(A) There is hereby created the Ohio rail development commission, as an independent agency of the state within the department of transportation, consisting of seven members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, two members of the Ohio senate, one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president of the senate and one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the minority leader of the senate, two members of the Ohio house of representatives, one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the speaker of the house of representatives and one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the minority leader of the house of representatives, and two members representing the general public, one of whom shall be appointed by the president of the senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. The director of transportation and the director of development, or their designees, shall be ex officio members of the commission. Of the members appointed by the governor, one shall serve as chairman of the commission, one shall represent the interests of a freight rail company, one shall represent the interests of passenger rail service, one shall have expertise in infrastructure financing, one shall represent the interests of organized labor, one shall represent the interests of manufacturers, and one shall represent the general public. All members shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The members of the commission from the Ohio senate and the Ohio house of representatives shall serve as nonvoting members. No more than four members of the seven appointed to the commission by the governor shall be from the same political party. Each member of the commission shall be a resident of this state.
(B) Within sixty days after the effective date of this amendment, the governor shall make initial appointments to the commission. Of the initial appointments made to the commission, three shall be for a term ending three years after the effective date of this amendment, and three shall be for a term ending six years after that date. Terms for all other appointments made to the commission shall be for six years. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall have the same qualifications as his predecessor. Each term shall end on the same day of the same month of the year as did the term which it succeeds. Each appointed member shall hold office from the date of his appointment until the end of the term for which he was appointed. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy before the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term. Any appointed member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of his term until his successor takes office, or for a period of sixty days, whichever occurs first. All members shall be eligible for reappointment.
(C) The commission may employ an executive director, who shall have appropriate experience as determined by the commission, and a secretary-treasurer and other employees that the commission considers appropriate. The commission may fix the compensation of the employees.
(D) Six members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of six members shall be necessary for any action taken by the commission. No vacancy in the membership of the commission shall impair the rights of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the commission.
(E) All members of the commission are subject to Chapter 102. of the Revised Code.
(F) The department of transportation may use all appropriate sources of revenue to assist the commission in developing and implementing rail service.
(G) Expenditures by the department of transportation, the Ohio rail development commission, or any other state agency for capital improvements for the development of passenger rail shall be subject to the approval of the controlling board with an affirmative vote of not fewer than five members, including the affirmative vote of a majority of the controlling board members appointed by the president of the senate and a majority of the controlling board members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. All public funds acquired by the commission shall be used for developing, implementing, and regulating rail service and not for operating rail service unless the general assembly specifically approves the expenditure of funds for operating rail service.
Amended by 128th General Assemblych.127, HB 2, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2009.
Effective Date: 10-29-1995 .