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SB-356 Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 08/19/2019 09:00 PM
SB356:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 18, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 356


Introduced by Senator McGuire

February 19, 2019


An act to add Section 93029 to the Government Code, and to amend Sections 105003, 105012, 105003 and 105032 of, and to repeal Sections 105104, 105105, and Section 105180 of, the Public Utilities Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 356, as amended, McGuire. North Coast Railroad Authority: rail right-of-way: Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District.

Existing law creates the North Coast Railroad Authority with various powers and duties relating to rail service in the north coast area of the state, including the authority to acquire, own, operate, and lease real and personal property reasonably related to the operation and maintenance of railroads, the planned transfer of all of the authority’s assets, and the authority’s dissolution.

Existing law creates, within the Counties of Sonoma and Marin, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District, which is governed by a 12-member board of directors, with specified duties and powers. Existing law requires the district to work with specified authorities, including the North Coast Railroad Authority, to achieve a safe, efficient, and compatible system of passenger and freight rail service and authorizes the district to, among other things, provide a rail transit system for the provision of freight service by rail.

This bill would require the authority, within 90 days of removing all of its debts, liabilities, and contractual obligations, to convey and transfer its rights, interests, privileges, and title, lien free, relating to a specified rail right-of-way, its licenses and certificates of public convenience and necessity, any common carrier obligations held by the authority or an associated freight operator, and the railroad assets the authority owns to the district.

This bill would give the board of governors of the district the duty and power to, among other things, own, operate, manage, and maintain a freight rail system within the district and fix rates, rentals, charges, and classifications of freight service operated by the district. The bill would also give the board of governors of the district the duty and power to consider potential alternatives to help address the housing needs of current and future employees. The bill would repeal the requirement that the district obtain coverage for itself and its employees under certain federal laws.
By imposing new requirements on local entities, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.Section 93029 is added to the Government Code, to read:
93029.

Within 90 days of removing all of its debts, liabilities, and contractual obligations, the authority shall convey and transfer all of its rights, interests, privileges, and title, lien free, relating to its rail right-of-way south of mile post 89.0, including any associated real property, rail easements, and branch or spur lines, its licenses and certificates of public convenience and necessity, any common carrier obligations held by the authority or an associated freight operator, and the railroad assets the authority owns to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District, created pursuant to Section 105010 of the Public Utilities Code.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Section 105003 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

105003.
 As used in this part, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “District” means the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District.
(b) “Rail transit” means the transportation of passengers and their incidental baggage by rail and provision of freight service by rail.
(c) “Rail transit works” or “rail transit facilities” means any or all real and personal property, equipment, rights, or interests owned or to be acquired by the district for rail transit service purposes, including ancillary bicycle and pedestrian pathways that provide connections between and access to station sites.
(d) “Board of directors,” “board,” or “directors” means the board of directors of the district.
(e) “Public agency” includes the state, and any county, city and county, city, district, or other political subdivision or public entity of, or organized under the laws of, this state, or any department, instrumentality, or agency thereof.

SEC. 3.Section 105012 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
105012.

(a)Upon the dissolution of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority, the district shall succeed to any or all of the powers, duties, rights, obligations, liabilities, indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, immunities, and exemptions of the commission and its board of commissioners and the authority and its board of directors.

(b)Upon the dissolution of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority, the district shall assume the rights and obligations of the commission and the authority under any contract to which the commission or the authority is a party and that is to be performed, in whole or in part, on or after the date of dissolution of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority.

(c)All real and personal property owned by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority may be transferred to the district.

(d)Upon the dissolution of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission, the district shall assume, without any condition whatsoever, all responsibilities and obligations previously assumed by the commission with respect to its fund transfer agreement with the Department of Transportation for the funding of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Project.

(e)On and after the date of dissolution of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority, any reference in any law or regulation to the commission or the authority shall be deemed to refer to the district.

SEC. 4.SEC. 2.

 Section 105032 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

105032.
 It shall be the duty of the board and it shall have the power to:
(a) Own, operate, manage, and maintain a passenger and freight rail system within the territory of the district.
(b) Determine the rail transit and freight facilities, including ancillary bicycle and pedestrian pathways, to be acquired and constructed by the district, the manner of operation, and the means to finance them.
(c) Adopt an annual budget for the district that provides for the compensation of its officers and employees.
(d) Fix rates, rentals, charges, and classifications of rail transit and freight service operated by the district.
(e) Adopt an administrative code that prescribes the powers and duties of district officers, the method of appointment of district employees, and the methods, procedures, and systems for the operation and management of the district.
(f) Adopt rules and regulations governing the use of rail transit and freight facilities owned or operated by the district.
(g) Cause a postaudit of the financial transactions and records of the district to be made at least annually by a certified public accountant.
(h) Adopt rules and regulations providing for the administration of employer-employee relations.
(i) Consider potential alternatives to help address the housing needs of current and future employees.
(j) Do any and all things necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.

SEC. 5.Section 105104 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.
SEC. 6.Section 105105 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 7.SEC. 3.

 Section 105180 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 8.SEC. 4.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.