HB 264: MARTA Legislative Reform

March 1, 2013

HB 264: MARTA Legislative Reform

Section 1: Make-up of the Board

  • 11 Voting members

o   3 residents of the City of Atlanta nominated by the Mayor and elected by the City Council

o   4 residents of DeKalb County –

  • 3 appointed by the board of commissioners
  • 1 appointed by a majority vote of a caucus of mayors of the municipalities located wholly in DeKalb County.

o   3 from Fulton County –

  • 1 must live in the portion of Fulton County south of the corporate limits of the City of Atlanta to be appointed by a majority vote of a caucus of mayors of the municipalities lying south of the corporate limits of the city of Atlanta, the chairman of the board of commissioners, and the members of the board whose districts include any portion of Fulton County lying south of the corporate limits of the city of Atlanta.
  • 2 must be residents of that portion of Fulton County lying north of the corporate limits of the city of Atlanta to be appointed by a majority vote of a caucus of mayors of the municipalities of Fulton County lying north of the corporate limits of the city of Atlanta.

o   1 member shall be a resident of Fulton or DeKalb County appointed by the Governor

  • 2 Non-voting members

o   Commissioner of the Department of Transportation

o   Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transit Authority

  • Terms:

o   The 2 non-voting members will serve while holding their state offices

o   Appointed members serving 2 year initial terms:

  • 2 of 3 appointments from DeKalb County Board
  • 2 of 3 appointments from Atlanta
  • 1 of 2 appointment by mayors lying north of the corporate limits of Atlanta
  • No later than November 1, 2013, each local governing authority or caucus shall designate which board members shall serve an initial term of 2 years.

o   Remaining appointees serve 4 year terms

o   After initial 2 year terms of the 5 members, successors shall be appointed to 4 year terms in the same manner of other appointments

  • A member may be appointed to succeed him- or herself for one 4 year term provided that board membership prior to January 1, 2014 is not considered in calculating limits on length of service.
  • Contracting with the Authority for service

o   Allow Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett Counties to hold referenda to allow them to enter into a rapid transit contract with the Authority.

o   Upon any approval for a rapid transit contract, the county may appoint 2 residents to the board to serve a term ending on December 31 in the fourth full year after the year in which the referendum approving said contract was held.

  • Actions by the board requiring the affirmative vote of one more than a majority of voting membership as it may exist at the time:

o   Contracts approved by the board involving construction, alterations, supplies, equipment, repairs, maintenance, or services involving $200,000 or more.

o   Any contracting involving $200,000 or more shall be awarded through a competitive bidding process.

Section 2:

  • Any new hire after January 1, 2014 will not be eligible for a defined benefit plan issued on their behalf.

Section 3:

  • The board’s ability to determine routes, types of construction, equipment, facilities to be operated, and the fares to be charged is now subject to a majority vote.

Section 4:

  • Max number of years for maturity of bonds not to exceed 30 (down from 40)
  • Total principle and interest of annual bonded debt service shall not exceed 40% of the sales tax revenues collected in the previous fiscal year beginning in the fiscal year commencing on July 1, 2016; for each fiscal year after July 1, 2019 the limit is 35% of the sales tax revenues collected in the previous fiscal year.

Section 5:

  • Adds to those given the broadest power of eminent domain any city or county government within the territorial jurisdiction of the Authority
  • Determines that the power of eminent domain lies with the city governing body if the property is located within the city’s territorial limits and to the county governing body if the property is located in an unincorporated location within the county.

Section 6:

  • In the acquisition of unique property unobtainable in the open market, if the amount involved is $25,000 or more, a majority vote of the board is required.
  • Amounts relating to acquisitions, dispositions, and contracts is raised to an amount of $200,000 for those requiring advertisement in the local newspaper of the largest circulation in the metro area at least once a week in the two weeks prior to the bid opening.
  • Contracts awarded that require aggregate payments: the amount requiring the publication of intent to award contract is raised to $200,000 (from $100,000).
  • Three written price quotes from qualified vendors required for $200,000 or more (from “less than $100,000 but more than $10,000”)
  • Allows negotiations without a competitive bidding process for acquisitions, dispositions, and contracts involving less than $200,000.
  • Expenditures to a vendor who has received $5,000 or more in a 12 month period must be reported on a schedule that is included as an appendix to the agenda at the next regular board meeting. Shall include all such expenditures for the calendar month of the last regular board meeting and any subsequent month where a full board meeting was not held. Required appendix must be posted on the Authority’s website no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting.
  • By July 1, 2018, the Authority is required to enter into contract with private contractors for the provision of accounts payable, payroll, human resources benefits administration, employee recruiting and staffing, employee data records management, telephone maintenance and support, information technology service desk, end-user computer support, workers’ compensation claims administration, customer care telephone hotline, Para transit bus service, and the interior cleaning of buses and trains.
  • Authority and its employees may serve in supervisory role for these contracts to ensure proper, efficient, and cost effective delivery thereof.

Section 7:

  • Changes the requirement for contracts entered into by the Authority which require aggregate payments of $50,000 to be reported in the annual report to $20,000.
  • Requires the annual report to be verified by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House along with the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the preceding calendar year. This report must be submitted by August 31 and must be posted in a prominent location on the Authority’s website within two weeks of submittal of the report to the parties enumerated here.

Section 8:

  • Requires the financial report to be furnished to MARTOC and posted on the website of the Authority. Electronic notification of publication shall be sent to each local government authority of each participating local government.

Section 9:

  • Proposed capital improvement budget required to show all capital improvement projects completed during the preceding ten years as compared to those that were planned and budgeted for in the budgets from the preceding ten years.
  • Operating budget reserve of 10% of prior fiscal year’s total revenues from sales and use tax. (rather than 10% of the prior year’s operating budget)
  • No later than December 31, 2016 and every four years thereafter, the Authority must do a management audit that must be approved by MARTOC. The report is required to be submitted by December 31 of each year it is required. The audit must be done at the expense of the Authority.
  • Expands reporting requirements to include all goods, services, and projects rather than services only. Report is required by August 31 of each year and must include the name of the payee, payment amount, and purpose of each payment.

o   If the payment is made pursuant to a contract, the above information must be accompanied by the date the contract was awarded, the length of the term, the award amount of the contract, the cumulative payments made toward the contract, and any related contract or project identification number.

Section 10:

  • Calls for binding interest arbitration and a Governor appointed arbitrator in the event that the Authority and authority’s representative are unable to agree to terms of the labor agreement. Removes all language relating to a fact finder and subsequent hearings and reports based on fact finder’s findings.

Section 11:

  • Removes reference to section 9 (f) of the Act in exempting the Authority from regulation by the PSC.

Section 12:

  • Suspends the split in revenues through June 30, 2016. Newly unrestricted funds must be utilized, subject to total funding, to maintain the level of service of the transit system as it existed on January 1, 2010. Other than what was contracted prior to January 1, 2010, no newly unrestricted funds can be used by the Authority to give any person or entity annual cost of living or merit based salary increases in hourly wages, increased overtime due to such wage increases, payment of bonuses, or to increase the level of benefits of any kind.

Section 13:

  • Effective Date January 1, 2014
  • Section 1 – July 1, 2013
  • Section 12 – July 1, 2013