State of Washington
65th Legislature
2018 Regular Session
By Representatives Morris, Hudgins, and Wylie
Read first time 01/10/18. Referred to Committee on Technology & Economic Development.
AN ACT Relating to studying the feasibility of a statewide infrastructure authority; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  It is the intent of the legislature to develop a strategy to make long-term investments in infrastructure including broadband, high-speed rail, and long haul air cargo facilities across the state. The legislature intends to focus these investments on infrastructure that will affect multiple jurisdictions.
To drive this process, the legislature intends to establish a joint select committee to conduct a feasibility study to determine the best governing structure, dedicated funding source, initial list of performance-based projects, and recommendations for public-private partnerships to achieve the infrastructure goals of the legislature.
Establishing a governing structure, an infrastructure authority, would allow for the leveraging of existing funding mechanisms and create opportunities for coordination in statewide infrastructure, while driving economic competitiveness on both a state and global level.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1)(a) A joint select committee on infrastructure is established, with members as provided in this subsection.
(i) The president of the senate shall appoint two members from each of the largest caucuses of the senate.
(ii) The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint two members from each of the two largest caucuses of the house of representatives.
(iii) At least two members from each caucus must be a member of the joint transportation committee.
(iv) At least two members from each caucus must be a member of the house/senate standing committees on transportation and economic development.
(b) The committee shall choose its cochairs from among its membership.
(2) The committee must complete a study to:
(a) Identify integrated infrastructure needs across the state, including fiber broadband, high-speed rail, and long haul air cargo;
(b) Assess potential organizational models for the new infrastructure authority;
(c) Explore alternative organizational and funding models that may have the capacity to facilitate meeting identified infrastructure development needs of the state;
(d) Evaluate the ability of the identified organizational models to engage in strategic long-term economic development investments;
(e) Identify opportunities to leverage new and existing sources of funding that may be available for infrastructure development, including public-private partnerships;
(f) Consider any state and federal legal aspects of organizational and funding models identified pursuant to this section, including consideration of how to structure the role of the state or any subdivision of the state in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution of the state of Washington;
(g) Describe any legislation that may be necessary to implement the infrastructure authority and other recommendations; and
(h) Identify an initial list of potential performance-based infrastructure projects.
(3) Staff support for the committee must be provided by senate committee services and the house of representatives office of program research.
(4) Legislative members of the committee are reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 44.04.120. Nonlegislative members are not entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses if they are elected officials or are participating on behalf of an employer, governmental entity, or other organization. Any reimbursement for other nonlegislative members is subject to chapter 43.03 RCW.
(5) Expenses of the committee must be paid jointly by the senate and house of representatives. Committee expenditures are subject to approval by the senate facilities and operations committee and house of representatives executive rules committee, or their successor.
(6) The committee may contract with additional persons who have specific technical expertise if the expertise is necessary to carry out the mandates of the study. The committee may enter into such contract only if appropriation is provided specifically for this purpose.
(7) The committee, where appropriate, may consult with individuals from the public and private sector or ask individuals to establish an advisory committee. Members of such an advisory committee are not entitled to expense reimbursement.
(8) The committee must report its findings and recommendations to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2019.
(9) This section expires January 1, 2020.
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