans proposes to the General Assembly a multi-year transportation program containing
a proposed project list. VTrans takes the lead in the transportation planning process (see Vt. Stat.
Ann. tit. 19, §10b and §10g), but all projects must be approved by the General Assembly. In formulating the transportation program, VTrans is required by statute to use a numerical grading system to
assign a priority rating to paving, road, bridge, safety and traffic operation projects, and to provide a
description of how the ratings were assigned. The system requires consideration of asset management
factors, the priority rating from regional planning commissions and the state’s one MPO, economic
impact, and cultural and social effects on surrounding communities. VTrans also voluntarily uses this
system to prioritize projects in other modes. State law also requires VTrans to coordinate efforts with
the Climate Change Oversight Committee and local and regional planning entities.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The House and Senate Transportation Committees receive VTrans’ proposed transportation program
each January and solicit testimony from VTrans officials before voting to approve it in the annual
transportation bill. The General Assembly adopts the program and the VTrans budget, except as
specifically modified in the bill. If the governor certifies a transportation project as essential to the
state’s economic infrastructure, a committee of legislators may approve the project without explicit
authorization through an enacted transportation program. Otherwise, no money can be spent on
any project unless it is included in the transportation program, which requires legislative approval.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state uses predominantly pay-as-you-go financing, with some bonding. All financing methods,
including bonding, require legislative approval.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $217.4 million
FY 2010: $178.4 million
FY 2009: $187.2 million
FY 2008: $192.9 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to VTrans as a state legislative appropriation at agency,
program and project-specific levels. VTrans’ annual proposed budget details funding sources on a
project-by-project basis (including total funds spent to date and funding needed for completion),
but by general statute, the agency has broad discretion to re-allocate funds in certain circumstances.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds are allocated to VTrans as a state legislative appropriation at agency, program and project-specific levels.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle
registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; general obligation bonds; revenue
bonds. General funds have on occasion been transferred to the transportation fund when needed,
but this is an exception to the general rule.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail and aviation: Funded by the same sources as highways through the Transportation Fund.
No state funds are dedicated by mode; all transportation-related revenues go into one multimodal
Transportation Fund to support the AOT budget and are available to support highways, transit, rail
and aviation. The state has no ports or toll bridges.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); design-build (authorized in statute); tapered matching; advance construction; toll credits or “soft match.”
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
By statute, transportation-related revenues are deposited into the Transportation Fund and reserved
primarily for the VTrans budget, though not restricted by mode (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, §§11 et seq.).
One exception is the statutory dedication of a portion of the gasoline tax to the Fish and Wildlife
Fund and the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §3106). Another is an allocation of a portion of the motor vehicle purchase and use tax to the Education Fund
(1998 Vt. Acts, Act 60). A third exception is an allocation of a portion of total Transportation Fund
revenues to non-VTrans state government functions. This allocation is part of the annual political
process, with the governor’s budget proposing an amount and the General Assembly responding.
This allocation has generally decreased each year.
Vermont
Transportation Governance and Finance
146 National Conference of State Legislatures
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes and no. Revenues in excess of appropriations are credited to the Transportation Fund, although
the annual transportation bill may provide a contingency for their expenditure. State law gives the
administration the authority to carry forward any unspent state fund appropriations into the next fiscal year. Unspent federal appropriations lapse and must be reappropriated. The administration may
not re-allocate any excess transportation revenue or unspent appropriations to non-transportation
purposes.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required. By statute, VTrans has the authority to re-allocate funds in the
event of cost overruns, project delays and emergency projects. In such cases, VTrans must notify the
Joint Fiscal Office and legislative members in affected districts.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
State transportation funds are legislatively appropriated to towns for highways or public transit assistance by a statutory formula based on road mileage. State aid is provided for town highway bridges
according to a program plan based on applications submitted by towns. There are also annual appropriations for grants to municipalities for highway structures and roadway improvements (Vt. Stat.
Ann. tit. 19, §306).
Vermont
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 147
Virginia
Organizational Facts
Legislature Virginia General Assembly
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (40 members)
Chambers: House of Delegates (100 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – February (odd years), approximately January – March
(even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,600
Department of
Transportation
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
FTE: 6,755
Leadership: Secretary; Commissioner; Transportation Board
Organizational structure: Modes administered by
separate agencies
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 160,727 (2009)*; miles of tolled roadway: 56 (2009);
bridges: 13,522 (2010)*; toll bridges and tunnels: 4, plus 1 shared with Maryland (2009)
*The numbers of total lane miles and bridges above are as reported by the Federal Highway Administration. VDOT reported 155,335 lane miles (excluding federal public roads and privately maintained toll
roads) and 13,216 bridges as of April 2011.
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 78.1 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,205 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 66; public-use: 66; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 24,081,772 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 1,421,633 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 67.2
million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, proactive. VDOT and the General Assembly have a proactive approach to communication. VDOT is in the process of
starting regional town hall meetings with legislators to provide information of interest. VDOT reviews and provides comments on the effects
of all proposed legislation, including in committee hearings during the legislative session. VDOT legislative analyses and recommendations also
are provided to the secretary of transportation, the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget and the governor’s office for consideration.
The governor can introduce legislation either by soliciting proposals from cabinet members that then are prepared in collaboration with state
agencies, or at his or her discretion with assistance from cabinet members, state agencies or other stakeholders. In either case, a proposal must
be sponsored by a legislator to be considered by the General Assembly. VDOT posts key studies, project updates and financial information on
its Web site. VDOT has a chief of policy and environment, who oversees VDOT’s activities around legislative and regulatory affairs.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The 14 voting, citizen members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, subject to
confirmation by the General Assembly and within statutory requirements for residency, and are removable from office by the governor at his
pleasure. The secretary of transportation, Commonwealth transportation commissioner and director of the Department of Rail and Public
Transportation also serve on the board as nonvoting members (Va. Code §§33-1.1 et seq.). The Commissioner is appointed by the governor,
subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, within broad statutory guidelines for experience and ability (Va. Code §33.1-3). The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, and holds office at the pleasure of the
governor for a term that coincides with that of the governor making the appointment (Va. Code §2.2-200).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. VDOT is required to submit
a biennial report to the General Assembly regarding expenditures. In 2010, the governor independently commissioned two VDOT audits; private audits also may be performed at the request of the
General Assembly. The auditor of public accounts undertakes periodic reviews of VDOT activities.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. The commission recently reviewed VDOT planning and programming.
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for VDOT per se.
Transportation Governance and Finance
148 National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Va. Code tit. 15.2, tit. 33.1 and tit. 46.2
Administrative Rules Review Legislative and executive review of proposed rules; legislative review by a joint bipartisan standing
committee; the full legislature can suspend a rule through legislation, with the concurrence of the
governor.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process VDOT works cooperatively with MPOs, localities, and other modal entities in transportation planning. At the state level, the various modal agencies work cooperatively with representatives from
MPOs and regional planning organizations on development of an overall state vision—with goals
and strategies—in the statewide multimodal transportation plan (VTrans), which is adopted by the
Commonwealth Transportation Board. Each modal agency then develops plans and programs with
the state vision, goals and strategies in mind. VDOT is heavily involved in project identification and
planning for highways in rural areas; MPOs, the state and transit operators are cooperatively responsible for planning within urbanized areas. Each modal agency drafts recommendations and priorities, based on an assessment of need as well as indications of support from local, regional, MPO and
state stakeholders (i.e., elected officials). VDOT, MPOs, localities, regional planning organizations,
elected officials, and citizens are invited to present recommendations and feedback through a public
hearing process annually to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. This information is used by
the Commonwealth Transportation Board to determine specific projects and investment priorities
to advance to the Six-Year Improvement Program.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The General Assembly can identify priority projects in the annual Appropriation Act. State elected
officials also serve on some of the larger MPOs, which play a critical role in determining which
projects advance within the MPO area. The statewide multimodal transportation plan, VTrans,
must be updated and presented to the General Assembly and the governor every four years (2011
Va. Acts, Chap. 104 and 164). The General Assembly determines funding for rail, transit, ports and
airports in statute, and must authorize debt.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations The budget is adopted for a biennium, but is amended in the second year of the biennium; fiscal
year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
VDOT:
FY 2011 (approved): $2.38 billion
FY 2010: $2.44 billion
FY 2009: $2.44 billion
FY 2008: $3.03 billion
Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT):
FY 2011 (approved): $318.2 million
FY 2010: $206.5 million
FY 2009: $268.7 million
FY 2008: $330.9 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to VDOT through a state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to VDOT through a state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle
registration/license/title fees; overweight permit fees; tolls; general funds; interest income; a portion
of certain state sales taxes; revenue bonds. Overweight permit fees for tank wagon vehicles are
deposited into the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund for highway purposes; all other
overweight vehicle fees remain with the Department of Motor Vehicles for operating expenses.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation and ports: Funded by the same sources as highways through the Transportation
Trust Fund. Transit and rail receive 14.7 percent of the fund, aviation 2.4 percent and ports 4.7
percent. Each mode has a dedicated account (Va. Code §33.1-23.03:2).
Virginia
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 149
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; private activity bonds (PABs) (issued); Build America Bonds; federal credit
assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); congestion pricing (as part of the
I-395 HOT Lanes project now under construction); PPPs (authorized in statute, used for at least
three projects); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of at least four projects);
impact fees; creation of nonprofit, quasi-public entities. The current administration is proposing the
use of advance construction and toll credits or “soft match.” Traffic camera fees are used only at the
local level and fee revenues are not dedicated to transportation uses.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The Transportation Trust Fund is generally dedicated to transportation purposes, but state law
allows diversion from the fund by the General Assembly or the governor in the budget bill if they
include language setting out the plan for repayment of such funds within three years (Va. Code §2.2-
1509.2). State law specifically allows the use of highway funds for aid to mass transit facilities (Va.
Code §33.1-46.1).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. VDOT may retain excess funds with no restrictions.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval is required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Local aid is distributed through state legislative appropriation, VDOT allocation of funds by
formula and within existing statutory requirements, and VDOT discretionary allocation of
funds. Construction funds are allocated for urban system highways by a statutory formula based
on population (Va. Code §33.1-23.3). A revenue-sharing statute requires the Commonwealth
Transportation Board to match any appropriation for state highways with an equivalent local aid
allocation (Va. Code §33.1-23.05).
Virginia
Transportation Governance and Finance
150 National Conference of State Legislatures
Washington
Organizational Facts
Legislature Washington Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (49 members)
Chambers: House (98 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – April
(odd years), approximately January – March
(even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,800
Department of
Transportation
Washington State Department of Transportation
(WSDOT)
FTE: 7,329
Leadership: Secretary; [Commission]
Organizational structure: Mainly by function and
region
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 174,723 (2009); bridges: 7,755 (2010); toll bridges and
tunnels: 1, plus 2 shared with Oregon (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 238.9 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,209 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 546; public-use: 136; state-owned: 17 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 17,680,430 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 2,397,395, plus 128 shared with Idaho and Oregon
(2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 107.0 million (2009); state-operated ferries: 11 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, extensive. There is regular interaction between WSDOT executive management and legislative transportation leadership—weekly during the legislative session—on transportation policy and budgetary matters. Significant and consistent interaction occurs
at the staff level as well. WSDOT testifies before committees on relevant issues and can request legislation through the governor’s office.
WSDOT employs a dedicated state liaison.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.01.041). The seven voting members of the Transportation Commission are appointed to staggered six-year
terms by the governor, with the consent of the Senate and within statutory requirements for residency and geographic representation and that
commissioners should reflect a “wide range of transportation interests.” No elective state official, state officer or state employee may be a member of the commission. Commissioners may be removed by the governor for cause. The governor or designee serves as a nonvoting member
and the secretary of transportation as an ex officio member (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.01.051). Since 2005, the Transportation Commission
has been separate from, and no longer has direct oversight of, WSDOT; WSDOT now reports to the secretary of transportation (2005 Wash.
Laws, Chap. 319). The Transportation Commission’s roles and responsibilities were further revised in 2006 (2006 Wash. Laws, Chap. 334).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by one or more legislative committees; interim charges; legislative program
reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance
audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Statute requires the Office of
Financial Management to submit a report every two years on the progress of state transportation
agencies toward policy goals and objectives prescribed by statute, appropriation and governor directive.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee. Both this committee and the state auditor (a
separately elected official) periodically conduct audits—including performance audits—of WSDOT
programs and activities. The interim Joint Transportation Committee also conducts a number
of studies and evaluations of WSDOT expenditures and activities. The 2003 and 2005 funding
packages included performance audits of state transportation agencies and other accountability
measures. In addition, from 2003 to 2006, the state had a legislatively created, separate transportation audit unit, the Transportation Performance Audit Board (repealed by 2006 Wash. Laws, Chap.
334).
Sunset Review The state conducts sunset reviews, but not of WSDOT.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 151
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Wash. Rev. Code Ann. ch. 47.01, §47.04.280, §47.56.030 and §47.56.850
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and enacted rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee role is
mainly advisory.
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Both WSDOT and the Transportation Commission have planning roles. The commission conducts
statewide and general planning activities whereas WSDOT is charged with program-level planning.
In general, WSDOT is responsible for project identification and prioritization. The governor’s office
also plays a significant role in identifying, selecting and prioritizing projects, through submitting the
executive branch budget proposal and being a part of legislative budget negotiations. MPOs, transit
agencies, port authorities and local governments play a minor role in state projects—mainly through
lobbying—but are solely responsible for programming local funds. The Legislature approves the
budget and also selects, approves and funds projects at the project level.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Historically, WSDOT had considerable discretion over how the capital budget was spent. In 2003
and 2005, the Legislature enacted motor fuel tax and other fee increases and a bond authorization,
and earmarked much of the new funding for specific projects. WSDOT may shift funding between
earmarked projects but must request approval for any changes through the governor’s budget office.
This process includes review by legislative staff. The Legislature also approves the overall WSDOT
budget. In recent years, WSDOT has sometimes sought input from the Transportation Committee
chairs before deciding how to allocate certain federal funds for capital purposes.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of one 24-month budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. Much of the revenue in the enacted 2003
and 2005 funding packages was used to support bonding to accelerate project construction. Preexisting revenue streams, however, are mainly used for pay-as-you-go and operations.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
2010 to 2011 biennium (approved): $4.7 billion
2008 to 2009 biennium: $4.0 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to WSDOT mainly as a state legislative appropriation at
the program or category level. If federal funding is received for operating purposes and is outside
current appropriation authority, WSDOT must seek approval through the governor’s budget office
using the “unanticipated receipts” process, which includes feedback from legislative staff. Some funds
flow directly to WSDOT from the U.S. DOT with no state legislative involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to WSDOT through state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level and some project-specific earmarks.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; tolls; interest income; sale of
WSDOT property and other business-related revenues; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Rail and transit: Motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; interest
income; passenger vehicle weight fees, penalty fees, plate number retention fees and filing fees. The
state does not directly participate in transit, but makes grants to local entities and provides coordination. Aviation: Aircraft excise tax; aircraft dealer license fees; aircraft fuel tax; aircraft registration fees.
Bridges: included with highways. Ferries: Same as for highways, plus ferry fares.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds (authorized per Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.29.060, subject to further legislative authorization and appropriation); Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally
capitalized); congestion variable tolling; photo tolling (beginning 2011); PPPs (authorized in statute
with legislative approval requirements); design-build (authorized in statute, used as a component of
several projects); advance construction. Traffic camera fees and impact fees are used only at the local
level (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §39.92.040 and §46.63.170). Washington also has a state-funded rail
bank, capitalized at a rate of $2.5 million per year. To date, the rail bank has been used more than
the state infrastructure bank.
Washington
Transportation Governance and Finance
152 National Conference of State Legislatures
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution requires vehicle license fees and fuel taxes to be used exclusively for highway
purposes (Wash. Const. art. II, §40). Vehicle sales taxes, rental car sales taxes, and passenger vehicle
and motor home weight fees are deposited to the multimodal transportation account and must be
used for transportation purposes; in addition, other vehicle-related fees can be used for non-highway
transportation purposes if state law makes it clear that they are not vehicle license fees (Wash. Rev.
Code Ann. §46.68.415, §47.66.070 and §82.08.020). Ferry fares must be used to maintain and operate state ferries (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.60.530). Revenues associated with the 2003 and 2005
funding packages are deposited into dedicated accounts for funding the projects identified in those
packages. Tolls must be used for the facility from which they were collected, and general obligation
bonds must be used for the projects for which they were approved.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
WSDOT is not authorized to retain excess funds (i.e., unspent appropriation authority), which
then remain within the funds and become part of balances going forward. Every fiscal biennium,
WSDOT must seek new expenditure authority for unfinished projects or activities.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. Section 603 of the budget (2009 Wash. Laws, Chap. 470) provides a process for WSDOT to
request fund transfers between projects that received funds as part of the 2003 and 2005 funding
packages, and limitations on such transfers. The Office of Financial Management reviews WSDOT
requests with the legislative staff of the House and Senate Transportation Committees.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Transportation funds are allocated to local entities by state legislative appropriation, WSDOT
allocation by formula and WSDOT discretion. A portion of certain transportation revenues is
distributed to cities and counties by statutory formulas. For cities, the formula is based on population only and for counties it is based on population, road costs and money need (Wash. Rev. Code
Ann. §46.68.110 and §§46.68.120 et seq.). WSDOT awards certain public transportation grants
through the regional mobility grant program—which receives funds from the multimodal transportation account, subject to appropriation—for cost-effective transportation projects that reduce delay
and improve connectivity (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.66.030 and §46.68.320). WSDOT also can
make grants or loans to municipalities or tribal governments for aviation purposes, out of legislative
appropriations made for that purpose (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.68.090).
Washington
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 153
West Virginia
Organizational Facts
Legislature West Virginia Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (34 members)
Chambers: House of Delegates:(100 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 2,550
Department of
Transportation
West Virginia Department of Transportation
(WVDOT)
FTE: Approximately 5,500
Leadership: Secretary (WVDOT); Commissioner
(Division of Highways)
Organizational structure: Mainly by transportation mode
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 79,452 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 87 (2009);
bridges: 7,069 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 2 shared with Ohio (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 4.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 2,232 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 31; public-use: 31; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 377,338 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 58.1 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal, mainly through DOT management. Communication between the Legislature and WVDOT is generally through
management, with all written correspondence signed by the commissioner of highways or the assistant commissioner. WVDOT employs a
dedicated legislative liaison and during the legislative session, communication is through the legislative liaison, the state highway engineer, the
commissioner of highways and the assistant commissioner. When the Division of Highways does not support a piece of legislation, it informs
the full committee, the committee chair or the sponsor and offers to assist with rewrites. WVDOT drafts bills for consideration by the Legislature.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serves at the will and pleasure of
the governor (W. Va. Code §5F-1-2). The commissioner of highways is appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, within broad statutory guidelines for experience and qualifications (W. Va. Code §17-2A-2).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by one or more legislative committees; interim charges; legislative program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. WVDOT submits monthly reports
to the Legislature. The Legislature conducts an annual independent financial audit of WVDOT. The
next performance review by the Legislative Auditor’s Office is scheduled for 2013.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Legislative Auditor’s Office—Performance Evaluation and Research Division
Sunset Review The Joint Committee on Government Operations and the Joint Standing Committee on Government Organization conduct scheduled agency reviews or authorize the Performance Evaluation and
Research Division of the Legislative Auditor to do so. As a result of a review, the committees may
vote on whether an agency should be continued, consolidated or terminated (W. Va. Code §§4-10-1
et seq.). This is not a true sunset, however, because the statutes do not automatically repeal if there
is no action of the Legislature. WVDOT will undergo a review in 2013 and must subsequently be
reviewed at least every six years.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes W. Va. Code §5F-1-2; W. Va. Code §17-2A-2
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review of proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan committee; committee role is
mainly advisory.
Transportation Governance and Finance
154 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process WVDOT is primarily responsible for creating the statewide, long-term transportation plan.
WVDOT works with MPOs to identify projects and programs, as funding allows. MPOs provide
and approve projects for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), with the
governor’s office providing input when appropriate. A public comment period is provided for each
project. WVDOT has final approval of the state’s transportation plan.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature’s input is received in the public comment process, and members are provided with
lists of projects scheduled in their districts. In some cases, the Legislature may designate specific
projects in the language of the budget bill or specifically indicate a project as a line item. The Legislature also appropriates the State Road Fund in the annual budget, but appropriations are based on
revenue estimates for the budget year rather than on project priorities.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. The outstanding principal for general obligation bonds was $339.5 million as of June 2010.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $1.4 billion
FY 2010: $1.4 billion
FY 2009: $1.2 billion
FY 2008: $1.1 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds are allocated to WVDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the
agency level.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
As with federal funds, state transportation funds are allocated to WVDOT as a state legislative appropriation at the agency level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; motor vehicle/rental car sales taxes; vehicle
registration/license/title fees; highway litter control fund; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit, rail, aviation and ports: General funds. These funds must be appropriated by the Legislature in the annual budget bill, which gives the authority to the agency to spend the appropriation
(see W. Va. Code ch. 12). Bridges: Included with highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; PPPs (authorized in statute with legislative approval requirements, used for at
least one project prior to enactment of current requirements); design-build (authorized in statute);
impact fees.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of all revenues derived from motor vehicles or motor fuels solely
to public highways (W. Va. Const. art. VI, §52). Use of the State Road Fund—to which such
revenues are deposited—is statutorily restricted to state roads and WVDOT administration (W. Va.
Code §§17-3-1 et seq.).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Surplus funds are retained by WVDOT in the State Road Fund without restrictions. Although the
cash balance is retained at the end of the fiscal year, WVDOT must adhere to the appropriations
for the new fiscal year. Thus, in order for surplus funds to be spent beyond an existing appropriation, WVDOT must request additional spending authority from the Legislature.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. Expenditure schedules must be amended with the Budget Office of Administration and the
Legislative Auditor.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Available funds are allocated by the commissioner of highways to counties for maintenance,
construction and reconstruction of feeder and state local service roads. Funds are distributed by
statutory formulas based on road mileage. The commissioner can require local matching funds (W.
Va. Code §§17-3-6 et seq.).
West Virginia
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 155
Wisconsin
Organizational Facts
Legislature Wisconsin Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (33 members)
Chambers: Assembly (99 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,250
Department of
Transportation
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
(WisDOT)
FTE: 3,544
Leadership: Secretary
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 231,264 (2009); bridges: 13,982 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 80.1 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 3,503 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 706; public-use: 131; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 5,497,640 (2009)
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 30.6 million (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. The executive assistant—one of three leadership positions in the Office of the Secretary—oversees all legislative and
communication activities for WisDOT. The executive assistant regularly interacts with legislators and chairs WisDOT’s Legislative Committee,
which meets regularly to discuss pending legislation. It is common for other WisDOT staff members, particularly those in WisDOT regional
offices, to meet with local legislators over the course of the year. WisDOT staff regularly testify at hearings and committee meetings on legislation affecting the department, and can influence transportation-related legislation through the biennial budget process. WisDOT also typically
develops policy and fiscal notes on pending legislation.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation is nominated by the governor, and with the advice and consent of the Senate appointed, to serve at the pleasure
of the governor (Wis. Stat. Ann. §15.05).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. The secretaries of
state agencies are required to submit to the governor and to the Legislature a report on the performance and operations of the agency during the preceding biennium, and its goals and objectives
for the program budget report (Wis. Stat. Ann. §15.04). Occasionally, the Legislature will establish
special committees to review special topics, such as the Joint Committee on Transportation Needs
and Financing in 2006.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Program Evaluation Division, Legislative Audit Bureau. WisDOT is subject to annual financial
audits and periodic programmatic audits by the Program Evaluation Division; the division is not,
however, required to conduct regular programmatic audits of WisDOT.
Sunset Review Sunset clauses have been enacted only for selected programs or legislation, not for WisDOT per se.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Wis. Stat. Ann. §13.489; Wis. Stat. Ann. §§15.46 et seq.; Wis. Stat. Ann. §20.395; Wis. Stat. Ann.
ch. 8, ch. 82 to 86, ch. 110, ch. 114, ch. 189, ch. 190, ch. 191, ch. 192, ch. 194, ch. 218, ch. 237,
ch. 340 to 349, ch. 351 and ch. 429
Administrative Rules Review Legislative review by proposed and existing rules by a joint bipartisan standing committee; committee may suspend rule; no objection constitutes approval of proposed rule.
Transportation Governance and Finance
156 National Conference of State Legislatures
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process WisDOT is responsible for both short- and long-term multimodal planning. Project identification
is an iterative process that begins with a needs analysis completed by the central WisDOT office.
WisDOT regional planning sections review the analysis and develop a range of alternatives.
“Backbone” projects are ranked using a comprehensive prioritization process focused on safety and
life-cycle cost estimates. These projects are approved by a statewide peer review process. In this
process, WisDOT works closely with MPOs to coordinate transportation planning in metropolitan
areas. Significant capacity expansion projects have an added layer of analysis, identified in the state
administrative code, and require legislative approval.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The main role of the Legislature is to review and approve study and construction projects that
require significant capacity expansion, per Wis. Stat. Ann. §13.489. The review is performed
largely by the Transportation Projects Commission with recommendations from WisDOT. The
commission is a governor-led joint legislative body composed of legislators and three citizen
members; the secretary of transportation is a nonvoting member. Projects then are approved by the
full Legislature. The Legislature also approves overall funding levels in the biennial budget process.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of two 12-month budgets; fiscal year begins July 1. WisDOT submits biennial
budget requests for approval by the Legislature.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing. Bonds are used for state highways, passenger
and freight rail, and harbor improvements.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $2.1 billion
FY 2010: $1.8 billion
FY 2009: $1.8 billion
FY 2008: $1.6 billion
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal airport, transit and traffic safety funds are allocated by a state legislative appropriation
at the program level, but with little legislative input. Federal highway funds are allocated among
several programs by legislative appropriation, based on an estimate of the total amount that will be
received. If the amount received differs from the estimates by more than 5 percent, WisDOT must
submit a plan to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance to adjust the appropriations accordingly; the committee may approve or modify the plan. WisDOT makes administrative adjustments
for any difference under the 5 percent threshold.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to WisDOT through a state legislative appropriation at the
program or category level. WisDOT generally has spending discretion within broad categories (state
highway rehabilitation, major highway development, airport improvement, etc.), each of which has
its own appropriation. With a few minor exceptions, there are no automatic or formula-based appropriations of state funds to transportation programs.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; interest income; general obligation bonds; revenue bonds. Because Wisconsin uses a comprehensive, multimodal transportation
fund, highways also are funded by other sources including railroad and airline taxes. As of April
2011, the transportation fund was receiving a few specific, limited annual transfers from the general
fund. As a rule, however, state general funds have not been used for transportation purposes in
recent years.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Wisconsin uses a comprehensive, multimodal transportation fund, so all modes are funded by traditional road user fees and taxes as well as other sources of income such as railroad and airline taxes.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
Build America Bonds; state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); PPPs (authorized in statute);
design-build (authorized in statute for bridge projects); advance construction. The state infrastructure bank as well as PPP and design-build authorizations are quite limited and have not been widely
used.
Wisconsin
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 157
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Fuel tax and other transportation-related revenues are deposited into a comprehensive, multimodal
trust fund, the Transportation Fund. Use of the fund is restricted by statute to certain transportation purposes such as highways, airports, harbors, ferries, railroads, and bicycle or pedestrian
facilities; this law also prohibits money deposited to the fund from being transferred to other funds
or accounts (Wis. Stat. Ann. §25.40). This, however, has not prevented the state from adopting
budget management measures over the past several years that use transportation revenues to support
the general fund. Transfers to the general fund have been partially, but not entirely, repaid with use
of general fund-supported bonds. In the fall of 2010, voters in 54 Wisconsin counties approved
county-level referenda advising the Legislature to amend the state constitution so as to prohibit any
further transfers or lapses from the segregated transportation fund; voters approved the measure in
all counties that qualified it. These referenda, however, are not binding.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Within most capital improvement and maintenance programs, WisDOT retains appropriated but
unobligated funds from year to year. Excess fund revenues are not available for expenditure, however, unless appropriated by the Legislature. For administrative functions, unspent funds lapse to
the transportation fund at the end of the fiscal year.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes and no. WisDOT cannot move funds between broad appropriation categories without legislative approval. Within those categories, however, WisDOT has discretion to move funds between
projects.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The state has several local aid programs, some of which use statutory formulas, some of which
use WisDOT formulas, and some of which are discretionary. Most local aid programs for roads,
bridges and transit are distributed through statutory formulas (Wis. Stat. Ann. §85.20, §86.30 and
§86.31). Federal highway aid is distributed to local governments using formulas developed by
WisDOT. Smaller amounts are distributed to certain projects (airports, transportation enhancements, etc.) on a discretionary basis. Although the state does not use the general fund for transportation as a rule, significant general aid is provided to local governments from the general fund and
likely has the effect of supporting local transportation expenditures.
Wisconsin
Transportation Governance and Finance
158 National Conference of State Legislatures
Wyoming
Organizational Facts
Legislature Wyoming Legislature
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (30 members)
Chambers: House (60 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – March
(odd years), approximately February – March
(even years)
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 500
Department of
Transportation
Wyoming Department of Transportation
(WYDOT)
FTE: Approximately 2,000
Leadership: Commission; Director
Organizational structure: Mainly by functional
activity
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 58,387 (2009); bridges: 3,060 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 0.4 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 1,860 (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 120; public-use: 42; state-owned: 0 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 483,745 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. WYDOT and the Legislature interact face-to-face and through issue-specific materials provided at the request of the
Legislature or on WYDOT’s initiative. WYDOT’s executive team works closely with the Legislature during the legislative session and with
the Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee during the interim. WYDOT is generally given one full day to present
its concerns and issues at each of three committee meetings. Between committee meetings, the state’s legislative attorneys work directly with
WYDOT to draft and prepare legislation for the committee to consider. Typically, WYDOT personnel are given the opportunity to comment
and suggest revisions to legislative drafts before those drafts are presented to the committee. WYDOT is also given the opportunity to suggest
topics for the committee to consider and study during its interim work. WYDOT employs a dedicated legislative coordinator.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The seven members of the Transportation Commission are appointed to six-year terms by the governor, by and with the advice and consent
of the Senate and within statutory requirements for party affiliation and geographic representation (Wyo. Stat. §24-2-101). The director of
WYDOT is nominated by the Transportation Commission—which must submit a minimum of three names of qualified candidates—and
appointed by the governor (Wyo. Stat. §24-2-105). A commissioner or the director may be removed at the governor’s pleasure (Wyo. Stat.
§9-1-202).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); interim charges; legislative
program reviews or performance audits; legislative review of non-legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information. Oral and written
reports to the Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee typically are used to
monitor and evaluate performance.
Legislative Program Evaluation Office Program Evaluation Section, Legislative Service Office
Sunset Review No sunset reviews of state agencies.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes Wyo. Stat. tit. 24
Administrative Rules Review Executive and legislative review of existing rules; legislative review by joint bipartisan committee;
committee role is mainly advisory; no legislative objection constitutes approval of proposed rule; full
Legislature may suspend a rule by a legislative order adopted by both houses.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 159
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process WYDOT under the direction of the Transportation Commission is responsible for determining
priorities for highway improvements and maintenance, highway safety programs and rural mass
transit programs. WYDOT—working with local governments, the Transportation Commission,
various stakeholders and the public—takes the lead in a planning process that emphasizes public
involvement and interaction with local officials. WYDOT undertakes project identification, selection
and prioritization. Identified and programmed projects are presented to and finally approved by the
Transportation Commission annually. The resulting document is the six-year State Transportation
Improvement Program (STIP). Local entities select projects in cities, towns and counties that are not
on the state highway system.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislature, by and large, has remained in the mode of assessing needs and providing funding
through the budget process. It has refrained from large-scale earmarking or prioritizing projects. The
Legislature can provide special appropriations for promoting types of projects, but the constitution
limits the Legislature’s ability to provide special funding for individual projects (Wyo. Const. §97-3-
027).
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Biennial enactment of one 24-month budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go The state uses pay-as-you-go financing and does not have state bonding authority.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $284 million
FY 2010: $331 million
FY 2009: $404 million
FY 2008: $360 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to WYDOT from the U.S. DOT with no state legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
Highway user tax and fee revenues flow directly to WYDOT with no state legislative involvement.
The Legislature may also make appropriations for transportation each biennium.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; vehicle registration/license/title fees; truck weight fees; general funds; interest income;
state-distributed mineral royalties and mineral severance taxes.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds; interest income; state-distributed mineral royalties and mineral severance
taxes. Rail: None. Aviation: General fund appropriations; state-distributed mineral royalties and
mineral severance taxes. Bridges: Funded by the same sources as highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
State infrastructure bank (federally capitalized); design-build (authorized in statute); container fees;
advance construction.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
The state constitution restricts use of proceeds from state or local taxes or other charges on registration, operation or use of vehicles on public highways or on vehicle fuels to the costs of administering
such laws; statutory refunds and adjustments; payment of highway obligations; costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways, county roads, bridges, and streets,
alleys and bridges in cities and towns; and expense of enforcing state traffic laws (Wyo. Const.
§97-15-016). State statute directs WYDOT to fund the public mass transit account with a portion
of unrestricted state highway funds (Wyo. Stat. §24-15-102). General fund appropriations must be
used for the specific purposes set by the Legislature.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. WYDOT is authorized to retain excess funds except in the case of legislatively appropriated
general funds not spent or obligated by the end of each biennium.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
No legislative approval required.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
The Legislature has appropriated funds for city, county and industrial road improvements, airport
improvements, rural transit and the purchase of certain pavement materials. WYDOT and the Transportation Commission have earmarked funds for urban, local and county projects. State statutes
specify amounts to be provided by WYDOT each biennium for the Industrial Road Program (Wyo.
Stat. §24-5-118) and public transit program (Wyo. Stat. §24-15-102).
Wyoming
Transportation Governance and Finance
160 National Conference of State Legislatures
District of Columbia
Organizational Facts
Legislature Council of the District of Columbia
Structure: Unicameral, partisan
Chamber: Council (13 members)
Session: Annual, year-round
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 1,300
Department of
Transportation
District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT)
FTE: Approximately 1,100
Leadership: Director*
Organizational structure: (No data)
*The deputy mayor for planning and economic development and the chair of the Committee on Public
Works and Transportation also exercise leadership on
some decisions.
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 3,532 (2008); bridges: 243 (2010)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 425.2 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: 23 (2008)
Aviation Enplanements: 3 (2009)*
*This data is only for the Washington metropolitan area general aviation airport. Enplanements at commercial airports in the D.C. area are counted under Maryland and Virginia, where those airports are
located.
Marine Waterborne tonnage per year: 119,000 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
Formal and informal. The Council’s Committee on Public Works and Transportation holds oversight hearings on DDOT policies and programs as required throughout the year, in addition to one annual performance oversight hearing and one annual budget oversight hearing. The
DDOT director usually testifies at these hearings. The DDOT director or relevant staff also are invited to testify before the committee when
transportation-related legislation is under consideration. DDOT submits legislative proposals through the mayor. DDOT employs dedicated
legislative liaisons. Individual councilmembers are in contact with the DDOT director and legislative liaisons on various projects, and committee staff and DDOT staff communicate daily about specific issues.
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The DDOT director is appointed by the mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council (D.C. Code Ann. §50-921.02).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms Ongoing oversight by legislative committee(s) or commission(s); legislative program reviews or
performance audits; reporting requirements; legislative requests for information.
Program Evaluation The Council receives occasional audit reports from the Auditor of the District of Columbia as well
as regular audit reports on the State Highway Trust Fund from the Inspector General.
Sunset Review DDOT is not subject to sunset review.
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes D.C. Code Ann. §§50-921.01 et seq. DDOT is also subject to budgetary provisions of the District’s Home Rule Charter.
Administrative Rules Review (No data)
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process DDOT leads the process of project identification, development and transportation plan approval.
All projects must be consistent with the District’s Comprehensive Development Plan and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). Though DDOT is required to participate in the
MPO process, the District acts as both the state and the city.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 161
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
Councilmembers talk to the mayor and the DDOT director about project priorities before and
during the annual budget process. The Council reviews the proposed transportation budget as part
of the annual budget formulation before submitting it to Congress. Plans for some projects must be
approved by the Council due to individual legislative requirements. DDOT is considering submitting certain transportation plans to the Council for endorsement.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins October 1. The Council reviews the proposed transportation budget that is formally submitted by the mayor as part of the annual budget formulation, then submits
it to Congress.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing.
District Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $649 million
FY 2010: $570 million
FY 2009: $557 million
FY 2008: $535 million
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to DDOT from the U.S. DOT with no Council involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
District transportation funds flow directly from the revenue source to DDOT or are allocated by
Council appropriation at the program/category or project-specific level.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; general funds; interest income; master equipment lease/short-term borrowing; rights-ofway revenue; public space revenue; parking meter revenues; general obligation bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit: General funds; general obligation bonds; parking meter revenues.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; PPPs (used for at least one street maintenance project); design-build (used as a
component of at least one transit project). As of late 2010, the District was planning to issue $100
million in GARVEE bonds for a transportation project.
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
Fuel tax receipts are deposited into the Highway Trust Fund; excess funds from the Highway Trust
Fund and other dedicated revenues flow into the Transportation Unified Fund, use of which is
generally restricted by statute to multimodal transportation purposes. A certain amount from the
Unified Fund, however, also is transferred annually to the general fund (D.C. Code Ann. §9-111.01
and §50-921.11).
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
Yes. Excess funds can be held by DDOT and, as part of the budgeting process, a prospective is
presented to the various approval entities—including Congress—to reflect the prior budget year,
current year and subsequent five years of the fund’s use and balance projections.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Yes. DDOT must follow the District’s budget reprogramming laws to move funds between projects.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
N/A
District of Columbia
Transportation Governance and Finance
162 National Conference of State Legislatures
Puerto Rico
Organizational Facts
Legislature Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly (Asamblea
Legislativa de Puerto Rico)
Structure: Bicameral, partisan
Chambers: Senate (31 members)
Chambers: House (54 members)
Session: Annual, approximately January – June
and September – November; only January – June
every fourth year
Estimated no. of bills in 2011: 6,000
Department of
Transportation
Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and
Public Works (Departamento de Transportación y
Obras Públicas) (DTOP)*
FTE: (No data)
Leadership: Secretary; Board (advisory only)
Organizational structure: Mainly by mode
*The DTOP is an umbrella organization that
coordinates activities between the Highway and
Transportation Authority (Autoridad de Carreteras
y Transportación or ACT), the Metropolitan Bus
Authority (Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses
or AMA) and the Maritime Transportation Authority (Autoridad de Transporte Maritimo or ATM).
Statewide Transportation System Statistics
Roads and bridges Total highway, road and street lane miles: 35,016 (2009); miles of tolled roadway: 208 (2009);
bridges: 2,201 (2010); toll bridges and tunnels: 1 (2009)
Transit Trips per year (all transit modes): Approximately 56.5 million (2008)
Rail Freight rail route-miles: (2008)
Aviation Airports (total): 10 (2008)
Enplanements per year: 4,459,086 (2009)
Marine Port traffic per year (20-foot equivalent units): 818,047 (2009); waterborne tonnage per year: 22.2
million (2009); Puerto Rico-operated ferries: 4 (2009)
Legislative-DOT Collaboration and Communication
(No data)
DOT Leadership Appointments and Requirements
The secretary of transportation and public works is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate (P.R. Const. art. IV,
§5). The governor can remove any officer whom he or she may appoint, except those whose removal is otherwise provided for by the constitution (3 L.P.R.A. §6). The two citizen members of the Advisory Board on Transportation are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the
governor, within statutory requirements that they be “related to the transportation system in Puerto Rico,” have satisfactory knowledge in the
area of transportation and have an “excellent reputation in the Puerto Rican community.” These members may be removed from office by
the governor for negligence in the performance of duties, immoral conduct or other reasonable cause, after due notice and hearing. The other
members of the board are the secretary of transportation and public works, the director of the Puerto Rico Office of Energy, the police superintendent, the chair of the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission and the chair of the Puerto Rico Planning Board (9 L.P.R.A. §3153).
Other Legislative Oversight of the DOT
Legislative Oversight Mechanisms The Treasury and Financial Affairs Commission holds quarterly public hearings on financial aspects
and budgets of key agencies.
Program Evaluation (No data)
Sunset Review (No data)
Legislation and Regulation
Transportation Governance Statutes L.P.R.A. tit. 9
Administrative Rules Review No formal review process.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 163
Transportation Planning and Capital Program Management
Transportation Planning Process Investments are made in accordance with the priorities of the DTOP and municipalities. The Legislative Assembly evaluates the DTOP’s programmatic commitments, priorities and spending levels for
urgent needs.
Legislative Role in Transportation
Planning
The Legislative Assembly plays an important role in determining spending levels for urgent needs.
Funding and Finance
Budgeting and Appropriations Annual budget; fiscal year begins July 1.
Bonding or Pay-as-You-Go Puerto Rico primarily uses bonding authority.
State-Level Funding Provided for DOT
Budgets
FY 2011 (approved): $416.9 million*
FY 2010: $327.1 million*
FY 2009: $482.7 million*
FY 2008: $496.8 million*
*These amounts are for the Highway and Transportation Authority only. The authority operates and
maintains toll roads, connecting roads, free expressways and the Tren Urbano rapid transit system. It also
operates bus service in San Juan through private operators.
Allocation of Federal Transportation
Funds to the DOT
Federal transportation funds flow directly to the DTOP from the U.S. DOT with no legislative
involvement.
Allocation of State Transportation Funds
to the DOT
State transportation funds are allocated to the DTOP through a legislative appropriation at agency,
program/category and project-specific levels. The Legislative Assembly approves the agency’s
operating budget; the budget capital improvements budget contains general obligations for specific
projects.
Traditional State Funding and Finance
for Highways
Fuel taxes; additional sales taxes on gasoline or diesel; vehicle registration/license/title fees; tolls;
interest income; excise taxes on petroleum products; revenue bonds.
State Funding and Finance for Other
Modes
Transit and rail: Funded by the same sources as highways, plus fares. Bridges: Funded by the same
sources as highways.
Innovative Transportation Funding and
Finance
GARVEE bonds; federal credit assistance (TIFIA); state infrastructure bank (federally capitalized);
PPPs (authorized in statute, with legislative approval required only to convert an existing facility to a
privately operated toll road); design-build (authorized in statute).
Dedicated/Restricted State Funds and
Revenues
All money of the Highway and Transportation Authority must be deposited into a separate account
or accounts in the name of the authority, and all disbursements must be made pursuant to regulations and budgets approved by the authority (9 L.P.R.A. §2008). Toll revenues must be used to
secure debt service; excess revenues can be used for operations.
DOT Authorized to Retain Surplus
Funds
A surplus of non-federal funds for the DTOP rarely occurs and would be a general fund surplus. Excess federal funds are returned to the U.S. DOT or might be reassigned if authorized by the federal
government.
Legislative Approval Required to Move
Funds Between Projects
Legislative approval is required to move general obligation capital improvement funds to another
projects, but not for DTOP operating funds.
Transportation Funding Allocations
through Local Aid
Non-federal and federal funds are allocated to local agencies through legislative appropriations and
by DTOP allocations of funds within existing statutory requirements.
Puerto Rico

Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 165
Appendix A. NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project
Oversight Committee Members
Overview
To more actively involve NCSL and AASHTO constituents in this project, both organizations collaboratively
created the NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project Oversight Committee (also known as the NCSL-AASHTO Task
Force). This joint committee was composed of members of the NCSL Transportation Standing Committee
and the AASHTO Standing Committee on Finance and Administration, with targeted involvement of the
AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Finance Policy. The committee had regular opportunities to
oversee and provide feedback on the research process and the review draft.
Total Participation
The NCSL-AASHTO Joint Project Oversight Committee was composed of 28 members from 19 states, plus
eight advisory members.
Co-Chairs
Joe Erskine, Deputy Secretary for Finance and Administration, Kansas Department of Transportation
Jennifer Jones, Assistant Director, Texas Sunset Advisory Commission
AASHTO Members
Laura Baker, Director, Administrative Services, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
Roberta Broeker, Chief Financial Officer, Missouri Department of Transportation
Ron Epstein, Chief Financial Officer, New York State Department of Transportation
Myron Frierson, Bureau Director for Finance and Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation
Leon Hank, Chief Administrative Officer, Michigan Department of Transportation (through January 2011)
Alicia Johnson, Financial and Legislative Policy Analyst, Kansas Department of Transportation
William J. Lawrence, Director for Program Finance, Utah Department of Transportation
Beth Nachreiner, Federal Legislative Director and Chief, Federal-State Policy and Budget Analysis, Wisconsin
Department of Transportation
Jim Ofcarcik, Manager, Fiscal Analysis, Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management, Illinois Department of
Transportation; acting for Ann Schneider, Director of Finance and Administration
Jeffrey L. Spalding, Director, Division of Multi-Modal Planning and Policy, Indiana Department of Transportation; previously of Indiana General Assembly (through November 2010)
Nancy Richardson, Director, Iowa Department of Transportation; also chair of AASHTO Standing Committee on Finance and Administration (SCOFA)
Dave Tolman, Administration Division Administrator, Idaho Transportation Department
Transportation Governance and Finance
166 National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL Members
Representative Candace Bouchard, New Hampshire
Eric Bugaile, Executive Director, Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee
Representative Yvonne Davis, Texas
Jessica Digiambattista, Legislative Analyst’s Office, California Legislature
Representative Richard Geist, Pennsylvania
William Hamilton, Senior Analyst, Michigan House of Representatives
Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, Washington
Mark Krmpotic, Senate Fiscal Analyst, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau
Senator John J. Millner, Illinois
Representative Rosemary Sandlin, Massachusetts
Representative David A. Scribner, Connecticut
Kelly Simpson, Staff Coordinator and Counsel, Washington Senate Transportation Committee
Representative John Siptroth, Pennsylvania
Marji Paslov Thomas, Principal Research Analyst, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau
Advisory Members
Eric Anderson, Chair, Transportation Finance Subcommittee, National Association of Regional Councils
Joe Dailey, Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Wyoming Division
Greg Dierkers, Program Director, Environment, Energy and Transportation, National Governors Association
DeLania Hardy, Executive Director, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations
Joanna Liberman Turner, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. DOT
Lee Munnich, Director, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Julia Pulidindi, Senior Programs Associate, Infrastructure, National League of Cities
Cinde Weatherby, Director, Center for Strategic Transportation Solutions, Texas Transportation Institute
AASHTO Staff
Jack Basso
Wendy Franklin
Joung Lee
Bud McDonald
NCSL Staff
Nicholas Farber
Jaime Rall
Molly Ramsdell
Jim Reed
Alice Wheet
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 167
Appendix B. NCSL-AASHTO Survey
Instruments
NCSL-AASHTO SURVEY 1
This survey was distributed to DOT personnel and legislative staff members in the 50 states, the District of
Columbia and Puerto Rico to gather factual information about transportation funding and finance. Responses
were received from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Responding organizations are
included in Appendix C.
Transportation Governance and Finance
A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation
SURVEY ON TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND FINANCE
This survey on interactions between state departments of transportation (DOTs) and legislatures is a
collaborative effort between the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Its primary objective is to gather
information about state-level interactions between the legislative and executive branches of government
in relation to transportation governance, with a particular emphasis on finance.
This survey has 27 questions. If you cannot complete the entire survey, please answer as many questions as possible. An incomplete survey response still provides useful data to the project. Please enter
your answers on this form and return it by Friday, September 24, 2010, as an e-mail attachment (jaime.
rall@ncsl.org) or by fax (303-364-7800, Attn: Jaime Rall, EET). Please include any reports or other attachments or links that add to or complete your survey responses.
If you have any questions about the survey or the NCSL-AASHTO study, you may contact Jaime Rall at
jaime.rall@ncsl.org or 303-856-1417. Thank you.
PART I: STATE LEGISLATIVE-EXECUTIVE INTERACTIONS AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
1) Please briefly describe your state’s process for determining transportation investment priorities and
spending levels. What are the respective roles of the state legislature and the state DOT?
2) What role do other entities (e.g. transportation commission, governor, local governmental entities,
etc.) play in determining state transportation priorities and spending levels in your state?
3) How are federal transportation funds allocated to your state’s DOT? Check all that apply.
Transportation Governance and Finance
168 National Conference of State Legislatures
Direct Flow from USDOT to State DOT (No State Legislative Involvement)
State Legislative Appropriation (Lump Sum Appropriation at Department Level)
State Legislative Appropriation (Appropriation at Program or Category Level)
State Legislative Appropriation (Appropriation at Project-Specific Level)
State Legislative Approval of DOT Transportation Plan
Other (please specify):
Please describe:
4) How are state transportation funds allocated to your state’s DOT? Check all that apply.
Direct Flow from Revenue Source or Fund to DOT (No State Legislative Involvement)
State Legislative Appropriation (Lump Sum Appropriation at Department Level)
State Legislative Appropriation (Appropriation at Program or Category Level)
State Legislative Appropriation (Appropriation at Project-Specific Level)
State Legislative Approval of DOT Transportation Plan or Other Project List
Other (please specify):
Please describe:
5) Does your state’s legislature set any conditions that the DOT must meet in order to receive state or
federal funds?
Yes (please specify):
No
Comments:
6) Is legislative approval required for the state DOT to move funds from one project (or type of project)
to another?
Yes (please specify):
No
Comments:
7) Please describe whether your state’s DOT is authorized to retain excess funds and, if not, what
happens to such funds at the end of the fiscal year or biennium. Note: Depending on the state, excess
funds may be defined as unspent appropriations, revenues in excess of a legislatively approved DOT budget, revenues in excess of statutory limits on a dedicated transportation fund, and/or other. Excess funds
do not include money obligated or otherwise committed to a specific, approved future purpose.
8) Please briefly describe any activities taken by your state’s legislature to provide oversight of the
state DOT’s expenditures and financing methods.
9) Please briefly describe any activities taken by your state’s executive entities (e.g. DOT leadership,
governor, transportation commission or board, etc.) to provide oversight of the state DOT’s expenditures and financing methods.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 169
10) Please briefly describe any legislative practices used to control DOT costs in your state (e.g. low bid
requirements, cost controls for support processes).
11) How are DOT performance goals set in your state, and who has the authority to set those goals?
12) Please describe any legislative practices used to better allocate DOT resources in order to meet
DOT performance goals (i.e., those set under the process described in question 11).
PART II: GENERAL OVERVIEW OF STATE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND FINANCING
13) Please enter your state DOT’s budget amounts for the following years and categories. Please include state funding only (exclude federal funds such as ARRA, federal-aid highway formula apportionments and allocations, federal transit funding, and other federal grants).
FY 2008
(in millions of dollars)
FY 2009
(in millions of dollars)
FY 2010
(in millions of dollars)
FY 2011
(as appropriated)
(in millions of dollars)
Highways $     $     $     $
Transit: Operating $     $     $     $
Transit: Capital $     $     $     $
Transit: Other $     $     $     $
Rail $     $     $     $
Administrative Costs $     $     $     $
Other (please specify):      $     $     $     $
TOTAL BUDGET $     $     $     $
Comments:
14) Which best describes your state’s approach to financing transportation?
Use of state bonding authority
Pay-as-you-go financing
Combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go
Comments:
15) What are your state’s revenue sources for highways (at the state level only)? Check all that apply.
Fuel Taxes
Additional Sales Taxes on Gasoline or Diesel
Motor Vehicle/Rental Car Sales Taxes
Vehicle Registration/License/Title Fees
Truck Weight Fees
General Obligation Bonds
Transportation Governance and Finance
170 National Conference of State Legislatures
Revenue Bonds
Tolls
General Funds
Interest Income
Other (please specify):
Comments:
16) Please briefly describe any statutory, constitutional or other restrictions on the use of the revenues
listed in question 15.
17) What are your state’s revenue sources for transit (at the state level)? Check all that apply.
Fuel Taxes
Additional Sales Taxes on Gasoline or Diesel
Motor Vehicle/Rental Car Sales Taxes
Vehicle Registration/License/Title Fees
Truck Weight Fees
General Obligation Bonds
Revenue Bonds
Tolls
General Funds
Interest Income
Other (please specify):
Comments:
18) Please briefly describe any statutory, constitutional or other restrictions on the use of the revenues
listed in question 17.
19) What, if any, are your state’s revenue sources for these modes (at the state level)? Please list.
• Passenger/Freight Rail:
• Aviation:
• Ports:
• Bridges:
• Other (please specify):
Comments:
20) Please briefly describe any statutory, constitutional or other restrictions on the use of the revenues
listed in question 19.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 171
21) Which of these does your state use to fund transportation projects? Check all that apply.
State Highway Fund
State Multimodal Transportation Fund
State Highway Trust Fund
State Multimodal Transportation Trust Fund
Dedicated Fund for Transit
Dedicated Fund for Rail
Other (e.g., funds for aviation, ports or bridges) (please specify):
Please describe:
22) Please briefly describe any statutory, constitutional or other restrictions on the use of the funds
listed in question 21.
23) Which of these non-traditional methods has your state used to fund or finance transportation?
Check all that apply.
GARVEE Bonds
Private Activity Bonds (PABs)
Build America Bonds (BABs)
Federal Credit Assistance (TIFIA)
State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs)
Congestion Pricing
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Design-Build
Vehicle-Miles Traveled Fees or Weight-Mile Fees
Creation of Non-Profit, Quasi-Public Entities
Traffic Camera Fees
Container Fees
Other (please specify):
Comments:
24) Does your state DOT engage in any of these methods for flexibly managing federal funds? Check
all that apply.
Tapered Matching
Advance Construction
Toll Credits or “Soft Match”
Other (please specify):
Comments:
Transportation Governance and Finance
172 National Conference of State Legislatures
25) How does your state allocate federal and/or state funds to local governmental entities through local aid? Check all that apply.
State Legislative Appropriation
DOT Allocation of Funds by Formula
DOT Allocation of Funds Within Existing Statutory Requirements
DOT Allocation of Funds, Discretionary
Other (please specify):
Please describe:
26) Please list any statutory, constitutional or other restrictions on local transportation funding and
financing options.
27) Do you have any other comments or thoughts you would like to share?
PART III: CONTACT INFORMATION
Please take a moment to tell us more about yourself.
Your name:
Your title:
Your agency:
E-mail address:
Phone number:
Thank you for your help with this survey!
Please email your completed survey to jaime.rall@ncsl.org
or fax it to 303-364-7800, Attn: Jaime Rall, EET, by Friday, September 24, 2010.
Please include any reports or other attachments or links that add to or complete your survey responses.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 173
NCSL-AASHTO SURVEY 2
This survey was distributed to DOT personnel and legislative staff members in the 50 states, the District of
Columbia and Puerto Rico to gather factual information about executive and legislative roles. Responses were
received from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Responding organizations are included in Appendix
C.
Transportation Governance and Finance
A 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation
SURVEY ON EXECUTIVE-LEGISLATIVE ROLES
This survey on interactions between state departments of transportation (DOTs) and legislatures is a
collaborative effort between the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Its primary objective is to gather
information about state-level interactions between the legislative and executive branches of government
in relation to transportation governance and oversight.
This survey has 21 questions. If you cannot complete the entire survey, please answer as many questions as possible. An incomplete survey response still provides useful data to the project. Please enter
your answers on this form and return it by Friday, September 24, 2010, as an e-mail attachment (jaime.
rall@ncsl.org) or by fax (303-364-7800, Attn: Jaime Rall, EET). Please include any reports or other attachments or links that add to or complete your survey responses.
If you have any questions about the survey or the NCSL-AASHTO study, you may contact Jaime Rall at
jaime.rall@ncsl.org or 303-856-1417. Thank you.
PART I: STATE EXECUTIVE-LEGISLATIVE INTERACTIONS
1) Please briefly describe your state’s overall approach to communication and interaction between the
state legislature and the DOT.
2) What mechanisms exist in your state for the DOT to influence and/or provide input about transportation-related legislation?
PART II: STATE DOT OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
3) What mechanisms exist in your state for legislative oversight of the DOT? Check all that apply.
Ongoing Oversight by One or More Legislative Committees or Commissions
Interim Charges to the Legislature
Legislative Program Reviews and/or Legislative Performance Audits
Legislative Review of Other (Non-Legislative) Program Reviews or Performance Audits
(e.g. those conducted by executive branch State Auditors)
Transportation Governance and Finance
174 National Conference of State Legislatures
DOT Reporting Requirements to the Legislature and/or Legislative Committee(s)
Legislative Requests for Information from the DOT
Other (please specify):
Please describe:
4) What resources, if any, are provided to the DOT in your state to support its compliance with oversight requirements?
5) How are DOT performance goals set in your state, and who has the authority to set those goals?
6) How is the DOT’s progress on meeting its performance goals evaluated, reported and/or used?
PART III: STATE DOT LEADERSHIP
7) What is your state DOT’s leadership structure? Check all that apply.
DOT Director or Executive Director
State Transportation Commission
State Transportation Secretary or Commissioner
State Transportation Board
State Transportation Board Director
Other (please specify):
Comments:
8) What is the process for appointing DOT leadership in your state? Check all that apply.
Governor Appointment, No Legislative Approval
Governor Appointment, Legislative Approval Required
Legislative Appointment
Other (please specify) :
Comments:
9) Must the person(s) appointed to DOT leadership in your state meet existing statutory requirements?
Yes (please specify):
No
Comments:
10) What is the process for removing DOT leadership in your state?
PART IV: STATE STATUTES
11) Please provide as complete a list as possible of state statutes concerning state-level transportation
governance, including authorizing statutes for your state’s DOT.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 175
12) Are any of these statutes subject to sunset provisions?
Yes (please describe):
No
Comments:
PART V: TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND PROJECT SELECTION
13) Please briefly describe the process of transportation planning—including project identification,
selection, prioritization and approval—in your state.
14) What are the roles of your state’s legislature in the transportation planning process described in
question 13 (e.g. project identification, reviewing and/or approving transportation plans)?
15) What are the roles of your state’s DOT in the transportation planning process described in question
13 (e.g. project identification, developing and/or approving transportation plans)?
16) What are the roles of any other entities (e.g. transportation commission, the office of the governor, local governmental entities such as metropolitan planning organizations, transit or rail agencies,
port or tolling authorities, etc.) in the transportation planning process described in question 13?
17) Please briefly describe what is done in your state to promote transparency and accountability in
the transportation planning process described in question 13.
PART VI: OTHER
18) How many FTEs (full-time equivalents) are employed by your state’s DOT?
19) Does your state’s legislature get data about the state’s transportation system from other, independent informational sources besides the DOT?
Yes (please specify):
No
Comments:
20) What role does the governor’s office play in DOT governance in your state?
21) Do you have any other comments or thoughts you would like to share?
PART III: CONTACT INFORMATION
Please take a moment to tell us more about yourself.
Your name:
Your title:
Your agency:
Transportation Governance and Finance
176 National Conference of State Legislatures
E-mail address:
Phone number:
Thank you for your help with this survey!
Please email your completed survey to jaime.rall@ncsl.org
or fax it to 303-364-7800, Attn: Jaime Rall, EET, by Friday, September 24, 2010.
Please include any reports or other attachments or links that add to or complete your survey responses.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 177
NCSL-AASHTO SURVEY 3
This anonymous, online survey was made available to DOT executives and legislators in the 50 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The survey allowed respondents to share anonymously their experiences and thoughts about interactions between the DOT and the legislature in their respective states. Thirty
legislators and 26 DOT officials responded. (Organizations that responded to Survey 3 are not listed in Appendix C due to the anonymity of the responses.)
NCSL-AASHTO Survey for State Legislators (or)
NCSL-AASHTO Survey for State Departments of Transportation
(DOTs)
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this survey. This survey should only take 5 – 10 minutes of
your time.
All of your answers will be completely confidential.
This survey is part of a collaborative research project of the National Conference of State Legislatures
(NCSL) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). By completing this survey, you are contributing to a new, foundational resource that will help DOT personnel
and state legislators better understand and navigate intergovernmental arrangements.
If you have any questions about this survey or the NCSL-AASHTO study, please contact Jaime Rall at
jaime.rall@ncsl.org or 303-856-1417.
1. Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements.
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree Neither
Agree
nor Disagree
Agree Agree
Strongly
The legislature and DOT in my state work together effectively.     
The DOT in my state generally acts in the public’s
best interest.     
The legislature in my state generally acts in the
public’s best interest.     
The DOT in my state is open and transparent in
how it shares information about its activities and
decisions.
    
Transportation Governance and Finance
178 National Conference of State Legislatures
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree Neither
Agree
nor Disagree
Agree Agree
Strongly
Legislators in my state are committed to public
service, not political or personal interest, when
making transportation-related decisions.
    
There is an appropriate balance of power in my
state between the DOT and the legislature.     
The legislative process in my state introduces
unnecessary bureaucracy or delay into transportation-related activities.
    
The DOT in my state should be subject to additional independent oversight and accountability.     
The legislature in my state understands how a
government agency like the DOT operates in
practice.
    
The DOT in my state is a responsible steward of
public resources, with minimal fraud or waste.     
The public meaningfully influences the decisionmaking process for transportation projects in my
state.
    
The DOT in my state acts in a way that is consistent with legislative intent.     
The state legislature has a fundamental responsibility to oversee operations at the DOT.     
The public is made sufficiently aware of significant transportation policy and budget decisions
made by the DOT in my state.
    
The public is made sufficiently aware of significant transportation policy and budget decisions
made by the legislature in my state.
    
Transportation projects in my state are chosen
based primarily on merit, not political, personal
or other considerations.
    
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 179
2. What has worked well in your state, in terms of interactions between the legislature and the DOT?
3. What has NOT worked well in your state, in terms of interactions between the legislature and the
DOT?
4. What challenges, problems or tensions exist between your state’s DOT and legislature?
5. Please share any lessons learned, best practices or recommendations for DOT-legislative interactions.
6. Additional comments (optional):
7. Please enter your e-mail address here (optional) if you would like to see the final results of this
study. ** IF YOU CHOOSE TO SHARE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS, YOUR SURVEY ANSWERS WILL STILL BE
COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL. **
Thank you for your participation in this survey! Please click “done” to submit your response.
Transportation Governance and Finance
180 National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL-AASHTO SURVEY 4
This brief questionnaire was distributed through the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society
(NLPES) listserv to gather information about legislative program evaluations and audits of state DOTs. Eight
states—Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and West
Virginia—responded. Responding organizations are included in Appendix C.
NCSL is working on a research project that looks at how state departments of transportation (DOTs) are
reviewed and overseen by state legislatures. Here is a list of our most pressing questions. Thanks for
your help.
• Are you required to do periodic evaluations of your state’s DOT (i.e., at regular intervals,
rather than initiated by specific directive or request)? If so, how do these audits or evaluations differ from other agency audits or evaluations conducted by your office?
• What guidelines, standards or processes do you use in completing audits or evaluations of
your state’s DOT?
• Have any recent audits or evaluations of your state’s DOT garnered media or public attention?
Thank you again for your assistance.
Jaime Rall, NCSL Transportation Program
Jaime.Rall@ncsl.org
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 181
Appendix C. NCSL-AASHTO Survey
Respondents
This list includes all state organizations that responded to NCSL-AASHTO surveys 1, 2 and 4 (see Appendix B) and
those that offered substantive reviews of an earlier draft of the findings.
Alabama
Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office
Alabama Legislative Reference Service
Alaska
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
Alaska Legislative Finance Division
Alaska Legislative Research Services
Arizona
Arizona Department of Transportation
Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee
Arizona House Research Office
Arizona Senate Research Office
Arkansas
Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
California
California Department of Transportation
California Legislative Analyst’s Office
Colorado
Colorado Joint Budget Committee
Colorado Legislative Council Staff
Connecticut
Connecticut Department of Transportation
Connecticut General Assembly Office of Fiscal Analysis
Connecticut Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee
Connecticut Office of Legislative Research
Delaware
Delaware Department of Transportation
Delaware Office of the Controller General
Florida
Florida Senate
The Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Georgia
Georgia Department of Transportation
Georgia House of Representatives Budget Office
Hawaii
Hawaii Department of Transportation
Hawaii House Committee on Finance
Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau
Idaho
Idaho Transportation Department
Legislative Services Office of the Idaho Legislature
Illinois
Illinois Department of Transportation
Illinois Legislative Research Unit
Transportation Governance and Finance
182 National Conference of State Legislatures
Indiana
Indiana Department of Transportation
Indiana Legislative Services Agency
Iowa
Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Legislative Services Agency
Kansas
Kansas Department of Transportation
Kansas Legislative Research Department
Kentucky
Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Louisiana
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office
Louisiana Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works
Maine
Maine Department of Transportation
Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review
Maine Office of Policy and Legal Analysis
Maryland
Maryland Department of Legislative Services
Maryland Department of Transportation
Massachusetts
Joint Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Michigan
Michigan Department of Transportation
Michigan House Fiscal Agency
Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Minnesota House of Representatives Fiscal Analysis Department
Minnesota Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis Office
Mississippi
Mississippi Department of Transportation
Mississippi Legislative Reference Bureau
Missouri
Missouri Department of Transportation
Montana
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division
Montana Legislative Services Division
Nebraska
Nebraska Legislative Fiscal Office
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee of the Nebraska Legislature
Nevada
Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau
New Hampshire
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
New Hampshire Office of Legislative Budget Assistant
New Hampshire Office of Legislative Services
New Jersey
Office of Legislative Services
New Mexico
New Mexico Department of Transportation
New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 183
New York
New York State Senate Finance Committee—Minority
North Carolina
Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Dakota
North Dakota Legislative Council
North Dakota Department of Transportation
Ohio
Ohio Legislative Service Commission
Oklahoma
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Oregon
Oregon Legislative Administration Committee Services
Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office
Oregon Legislative Revenue Office
Pennsylvania
Governor’s Office of the Budget
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Pennsylvania House Committee on Transportation
Pennsylvania House Committee on Appropriations
Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Transportation
Rhode Island
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Rhode Island House Fiscal Advisory Staff
Rhode Island Senate Fiscal Advisory Staff
South Carolina
South Carolina Department of Transportation
South Carolina Legislative Audit Council
South Carolina Senate Finance Committee
South Carolina Senate Transportation Committee
South Dakota
South Dakota Department of Transportation
South Dakota Legislative Research Council
Tennessee
Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury—Division of State Audit
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Tennessee Office of Legal Services for the General Assembly
Tennessee Office of Legislative Budget Analysis
Texas
Texas Department of Transportation
Texas Legislative Budget Board
Texas Sunset Advisory Commission
Utah
Utah Office of Legislative Fiscal Analyst
Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
Vermont
Vermont Office of Legislative Council
Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office
Virginia
Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia Senate Finance Committee
Transportation Governance and Finance
184 National Conference of State Legislatures
Washington
Washington State Department of Transportation
Washington State House Transportation Committee
Washington State Legislature Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee
Washington State Senate Transportation Committee
West Virginia
West Virginia Legislative Auditor’s Office—Performance Evaluation and Research Division
West Virginia Department of Transportation
Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Wisconsin Legislative Council
Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau
Wyoming
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Wyoming Legislative Service Office
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Committee on Public Works and Transportation
District of Columbia Office of Budget and Planning in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Treasury and Financial Affairs Commission
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 185
Appendix D. Appointments of DOT Leadership
This chart details how DOT leadership is appointed in each state, including legal requirements and citations. DOT
leadership is defined here as both executives within a DOT and other transportation leaders within the executive branch
that influence a DOT’s activities.
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Alabama Director of
Transportation
X Ala. Code
§23-1-21
Alaska Commissioner
of Transportation and Public
Facilities
Confirmed by
the majority of
the members of
the legislature in
joint session
U.S. citizenship Alaska Const.,
art. III, §25
Arizona State Transportation Board
With consent of
the Senate
Residency; taxpayer status;
geographic representation
Ariz. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §28-302
and §38-211
DOT Director With consent of
the Senate
Ariz. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §28-361
and §38-211
Arkansas State Highway
Commission
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
Ark. Const.
Am. 42, §2;
Ark. Stat. Ann.
§27-65-104
DOT Director Appointed by
State Highway
Commission
Must be a “practical business
or professional
person”
Ark. Stat. Ann.
§27-65-122
California California Transportation Commission
With advice and
consent of the
Senate (9 voting
citizen members)
Speaker of
the Assembly
and Senate
Committee on
Rules each appoint 1 voting
citizen member
and 1 ex officio legislator
member
Voting citizen
members may
not simultaneously hold elected
public office or
serve on any local or regional
public board or
commission with
business before
the commission;
for governor-appointed members,
governor must
“make every effort
to assure a geographic balance of
representation”
Cal. Government Code
§§14500 et
seq.
DOT Director Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Cal. Government Code
§14003
Secretary of the
Business, Transportation and
Housing Agency
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Cal. Government Code
§13976
Transportation Governance and Finance
186 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Colorado Transportation
Commission
With consent of
the Senate
Geographic representation; residency; governor must
consider appointing people with
knowledge or experience in transit
and engineering,
and is encouraged
to include at least
one member who
is a person with
a disability, has a
family member
with a disability,
or is a member of
an advocacy group
for people with
disabilities
Colo. Rev.
Stat. §43-1-
106
DOT Executive
Director
With consent of
the Senate
Colo. Rev.
Stat. §43-1-
103
Connecticut DOT Commissioner
With advice and
consent of either
house of the
General Assembly (nomination
confirmed or
rejected by resolution)
Must be “qualified by training
and experience for
the duties of the
office”
Conn. Gen.
Stat. Ann.
§§4-6 to 4-8
Delaware Secretary of the
DOT
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Must be “qualified
by training and
experience to perform the duties of
the office;” preference must be given
to a state resident,
provided such
person is acceptable and equally
qualified
Del. Code
Ann. tit. 29,
§8403
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 187
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Florida Transportation
Commission
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Geographic representation; state
citizenship; voter
registration; must
have business
managerial experience in the private
sector
Fla. Stat. Ann.
§20.23
Secretary of
Transportation
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Nominated by
Transportation
Commission
Must be a “proven,
effective administrator who by
a combination
of education and
experience shall
clearly possess a
broad knowledge
of the administrative, financial, and
technical aspects
of the development, operation,
and regulation
of transportation
systems and facilities or comparable
systems and facilities”
Fla. Stat. Ann.
§20.23
Georgia State Transportation Board
Elected by
majority vote
of state legislators in each
congressional
district
Ga. Const. art.
IV, §4; Ga.
Code Ann.
§32-2-20
Commissioner
of Transportation
Appointed by
State Transportation Board
Ga. Const. art.
IV, §4
Director of Planning
Subject to approval by a
majority vote of
both the House
Transportation
Committee
and the Senate
Transportation
Committee
Ga. Code
Ann. §32-2-43
Hawaii DOT Director With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Hawaii Rev.
Stat. §26-31
Commission on
Transportation
(advisory only)
X Geographic representation
Hawaii Rev.
Stat. §26-19
Transportation Governance and Finance
188 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Idaho Idaho Transportation Board
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
State citizenship;
residency; party
affiliation; geographic representation (except the
chairman, who is
appointed from
the state at-large);
restrictions on
holding other
offices; must be
“well informed
and interested in
the construction
and maintenance
of public highways
and highway systems;” at least one
must have special
training, experience or expertise
in aeronautics
Idaho Code
§§40-302 et
seq.
Director of the
ITD
Appointed by
Idaho Transportation Board
Must have
“knowledge and
experience in
transportation
matters”
Idaho Code
§40-503
Illinois Secretary of
Transportation
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
Ill. Rev. Stat.
ch. 20, §§5/5-
605 et seq.
Indiana Commissioner X Ind. Code
Ann. §8-23-
2-2
Iowa Transportation
Commission
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Party affiliation;
restrictions pertaining to conflicts
of interest
Iowa Code
Ann. §§307.2
et seq.
Director of
Transportation
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Restrictions on
holding certain
other offices or positions; prohibited
from contributing
to campaign funds
Iowa Code
Ann. §307.11
Kansas Secretary of
Transportation
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Kan. Stat.
Ann. §75-
5001
Highway Advisory Commission (advisory
only)
X Geographic representation; restrictions on holding
other public office
or employment
Kan. Stat.
Ann. §75-
5002
Kentucky Secretary of the
Transportation
Cabinet
X Ky. Rev. Stat.
§12.040 and
§12.255
Louisiana Secretary of
Transportation
and Development
With consent of
the Senate
La. Rev. Stat.
Ann. §36:503
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 189
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Maine Commissioner
of Transportation
Subject to review by the Joint
Standing Committee on Transportation and
confirmation by
the legislature
Me. Rev. Stat.
Ann. tit. 23,
§4205
Maryland Secretary of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Md. Transportation Code
Ann. §2-102
Massachusetts Board of Directors
X Party affiliation;
two must be experts in public or
private transportation finance; two
must have practical experience in
transportation
planning; one
must be a registered civil engineer
with at least 10
years’ experience
Mass. Gen.
Laws Ann. ch.
6C, §2
Secretary X Mass. Gen.
Laws Ann. ch.
6C, §2
Michigan State Transportation Commission
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Party affiliation Mich. Comp.
Laws Ann.
§247.802;
Mich. Const.
art. V, §28
Director With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Must possess
“proven executive
and administrative
abilities, preferably in the field of
public or private
transportation or
public administration;” if director
is not a licensed
professional engineer, s/he must
designate a deputy
director who is, to
be responsible for
the engineering
content of policies
and programs
Mich. Comp.
Laws Ann.
§16.455 and
§247.805;
Mich. Const.
art. V, §28
Minnesota Commissioner
of Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Minn. Stat.
Ann. §174.02,
§15.06 and
§15.066
Transportation Governance and Finance
190 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Mississippi Transportation
Commission
Elected by
the people,
one from
each
Supreme
Court
district, at
the same
time and
manner as
the governor
Must be qualified
electors and citizens of the district
in which they offer
for election
Miss. Code
Ann. §65-1-3
Executive Director
Appointed by
Transportation
Commission,
with advice and
consent of the
Senate
Must possess a
wide knowledge
of the state’s transportation system
and needs, and
of the principles
of transportation
organization and
administration;
must possess
selected training
or expertise in the
field of transportation; cannot have
been a member
of the Transportation Commission
within two years
of appointment
Miss. Code
Ann. §65-1-9
Missouri Missouri
Highways and
Transportation
Commission
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
Party affiliation;
taxpayer status;
residency
Mo. Rev. Stat.
§226.030
DOT Director Appointed
by Missouri
Highways and
Transportation
Commission
State citizenship
and residency;
must have had
executive management experience
for at least five
years; may be a
registered professional engineer
Mo. Rev. Stat.
§226.040
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 191
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Montana Transportation
Commission
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Residency; geographic representation; party affiliation; restrictions
on other state
office or employment; at least one
must have specific knowledge of
Indian culture and
tribal transportation needs, and
must be selected
by the governor
after consultation
with the Montana
members of the
Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council
Mont. Const.
art. VI, §8;
Mont. Code
Ann. §2-15-
2502
DOT Director Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Mont. Code
Ann. §2-15-
2501 and
§2-15-111
Nebraska Highway Commission (advisory only)
Consent of a
majority of all
the members of
the [unicameral]
Legislature
Geographic representation; U.S.
citizenship; age;
residency; party
affiliation
Neb. Rev. Stat.
§39-1101 and
§39-1110
DOR Director Subject to confirmation by a
majority vote
of the members
elected to the
[unicameral]
Legislature
Neb. Rev. Stat.
§81-102; Neb.
Const. art. IV,
§10
Transportation Governance and Finance
192 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Nevada Board of Directors
X
(3 members)
Governor, Lt.
Governor, Attorney General and
State Controller
serve ex officio
For appointed
members: geographic representation; state residency; restrictions
pertaining to conflicts of interest;
must be informed
on and interested
in the construction and maintenance of highways
and other transportation matters;
must possess either
knowledge of engineering evidenced
by possession of
an engineering
degree and license;
demonstrated
expertise in financial matters and
business administration; or demonstrated expertise
in the business
of construction
evidenced by a
general contractor
license and experience as a principal
officer of a statelicensed firm
Nev. Rev. Stat.
§408.106
DOT Director Appointed by
Board of Directors
Prohibition on
other employment; must be in
unclassified state
service; must be
a licensed professional engineer;
must have had at
least five years of
responsible administrative experience
in public or business administration; must possess
broad skills as a
manager in DOTrelated areas
Nev. Rev. Stat.
§§408.160 et
seq.
New Hampshire DOT Commissioner
Appointed by
the governor,
with consent of
the Executive
Council (elected
executive
agency)
N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann.
§21-L:3
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 193
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
New Jersey Commissioner
of Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Must be “qualified
by training and
experience to perform the duties of
his office”
N.J. Stat. Ann.
§27:1A-4
Transportation
Trust Fund Authority (finances
transportation
programs)
With advice and
consent of the
Senate (3 members)
Appointed by
governor upon
recommendation of Senate
president (1
member); appointed by
governor upon
recommendation
of speaker of the
General Assembly (1 member);
Commissioner
of Transportation and State
Treasurer serve
ex officio
Party affiliation;
one of the three
appointed with
advice and consent of the Senate
must represent the
interest of trade
unions, and another of the three,
the interests of
owners of eligible
construction firms
N.J. Stat. Ann.
§27:1B-4
New Mexico Transportation
Commission
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Appointed by
Senate if governor fails to
follow procedure
for Senate confirmation
Geographic
representation;
residency
N.M. Stat.
Ann. §67-3-2
to §67-3-5
Secretary of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Also requires
approval of the
Transportation
Commission
N.M. Stat.
Ann. §67-3-23
New York Commissioner
of Transportation
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
N.Y. Transportation Law
§11
North Carolina Board of Transportation
X 14 members represent state highway
divisions; of the
other five members who serve
at-large, one must
have knowledge
of environmental
issues; one of ports
and aviation; one
of governmentrelated finance
and accounting;
one must reside
in a rural area and
have knowledge of
rural transportation issues; and
one must reside in
an urban area and
have knowledge of
transit issues
N.C. Gen.
Stat. §143B350
Secretary of
Transportation
X N.C. Gen.
Stat. §143B-9
Transportation Governance and Finance
194 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
North Dakota DOT Director X N.D. Cent.
Code §24-02-
01.3
Ohio Director of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Ohio Rev.
Code Ann.
§121.03; Ohio
Const. art. III,
§21
Oklahoma Secretary of
Transportation
(cabinet member)
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 74,
§10.3
Transportation
Commission
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Residency; geographic representation
Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 69,
§302
DOT Director Elected by majority vote of the
Transportation
Commission
Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 69,
§305
Oregon Transportation
Commission
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Residency; geographic representation; party
affiliation
Or. Rev. Stat.
§184.612; Or.
Const. art.
III, §4
Director of
Transportation
Subject to confirmation by the
Senate
Or. Rev. Stat.
§184.620
Pennsylvania Transportation
Commission
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
(10 members)
Secretary of
Transportation
and chairs and
minority chairs
of Senate and
House Transportation Committees are members
by virtue of their
offices
Residency; party
affiliation; restrictions on holding
other state employment; must be
“reputable citizens
of the Commonwealth, of
mature judgment
and broad business experience;”
at least one appointee must hold
at least a private
pilot’s license and
derive part of his
or her livelihood
from aviationrelated activities
or be otherwise
actively involved
in aviation; at
least two must be
members of the
board of directors
of a transportation
authority at time
of appointment
Pa. Cons. Stat.
Ann. tit. 71,
§178
Secretary of
Transportation
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
Pa. Cons. Stat.
Ann. tit. 71,
§67.1
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 195
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Rhode Island Director of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
R.I. Gen. Laws
§42-13-1
South Carolina Commission of
the Department
of Transportation
X
(1 member,
at-large)
Elected by
legislators
residing in
each congressional district
(6 members)
All must be
screened by
Joint Transportation Review
Committee
to determine
whether they
meet statutory
requirements
Elections or appointments must
“take into account
race and gender
so as to represent
all segments of the
state’s population
to the greatest
extent possible;”
no legislator or
legislator’s immediate family
member is eligible;
must have a degree
that meets certain
requirements or
at least five years’
experience in any
combination of
transportation,
construction,
finance, law, environmental issues,
management or
engineering
S.C. Code
Ann. §1-3-
240, §§57-1-
310 et seq.
Secretary of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate1
Must possess
“practical and
successful business and executive
ability and be
knowledgeable in
the field of transportation”
S.C. Code
Ann. §57-1-
410
South Dakota Transportation
Commission
X Party affiliation;
residency; geographic representation
S.D. Codified
Laws Ann.
§§1-44-4 et
seq.
Secretary of
Transportation
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
S.D. Const.
art. IV, §9;
S.D. Codified
Laws Ann.
§1-32-3
Tennessee Commissioner
of Transportation
X Must be “a person
qualified by training and experience
to perform the
duties of the commissioner’s office”
Tenn. Code
Ann. §4-3-
2302
Transportation Governance and Finance
196 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Texas Texas Transportation Commission
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Geographic
representation;
reflection of the
diversity of the
state; restrictions
pertaining to conflicts of interest;
one must reside in
a rural area
Tex. Transportation
Code Ann.
§§201.051 et
seq.
Executive Director of the DOT
Elected by the
Texas Transportation Commission
Must be “experienced and skilled
in transportation
planning and
development and
in organizational
management”
Tex. Transportation
Code Ann.
§201.301
Utah Transportation
Commission
With consent of
the Senate
Geographic
representation;2
residency
Utah Code
Ann. §72-1-
301
Executive Director of the DOT
With consent of
the Senate
With recommendations
from the Transportation Commission
Must be “a qualified executive with
technical and administrative experience and training
appropriate for the
position”
Utah Code
Ann. §72-1-
202
Vermont Transportation
Board3
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Party affiliation;
restrictions pertaining to conflicts
of interest; the
governor must, so
far as is possible,
appoint members
“whose interests
and expertise lie
in various areas of
the transportation
field”
Vt. Stat. Ann.
tit. 19, §3
Secretary of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Vt. Stat. Ann.
tit. 19, §7
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 197
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
Virginia Commonwealth
Transportation
Board
Subject to confirmation by the
legislature (14
citizen members)
Secretary of
Transportation,
Commonwealth
Transportation
Commissioner
and Director
of the Department of Rail and
Public Transportation serve
ex officio as
nonvoting members; except, in
cases of a tie,
the secretary or
commissioner
may vote if acting as chair
Residency (14
citizen members)
Va. Code
§§33.1-1 et
seq.
Commonwealth
Transportation
Commissioner
Subject to confirmation by the
legislature
Must be “an
experienced administrator, able
to direct and guide
the Department in
the establishment
and achievement
of the Commonwealth’s long-range
highway and other
transportation objectives;” may be a
nonresident of the
state at the time of
appointment
Va. Code
§33.1-3
Secretary of
Transportation
Subject to confirmation by the
legislature
Va. Code
§2.2-200
Washington Transportation
Commission
With consent
of the Senate (7
members)
The governor or
designee serves
as a nonvoting
member and
the Secretary of
Transportation
serves ex officio
Residency; geographic representation; prohibitions
on other state
position or employment; commissioners should
reflect a “wide
range of transportation interests”
Wash. Rev.
Code Ann.
§47.01.051
Secretary of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Wash. Rev.
Code Ann.
§47.01.041
Transportation Governance and Finance
198 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/
Jurisdiction
Leadership GovernorAppointed,
No
Legislative
Approval
Required
GovernorAppointed With
Legislative
Approval
Appointed
or Elected by
Legislators
Elected Other Legal
Requirements
Citations
West Virginia Secretary of
Transportation
(DOT)
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
W. Va. Code
§5F-1-2
Commissioner
of Highways
(Division of
Highways)
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
Must be “a person
who is experienced
in highway planning, finance,
construction,
maintenance,
management
and supervision
qualifying him for
the duties of his
office”
W. Va. Code
§17-2A-2
Wisconsin Secretary of
Transportation
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
Wis. Stat.
Ann. §15.05
Wyoming Transportation
Commission
By and with advice and consent
of the Senate
Party affiliation;
geographic representation
Wyo. Stat.
§24-2-101
Director of the
DOT
X Nominated by
the Transportation Commission
Must be “qualified
candidates”
Wyo. Stat.
§24-2-105
District of Columbia
DOT Director Appointed by
the mayor, with
the advice and
consent of the
Council
D.C. Code
Ann. §50-
921.02
Puerto Rico Secretary of
Transportation and Public
Works
With advice and
consent of the
Senate
P.R. Const.
art. IV, §5
Advisory Board
on Transportation (advisory
only)
X
(2 members)
Secretary of
Transportation and Public
Works, Director
of the Puerto
Rico Office of
Energy, Police
Superintendent,
chair of the
Puerto Rico
Public Service
Commission
and chair of
the Puerto Rico
Planning Board
serve by virtue of
their offices
Appointed members must be “related to the transportation system
in Puerto Rico,”
have satisfactory
knowledge in the
area of transportation and have an
“excellent reputation in the Puerto
Rican community”
9 L.P.R.A.
§3153
Notes
1. The gubernatorial appointment of the South Carolina Secretary of Transportation expires in 2015, at which time the responsibility reverts to
the Commission of the DOT (2007 S.C. Acts, Act 114).
2. Before July 1, 2009, six commissioners represented counties and one was at-large. Now, four commissioners represent each of the four DOT
regions and three are at-large; no more than two can be from any one region. At least one must be selected from a rural county.
3. The Vermont Transportation Board provides appellate review of various state DOT decisions and rulings, has original jurisdiction over certain
claims and conducts public hearings. Thus, although not solely advisory in nature, it does not have the policy-making function of many other transportation boards and commissions.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 199
Appendix E. Legislative Committees
that Addressed Transportation Issues
as of April 2011
State/Jurisdiction Committees
Alabama House Committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure—House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
Permanent Joint Transportation Committee
Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Utilities
Alaska House Committee on Finance
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Facilities—House Finance
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Finance
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Safety—Senate Finance
Senate Committee on Transportation
Arizona House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Criminal Justice—Senate Appropriations
Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Transportation
Arkansas House Committee on Public Transportation
• Subcommittee on Motor Vehicles and Highways—House Public Transportation
• Subcommittee on Public Transportation and Rail—House Public Transportation
• Subcommittee on Waterways and Aeronautics—House Public Transportation
Joint Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance
• Subcommittee on New Revenue—Joint Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance
• Subcommittee on Revenue Transfer—Joint Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance
• Work Group—Joint Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance
• Stakeholders Task Force (non-legislative membership)—Joint Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway
Finance
Senate Committee on Public Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs
• Subcommittee on Motor Vehicles and Highways—Senate Public Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs
• Subcommittee on Waterways and Aeronautics—Senate Public Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs
California Assembly Committee on Budget
• Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation—Assembly Budget
Assembly Committee on Transportation
Assembly Select Committee on High Speed Rail for California
Assembly Select Committee on Inland Empire Transportation Issues
Assembly Select Committee on Ports
Assembly Select Committee on Rail Transportation
Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review
• Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation—Senate
Budget and Fiscal Review
Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing
Senate Select Committee on Alameda Corridor
Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation
Senate Select Committee on California Ports and Goods Movement
Senate Select Committee on High-Speed Rail
Colorado House Committee on Transportation
Joint Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
Transportation Governance and Finance
200 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/Jurisdiction Committees
Connecticut Joint Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation—Joint Appropriations
Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding
• Subcommittee on Transportation Bonding—Joint Finance, Revenue and Bonding
Joint Committee on Transportation
Delaware House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
House Committee on Transportation, Land Use and Infrastructure
Senate Committee on Highways and Transportation
Senate Committee on Public Safety
Florida House Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations—House Appropriations
House Committee on Economic Affairs
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Highway Safety—House Economic Affairs
Senate Committee on Budget
• Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations—Senate Budget
Senate Committee on Transportation
Georgia House Committee on Appropriations
• Economic Development Subcommittee—House Appropriations
House Committee on Motor Vehicles
House Committee on Public Safety
House Committee on Transportation
Joint Committee on Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview (MARTOC)
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on Public Safety
Senate Committee on Transportation
Hawaii House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs
Idaho House Committee on Transportation and Defense
Senate Committee on Transportation
Illinois House Committee on Appropriations–Public Safety
House Committee on Mass Transit
House Committee on Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges
• Subcommittee on Railroad and Air Transportation—House Transportation: Regulation, Roads and
Bridges
• Subcommittee on Transportation Registration and Regulation—House Transportation: Regulation,
Roads and Bridges
House Committee on Transportation: Vehicles and Safety
• Subcommittee on Speed Limits—House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety
House Committee on Tollway Oversight
• Subcommittee on Tollway Oversight Review—House Tollway Oversight
Senate Committee on Transportation
Indiana House Committee on Roads and Transportation
Joint Illiana Expressway Proposal Review Committee
Joint Interim Study Committee on Driver Education
Joint Northwest Transportation Study Commission
Joint Rail Corridor Safety Committee
Joint Study Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Investment and Solutions
Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs
• Subcommittee on Transportation—Senate Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs
Iowa House Committee on Public Safety
House Committee on Transportation
Joint Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Transportation
Kansas House Committee on Transportation
House Committee on Transportation and Public Safety Budget
Joint Special Committee on New Comprehensive Transportation Plan
Joint Special Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 201
State/Jurisdiction Committees
Kentucky House Committee on Appropriations and Revenue
• Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation—House Appropriations and Revenue
House Committee on Transportation
Interim Joint Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
Louisiana House Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Resources—House Appropriations
House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works
Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works
Senate Select Committee on Oversight of the Greater New Orleans Expressway
Maine Joint Committee on Transportation
Maryland House Appropriations Committee
• Subcommittee on Transportation and the Environment—House Appropriations
House Environmental Matters Committee
• Subcommittee on Motor Vehicles and Transportation—House Environmental Matters
House Judiciary Committee
House Ways and Means Committee
• Subcommittee on Transportation—House Ways and Means
• Subcommittee, Vice Chair’s—House Ways and Means
Senate Budget and Taxation Committee
• Subcommittee on Public Safety, Transportation and Environment—Senate Budget and Taxation
Senate Finance Committee
• Subcommittee on Transportation—Senate Finance
Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation
Michigan House Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation—House Appropriations
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation—Senate Appropriations
Senate Committee on Transportation
Minnesota House Committee on Transportation Policy and Finance
Senate Committee on Transportation
Mississippi House Committee on Judiciary A
House Committee on Ports, Harbors, and Airports
House Committee on Public Utilities
House Committee on Transportation
House Committee on Ways and Means
Senate Committee on Finance
Senate Committee on Highways and Transportation
Senate Committee on Judiciary, Division A
Senate Committee on Ports and Marine Resources
Missouri House Committee on Appropriations—Transportation and Economic Development
House Committee on Budget
House Committee on Transportation
House Committee on Transportation Funding and Public Institutions
Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on Transportation
Montana House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Highways and Transportation
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Transportation
Nebraska Committee on Transportation and Telecommunications
Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact (some Nebraska legislators appointed as members)
Nevada Assembly Committee on Transportation
Commission on Special License Plates
Interim Finance Committee
Joint Subcommittee on Public Safety, Natural Resources, and Transportation
Legislative Commission
Senate Committee on Transportation
Transportation Governance and Finance
202 National Conference of State Legislatures
State/Jurisdiction Committees
New Hampshire House Committee on Public Works and Highways
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation and Interstate Cooperation
New Jersey Assembly Committee on Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities
Senate Committee on Transportation
New Mexico House Appropriations and Finance Committee
House Committee on Transportation and Public Works
Senate Committee on Corporations and Transportation
Senate Finance Committee
New York Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
Assembly Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
North Carolina House Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation—House Appropriations
House Committee on Transportation
Joint Future of the North Carolina Railroad Study Commission
Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee
Senate Committee on Appropriations on Department of Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
North Dakota House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
Ohio House Committee on Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security
Senate Committee on Highways and Transportation
Subcommittee on Transportation—House Finance and Appropriations
Oklahoma House Committee on Appropriations and Budget
• Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation—House Appropriations and Budget
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation—Senate Appropriations
Senate Committee on Transportation
Oregon House Committee on Revenue
House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development
Joint Committee on Ways and Means
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development—Joint Ways and Means
Senate Committee on Business. Transportation and Economic Development
Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue
Pennsylvania House Committee on Transportation
• Subcommittee on Aviation—House Transportation
• Subcommittee on Highways—House Transportation
• Subcommittee on Public Transportation—House Transportation
• Subcommittee on Railroads—House Transportation
• Subcommittee on Transportation Safety—House Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
Rhode Island House Committee on Finance
• Subcommittee on Transportation—House Finance
Joint Committee on Highway Safety
Joint Port Facilities Study Commission
Senate Committee on Finance
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Safety—Senate Finance
Study Commission on Sustainable Transportation Funding
South Carolina House Committee on Education and Public Works
• Subcommittee on Motor Vehicles and Public Works—House Education and Public Works
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Roadways—House Education and Public Works
House Committee on Ways and Means
• Subcommittee on Transportation and Regulatory—House Ways and Means
Senate Committee on Transportation
South Dakota House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 203
State/Jurisdiction Committees
Tennessee Fiscal Review Committee
House Committee on Finance, Ways and Means
House Committee on Government Operations
House Committee on Transportation
• General Subcommittee—House Transportation
Senate Committee on Finance, Ways and Means
Senate Committee on Government Operations
Senate Committee on Transportation
Texas House Committee on Appropriations
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Finance
Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security
Utah House Committee on Transportation
Joint Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Transportation, Public Utilities and Technology
Senate Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Confirmation
Vermont House Committee on Transportation
Joint Transportation Oversight Committee
Senate Committee on Transportation
Virginia House Committee on Appropriations
• Subcommittee on Transportation—House Appropriations
House Committee on Transportation
• Subcommittee #1—House Transportation
• Subcommittee #2—House Transportation
• Subcommittee #3—House Transportation
• Subcommittee #4—House Transportation
Senate Committee on Finance
• Subcommittee on Transportation—Senate Finance
Senate Committee on Transportation
Washington House Committee on Transportation
Joint Transportation Committee
Senate Committee on Transportation
West Virginia House Committee on Roads and Transportation
Joint Select Committee on Infrastructure
Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation and Elections
Wyoming Air Transportation Liaison Committee
House Committee on Transportation
Joint Interim Committee on Revenue
Joint Interim Committee on Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs
Senate Committee on Transportation
District
of Columbia
Committee on Public Works and Transportation
Puerto Rico House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Comisión de Transportación e Infraestructura)
Joint Committee on Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships (Comisión Conjunta Para las Alianzas Público
Privadas de Puerto Rico)
Senate Committee on Urban Planning and Infrastructure (Comisión de Urbanismo e Infraestructura)
Senate Special Committee on the Port of the Americas (Comisión Especial del Puerto de las Américas)

Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 205
1. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Separation of Powers (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/
default.aspx?TabId=13543; Wis. Stat. Ann. §15.001.
2. Alan Rosenthal, Heavy Lifting: The Job of the American Legislature (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2004), 9.
3. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Full- and Part-Time Legislatures (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2009), http://www.
ncsl.org/?tabid=16701.
4. James J. Fazzalaro, Transportation Agency Organization in Other States, 2007-R-0028 (Hartford, Conn.: Office of Legislative
Research, 2007), http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0028.htm.
5. Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, Financing Transportation in the 21st Century: An Intergovernmental Perspective (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Public Administration, 2008).
6. Fazzalaro, Transportation Agency Organization.
7. Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, Financing Transportation.
8. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§28-7361 et seq.; Cal. Pub. Cont. Code §§6800 et seq.; Mo. Rev. Stat. §227.107; N.D. Cent. Code
§§24-02-47 et seq.; Tex. Transportation Code Ann. ch. 223; Utah Code Ann. §63I-1-263. Many provisions in the Texas law expired
on Aug. 31, 2009, except in relation to certain non-tolled managed lanes projects; those expire in 2011.
9. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Separation of Powers: Executive Veto Powers (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010),
http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=13541.
10. Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §201.301; see also State Profiles.
11. Violet Baffour, The Fiscal Note Process in State Legislatures (Raleigh, N.C.: North Carolina General Assembly, Fiscal Research
Division, 1999), http://www.ncsl.org/documents/fiscal/FiscalNoteProcess.pdf; NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011.
12. Ohio Legislative Service Commission, A Guidebook for Ohio Legislators: Eleventh Edition, 2009-2010 (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio
Legislative Service Commission, 2009), 73, http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/guidebook/guidebook09.pdf.
13. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Separation of Powers: Legislative Oversight (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010),
http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=13538.
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid.
16. Ind. Code Ann. ch. 2-5-28.
17. NCSL, Separation of Powers: Legislative Oversight.
18. The Council of State Governments (CSG), The Book of the States: 2010 Edition, Vol. 42 (Lexington, Ky.: CSG, 2010); Brenda Erickson, Sunset or Required Review of Administrative Rules (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), unpublished research; Nancy Rhyme,
Legislative Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 1990); Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 3, §842(b).
19. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Legislative Performance Budgeting (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2008), http://
www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=12617.
20. The Missouri DOT Tracker is located at http://www.modot.org/about/general_info/Tracker.htm; the Texas DOT Tracker
is at http://www.txdot.gov/about_us/sppm/txdot_tracker.htm; and the Texas DOT Project Tracker is at http://www.txdot.gov/project_information/project_tracker.htm.
21. 2007 Nev. Stats., Chap. 344.
22. 2000 Md. Laws, Chap. 303.
23. 2010 Minn. Laws., Chap. 350.
24. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §43.17.385 and §43.17.390; 2009 Wash. Laws, Chap. 564 §931.
25. NCSL, Legislative Performance Budgeting.
26. Robert D. Boerner, Program Principal, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), conversation with author, Dec. 21,
2010.
27. Keenan Konopaski, Audit Coordinator, Washington State Legislature Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, e-mail
to author, Oct. 21, 2010.
28. Robert D. Boerner, “Legislative Oversight in the States,” LegisBrief 13, no. 45 (Denver, Colo.: National Conference of State
Legislatures [NCSL], 2005); National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and
Government Accountability (OPPAGA), Ensuring the Public Trust 2008: Program Policy Evaluation’s Role in Serving State Legislatures
(Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2008), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=20720.
29. Andrea Truitt, Audit Manager/General Counsel, South Carolina Legislative Audit Council, e-mail to author, Oct. 19, 2010.
Notes
Transportation Governance and Finance
206 National Conference of State Legislatures
30. Some states, including South Dakota and West Virginia, allow for periodic review and even discontinuation of state agencies,
but are not considered to have true sunset provisions because the entities do not automatically repeal if there is no affirmative action of
the legislature (see State Profiles).
31. Note, however, Senate Bill 1204 in Florida’s 2011 legislative session, which proposes to eliminate the state’s sunset review
process (see also State Profiles). As of April 2011, the bill had passed both chambers.
32. Tex. Transportation Code Ann. §201.204.
33. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §43.09.470.
34. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi,
Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. See State Profiles.
35. Information in this section is drawn from NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011; National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), General Overview of Legislative vs. Executive Appropriations Issues (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/
default.aspx?TabId=18190; National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Separation of Powers: Appropriation Powers (Denver,
Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=20623; Alan Rosenthal, Governors and Legislatures: Contending Powers
(Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1990); and Ronald Snell, The Power of the Purse: Legislatures that Write State Budgets Independently of the
Governor (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabID=12611.
36. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Timing of Legislative Receipt of Agency Budget Requests (Denver, Colo.:
NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabID=12606.
37. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Budget Procedures (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/
default.aspx?TabID=12669.
38. Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, Financing Transportation.
39. Or. Rev. Stat. §291.375.
40. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §4981.02.
41. Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, Financing Transportation.
42. Matt Sundeen and James B. Reed, Surface Transportation Funding: Options for States (Denver, Colo.: National Conference of
State Legislatures [NCSL], 2006), http://www.ncsl.org/documents/transportation/surfacetranfundrept.pdf, 16-17.
43. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation: Final Report 2010 (Washington, D.C.: AASHTO, 2010), http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/
survey_state_funding_FY_08.pdf.
44. Alaska Const. art. IX, §7.
45. NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011; American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), State Transportation Trust Funds (Washington D.C.: AASHTO, 2010), unpublished research. Trust funds are used by Arkansas,
California, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York,
North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
46. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas,
Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. See State Profiles.
47. Mont. Const. art. VIII, §6.
48. Va. Code §2.2-1509.2.
49. Counties have limited or no responsibility for roads in the New England states, or in Delaware, North Carolina, Virginia
(with some exceptions) and West Virginia. Connecticut and Rhode Island do not have organized county governments, and in Alabama
and Maryland, the state has assumed responsibility for roads in certain counties. See Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), About
Highway Statistics (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2008), http://www.fh wa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/abouthss.cfm.
50. Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, Financing Transportation.
51. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. See State Profiles.
52. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. See State Profiles.
53. Innovative financing mechanisms for transportation have been detailed in depth in many other helpful resources. See, for
example, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in Project Finance,
Financing (Washington, D.C.: AASHTO, 2008), https://transportation-finance.org/funding_financing/financing; American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in Project Finance, Project Finance State
by State (Washington D.C.: AASHTO, 2010), https://transportation-finance.org/tools/state_by_state; Greg Dierkers and Justin
Mattingly, How States and Territories Fund Transportation: An Overview of Traditional and Nontraditional Strategies (Washington, D.C.:
National Governors Association [NGA] Center for Best Practices, 2009), http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0907TRANSPORTATIO
NSTRATEGIES.PDF; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program Delivery, Project Finance: Tools and
Programs (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2010), http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/finance/tools_programs/index.htm; Jaime Rall, James B.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 207
Reed and Nicholas J. Farber, Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for Legislators (Denver, Colo.: National Conference
of State Legislatures [NCSL], 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=20321; and Sundeen and Reed, Surface Transportation
Funding.
54. The AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance notes that Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Wyoming and Puerto Rico lack state bonding authority. This differs, however, from the NCSL-AASHTO survey
data in which several of these states reported using a combination of bonding and pay-as-you-go financing for transportation projects.
Of those, Tennessee noted that bonds had been approved but not issued. See State Profiles and American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in Project Finance, Project Finance State by State: Other Debt Financing
(Washington D.C.: AASHTO, 2010), https://transportation-finance.org/flash/map/map.aspx?target=odf.
55. U.S. Department of Transportation, Report to Congress on Public-Private Partnerships (Washington, D.C.: U.S. DOT, 2004),
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/pppdec2004/#2a; Rall, Reed and Farber, Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation.
56. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. See Rall, Reed and Farber, Public-Private
Partnerships for Transportation; N.D. Cent. Code §§48-02.1-01 et seq. Ohio’s legislation was enacted in March 2011 (2011 Ohio
Laws, House Bill 114).
57. Del. Code Ann. tit. 2, §2003(e)(3); Fla. Stat. Ann. §334,30(1), §334.30(2)(d) and §334.30(12) in relation to PPP projects; Fla.
Stat. Ann. §338.221(6), §338.222, §338.223 and §338.2275 in relation to any turnpike project; Fla. Stat. Ann. §348.0004(9)(a) in relation
to leasing existing toll facilities; Ind. Code Ann. §8-15.7-1-5; Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §4251(8) and (9); Mo. Rev. Stat. §227.615(2);
N.C. Gen. Stat. §136-89.183(a)(2)(e); Tenn. Code Ann. §54-3-102(b) and §54-3-113; Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.29.060(1)(e); W. Va.
Code §17-27-9(10)(i). For more information, see Rall, Reed and Farber, Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation. 2011 Ohio Laws,
House Bill 114, does not include formal legislative approval requirements, but it does include this provision in §5501.73(D): Any publicprivate agreement entered into under this section may be for a period not to exceed the then current two-year period for which appropriations have been made by the general assembly to the department; provided, that any agreement may be renewed for succeeding two-year
periods when the general assembly enacts sufficient appropriations to the department for each successive biennium.
58. Rall, Reed and Farber, Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation.
59. NCSL-AASHTO Survey Data, 2010 – 2011; Dierkers and Mattingly, How States and Territories Fund Transportation.
60. Colo. Rev. Stat. §43-4-701 and §43-4-706; Idaho Code §40-315(c); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §48:27(D)(1)(b); Me. Rev. Stat.
Ann. tit. 23, §1604 and §1612; Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §47.29.060. The Idaho Legislature must approve the annual amount of
GARVEE bonds and eligible projects, but the transportation board has discretion over how it allocates the bond revenues among
authorized projects.
61. Cal. Streets and Highways Code §188.51; Cal. Government Code §14553.4; Colo. Rev. Stat. §43-4-705. Maine also caps
the amount of GARVEE debt in Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §1604, but unlike California and Colorado, Maine requires all GARVEE
bonds—even those under the cap—to be authorized by the Legislature. Maine also defines the maximum bond term and restricts the
potential uses of GARVEE debt to capital projects with an anticipated useful life of at least 20 years. See also American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in Project Finance, Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles
(GARVEEs) (Washington, D.C.: AASHTO, 2010), https://transportation-finance.org/funding_financing/financing/bonding_
debt_instruments/municipal_public_bond_issues/garvees.aspx.
62. Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), Transportation in Connecticut: The Planning Process—Federal and
State Requirements (Newington, Conn.: ConnDOT, 2007), http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents/dpolicy/2007processcolor.pdf;
Sundeen and Reed, Surface Transportation Funding.
63. Neb. Const. art. III, §18; Wyo. Const. §97-3-027; see State Profiles. The Wyoming Legislature can provide special appropriations for promoting types of projects, but not for individual projects due to this constitutional prohibition.
64. Wis. Stat. Ann. §13.489. Legislative review of major highway projects in Wisconsin is performed largely by the Transportation Projects Commission with recommendations from the DOT. The commission is a governor-led joint legislative body comprised
of legislators and three citizen members, with the secretary of transportation as a nonvoting member. Projects are then approved by the
full Legislature.
65. The survey response from Minnesota reports that bills introduced in the Minnesota Legislature to prioritize projects more
highly than in the existing DOT program usually are defeated.
66. The survey response from Montana reports that special legislation to address individual highways or projects is generally
discouraged in that state.
67. Depending on the state, surplus or excess funds may be defined as unspent appropriations, revenues in excess of a legislatively
approved DOT budget, or revenues in excess of statutory limits on a dedicated transportation fund. Excess funds do not include
money that is obligated or otherwise committed to a specific, approved future purpose.
68. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 19, §12b(d).
69. As described in more detail in the State Profile Example on pages 40 and 41, the main source of information for these stateby-state profiles is the responses from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to the NCSL-AASHTO surveys. The
survey data was supplemented by several other resources, including original research using Westlaw and StateNet; American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation; American Associa-
Transportation Governance and Finance
208 National Conference of State Legislatures
tion of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in Project Finance, Project Finance State by
State; Association of American Railroads (AAR), Railroads and States (Washington, D.C.: AAR, 2010), http://www.aar.org/KeyIssues/
Railroads-States.aspx; The Council of State Governments (CSG), The Book of the States: 2010 Edition; Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR), Sunrise, Sunset and State Agency Audits (Lexington, Ky.: CLEAR, n.d.), http://www.clearhq.org/
Default.aspx?pageId=486181; Dierkers and Mattingly, How States and Territories Fund Transportation; Nicholas J. Farber, Variable Fuel
Tax [Information Request] (Denver, Colo.: National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL], 2010), unpublished research; Fazzalaro,
Transportation Agency Organization; Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for
U.S. Airports: CY 2009 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data (Washington, D.C.: FAA, 2010), http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/index.cfm?year=2009; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Highway Statistics
Publications (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2010), http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/hsspubs.cfm; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), September 2010 Monthly Motor Fuel Reported by States (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2011), http://www.fhwa.dot.
gov/ohim/mmfr/sep10/trmfuel2.cfm; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Toll Facilities in the United States: Bridges-RoadsTunnels-Ferries: August 2009 (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2009), http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tollpage.htm; Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program Delivery, Project Finance: Tools and Programs; Federal Transit Administration
(FTA), National Transit Database (Washington, D.C.: FTA, 2010), http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/; Rubén Hernández
Gregorat, Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority [PowerPoint presentation] (San Juan, P.R.: Puerto Rico Highways and
Transportation Authority, Feb. 26, 2010), https://gdbapp.gdb-pur.com/prcreditconference/documents/2010PuertoRicoCreditCon
ference-PRHTA.pdf; Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, Financing Transportation; National Association of State
Aviation Officials (NASAO), NASAO State Aviation Funding and Organizational Data Annual Report, Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003
(Washington, D.C.: NASAO, 2004); National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), NASAO State Aviation Funding and
Organizational Data Report FY 2008 (Washington, D.C.: NASAO, 2009); National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and
Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), Ensuring the Public Trust 2008; NCSL, Legislative Session Length (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=17272; NCSL, Population and Legislative
Size (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=13527; NCSL Fiscal Affairs Program, Budget Cycle:
Legislative Budget Procedures: Budget Framework (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2008), http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=12645; Robert
Puentes and Ryan Prince, Fueling Transportation Finance: A Primer on the Gas Tax, The Brookings Institution Series on Transportation
Reform (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 2003), http://www.brookings.edu/es/urban/publications/gastax.pdf; Rall, Reed
and Farber, Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation; Jaime Rall, State Legislation Relating to Weight-Distance Taxes on Commercial
Motor Vehicles (Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2009), unpublished research; Rhyme, Legislative Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations;
StateNet, State Legislative Session Chart: 2011 (Sacramento, Calif.: StateNet, 2010), http://www.statenet.com/resources/pdf/2011_Legislative_Session_Chart.pdf; “U.S. & Canadian Transportation Projects Scorecard.” Public Works Financing 249 (May 2010): 24–25,
http://www.publicinfrastructure.ca.gov/GSLibrary/Downloads/ download.ashx?file=sites/1832/17450/442064/May%202010%20
Issue%2C%20PUBLIC%20WORKS%20FINANCING.pdf; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CY 2009 Waterborne Tonnage by State
(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2010), http://www.ndc.iwr.usace.army.mil//wcsc/statenm09.htm; U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, U.S. Waterborne Container Traffic by Port/Waterway in 2009 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
2010), http://www.ndc.iwr.usace.army.mil//wcsc/by_state09.htm; and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT),
State DOT Organization Charts (Olympia, Wash.: WSDOT, n.d.), http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/9EC751F8-DD59-405BB72C-48DDEA5DE988/0/ StateDOTOrganizationChartsFINAL.pdf.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 209
Selected Bibliography
American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS) and National Conference of State Legislatures
(NCSL). Inside the Legislative Process. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2009, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?tabid=13506#Moreinfo.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Survey of State Funding
for Public Transportation: Final Report 2010. Washington, D.C.: AASHTO, 2010, http://scopt.
transportation.org/Documents/Final%202010%20%28FY%202008%20data%29%20Survey%20
of%20State%20Funding%20for%20Public%20Transportation.pdf.
———. State Transportation Trust Funds. Washington D.C.: AASHTO, 2010, unpublished research.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Excellence in
Project Finance. Financing. Washington, D.C.: AASHTO, 2008, http://www.transportation-finance.
org/funding_financing/financing.
———. Project Finance State by State. Washington D.C.: AASHTO, 2010, http://www.transportationfinance.org/tools/state_by_state.
Association of American Railroads (AAR). Railroads and States. Washington, D.C.: AAR, 2010, http://www.
aar.org/KeyIssues/Railroads-States.aspx.
Baffour, Violet. The Fiscal Note Process in State Legislatures. Raleigh, N.C.: North Carolina General Assembly,
Fiscal Research Division, 1999, http://www.ncsl.org/documents/fiscal/FiscalNoteProcess.pdf.
Boerner, Robert D. “Legislative Oversight in the States.” LegisBrief (National Conference of State Legislatures)
13, no. 45 (Nov./Dec. 2005). Denver, Colo.: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL),
2005.
Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT). Transportation in Connecticut: The Planning
Process—Federal and State Requirements. Newington, Conn.: ConnDOT, 2007, http://www.ct.gov/
dot/lib/dot/documents/dpolicy/2007processcolor.pdf.
The Council of State Governments (CSG). The Book of the States: 2010 Edition. Vol. 42. Lexington, Ky.:
CSG, 2010.
Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR). Sunrise, Sunset and State Agency Audits.
Lexington, Ky.: CLEAR, n.d., http://www.clearhq.org/Default.aspx?pageId=486181.
Dierkers, Greg and Justin Mattingly. How States and Territories Fund Transportation: An Overview of
Traditional and Nontraditional Strategies. Washington, D.C.: National Governors Association (NGA)
Center for Best Practices, 2009, http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0907TRANSPORTATIONSTRATE
GIES.PDF.
Transportation Governance and Finance
210 National Conference of State Legislatures
Dockery, Paula [Senator]. “Legislative Oversight of State Departments of Transportation” (presentation at the
Fall Forum of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Atlanta, Ga., December 2008). Available
upon request to Jaime Rall, National Conference of State Legislatures, 7700 East First Place, Denver,
Colorado, 80230.
Erickson, Brenda. Sunset or Required Review of Administrative Rules. Denver, Colo.: National Conference of
State Legislatures (NCSL), 2010, unpublished research.
Farber, Nicholas J. Variable Fuel Tax [Information Request]. Denver, Colo.: National Conference of State
Legislatures (NCSL), 2010, unpublished research.
Fazzalaro, James J. Transportation Agency Organization in Other States, 2007-R-0028. Hartford, Conn.: Office
of Legislative Research, 2007, http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0028.htm.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S.
Airports: CY 2009 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Washington, D.C.: FAA, 2010, http://
www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/index.cfm?year=2009.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Highway Statistics Publications. Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2010,
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/hsspubs.cfm.
———. September 2010 Monthly Motor Fuel Reported by States. Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2011, http://
www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/mmfr/sep10/trmfuel2.cfm.
———. Toll Facilities in the United States: Bridges-Roads-Tunnels-Ferries: August 2009. Washington, D.C.:
FHWA, 2009, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tollpage.htm.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program Delivery. Project Finance: Tools and
Programs. Washington, D.C.: FHWA, 2010, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/finance/tools_programs/
index.htm.
———. TIFIA Approved Projects. Washington, D.C.: FHWA, July 29, 2010, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/
tifia/projects_case_studies/index.htm.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA). National Transit Database. Washington, D.C.: FTA, 2010, http://www.
ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/.
Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance. Financing Transportation in the 21st Century: An
Intergovernmental Perspective. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Public Administration, 2008.
National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). NASAO State Aviation Funding and Organizational
Data Annual Report, Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003. Washington, D.C.: NASAO,2004.
———. NASAO State Aviation Funding and Organizational Data Report FY 2008. Washington, D.C.:
NASAO, 2009.
Transportation Governance and Finance
National Conference of State Legislatures 211
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and
Government Accountability (OPPAGA). Ensuring the Public Trust 2008: Program Policy Evaluation’s
Role in Serving State Legislatures. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2008, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?tabid=20720.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Budget Procedures. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://
www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabID=12669.
———. Full- and Part-Time Legislatures. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2009, http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=16701.
———. General Overview of Legislative vs. Executive Appropriations Issues. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://
www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=18190.
———. Legislative Session Length. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?TabId=17272.
———. Population and Legislative Size. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?TabId=13527.
———. Separation of Powers. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=13543.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Fiscal Affairs Program. Budget Cycle: Legislative
Budget Procedures: Budget Framework. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2008, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?TabId=12645.
———. Legislative Budget Procedures: A Guide to Appropriations and Budget Processes in the States,
Commonwealths and Territories. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 1998 (partially updated).
———. State Budget Update: November 2010. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?TabId=21829.
———. State Budget Update: July 2010 (Preliminary Report). Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010.
———. State Budget Update: November 2009. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2009.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Transportation Program. NCSL Transportation Funding
Legislation Database. Denver, Colo.: NCSL, 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13597.
Ohio Legislative Service Commission. A Guidebook for Ohio Legislators: Eleventh Edition, 2009-2010.
Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 2009, http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/guidebook/
guidebook09.pdf.
Puentes, Robert, and Ryan Prince. Fueling Transportation Finance: A Primer on the Gas Tax, The Brookings
Institution Series on Transportation Reform. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 2003,
http://www.brookings.edu/es/urban/publications/gastax.pdf.
Rall, Jaime; James B. Reed; and Nicholas J. Farber. Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for
Legislators. Denver, Colo.: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2010, http://www.ncsl.
org/default.aspx?tabid=20321.
Transportation Governance and Finance
212 National Conference of State Legislatures
Rall, Jaime. State Legislation Relating to Weight-Distance Taxes on Commercial Motor Vehicles. Denver, Colo.:
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2009, unpublished research.
Reed, James B. “Transportation Funding Outlook 2009.” LegisBrief (National Conference of State
Legislatures) 17, no. 10 (February 2009).
Rhyme, Nancy. Legislative Review of Administrative Rules and Regulations. Denver, Colo.: National Conference
of State Legislatures (NCSL), 1990.
Rosenthal, Alan. Governors and Legislatures: Contending Powers. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1990.
———. Heavy Lifting: The Job of the American Legislature. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2004.
Snell, Ronald. The Power of the Purse: Legislatures that Write State Budgets Independently of the Governor.
Denver, Colo.: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/default.
aspx?TabID=12611
South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). State Survey Data [Pertaining to DOT Governance].
Columbia, S.C.: SCDOT, 2007, unpublished research.
StateNet. State Legislative Session Chart: 2011. Sacramento, Calif.: StateNet, 2010, http://www.statenet.com/
resources/pdf/2011_Legislative_Session_Chart.pdf.
Sundeen, Matt, and James B. Reed. Surface Transportation Funding: Options for States. Denver, Colo.: National
Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2006, http://www.ncsl.org/documents/transportation/
surfacetranfundrept.pdf.
“U.S. & Canadian Transportation Projects Scorecard.” Public Works Financing 249 (May 2010):
24–25, http://www.publicinfrastructure.ca.gov/GSLibrary/Downloads/download.ashx?file=sit
es/1832/17450/442064/May%202010%20Issue%2C%20PUBLIC%20WORKS%20FINANCING.
pdf.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. CY 2009 Waterborne Tonnage by State. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, 2010, http://www.ndc.iwr.usace.army.mil//wcsc/statenm09.htm.
———. U.S. Waterborne Container Traffic by Port/Waterway in 2009. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, 2010, http://www.ndc.iwr.usace.army.mil//wcsc/by_state09.htm.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). State DOT Organization Charts. Olympia,
Wash.: WSDOT, n.d., http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/9EC751F8-DD59-405B-B72C48DDEA5DE988/0/StateDOTOrganizationChartsFINAL.pdf.

TRANSPORTATION GOVERNANCE AND FINANCE A 50-STATE REVIEW OF
STATE LEGISLATURES AND DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION
A complex network of public and private organizations fi nances, plans, builds and operates the U.S. transportation system. Every
U.S. jurisdiction has an elected legislative body that is broadly responsible for policies, programs and, to some extent, appropriations and program oversight, and an executive branch agency or department that is responsible for highway functions, under the
authority of the governor or other lead executive. The structures and functions of these entities, however, vary widely across jurisdictions.
Tight budgets in tandem with deteriorating infrastructure are challenging states to develop innovative approaches to governing
and fi nancing transportation systems. Meaningful collaboration between state legislatures and state departments of transportation
(DOTs)—while honoring appropriate checks and balances—is key to providing the high quality transportation system America
needs to thrive.
This unprecedented and authoritative analysis of state legislative-DOT interactions in transportation offers a baseline of the current situation, while pointing to ways states can learn from each other. Ideally, as the synthesis of approaches contained herein is
absorbed, both legislatures and DOTs will be able to better evaluate how they manage and pay for transportation systems in light
of the bigger picture, and to use this information to enhance their organizations, processes, collaborations and outcomes.
In the end, greater profi ciency in providing key public services creates value for taxpayers and contributes to economic competitiveness and improved quality of life. This study—with its comprehensive state-by-state profi les and in-depth comparative synthesis—
will aid the states in furthering such profi ciency in transportation.
“The report’s sometimes frank and direct fi ndings offer an
illuminating look at how differently DOT offi cials and legislators
view their roles in addressing the states’ diffi cult and growing
transportation needs.”
—Jennifer Jones, Assistant Director, Texas Sunset Advisory
Commission and NCSL-AASHTO Task Force Co-Chair
“We know fi rsthand in Kansas how important it is to have a
healthy relationship between the legislature and DOT offi cials,
especially when advocating for funding in tough economic times.
This report is deep with information and original research that can
help guide any state to the ends they seek.”
—Joseph Erskine, Deputy Secretary for Finance and Administration,
Kansas Department of Transportation and NCSL-AASHTO Task
Force Co-Chair
“As states struggle to secure much-needed transportation funding,
it is important that policy makers and their staffs have a convenient
resource available to identify alternative transportation funding,
governance and accountability models from other states around the
country. This report is that long-sought resource.”
—Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, Washington
“States face well-documented challenges in providing and paying
for transportation systems. This report offers hope by detailing
alternative approaches that may inspire creative solutions, and it
deserves in-depth study by legislators and DOT offi cials alike.”
—Senator Bruce Starr, Oregon
“This report is a valuable source book for how transportation “gets
done” across the 50 states—a digest of the multiple ways that
DOTs and legislatures collaborate to govern, fi nance and ultimately
deliver America’s transportation system. “
—Roberta Broeker, Chief Financial Offi cer,
Missouri Department of Transportation
“A strong relationship and effective communications between
state legislators and DOT executives are critical in making sound
transportation policy decisions. This report documents best
practices and is a useful guide for legislators and transportation
professionals.”
—Lee Munnich, Director, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs,
University of Minnesota
Item # 051211TRN ISBN 978-1-58024-630-9

Scroll to Top