EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 00-37

EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 00-37

Interstate 49 Extension Feasibility and Funding Task Force


WHEREAS, due to Interstate 49 not extending north beyond the city of Shreveport, businesses and industries of the state of Louisiana are not directly linked by an interstate highway to our neighboring state of Arkansas and consumer markets in the midwest;

WHEREAS, The state of Louisiana's goals and objectives for economic development are inextricably intertwined with those for improving the infrastructure of the state's highways and roadways; and

WHEREAS, The interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana would be best served by creating a task force charged with the duties of identifying adequate funding sources for a proposed project to extend Interstate 49 north to the Louisiana-Arkansas border, analyzing the feasibility and benefits of such an extension project, and evaluating the impact that such an extension would have on the citizens of the state of Louisiana, especially those who live and/or work in the northwest region of the state of Louisiana;

NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: The Interstate 49 North Extension Feasibility and Funding Task Force (hereafter "Task Force") is established within the executive department, Office of the Governor.

SECTION 2:

A. The primary duty of the Task Force shall be to identify funding sources and/or innovative financing alternatives to fully fund the proposed project to extend Interstate 49 north from the city of Shreveport to the Louisiana-Arkansas border (hereafter "I-49 Extension Project"), from the beginning of the project through its completion.

B. The secondary duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Evaluating the feasibility of the I-49 Extension Project and the benefits the project would provide the state of Louisiana and communities in the northwest region of the state of Louisiana; and

2. Documenting and evaluating the level of support for the I-49 Extension Project from:

a) the citizens of the state of Louisiana living in the various geographical regions of the state;

b) the chambers of commerce of the communities located in the northwest region of the state of Louisiana; and

c) the members of the Louisiana Legislature and Louisiana's United States Congressional Delegation.

SECTION 3:

A. By April 1, 2001, the Task Force shall submit a comprehensive report on the issues set forth in Section 2 of this Order to the governor, the House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works, and the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works.

B. The Task Force shall also submit documentation to the governor by April 1, 2001, suitable for submission to the members of the state of Louisiana's United States Congressional Delegation, supporting the reasons for extending Interstate 49 north to the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

SECTION 4: The Task Force shall be composed of a maximum of 23 members who, unless specified, shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor, and selected as follows:

A. The governor, or the governor's designee;

B. The secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development, or the secretary's designee;

C. The commissioner of administration, or the commissioner's designee;

D. The chair of the House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee, or the chair's designee;

E. The chair of the Senate Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee, or the chair's designee;

F. The chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, or the chair's designee;

G. The chair of the House Committeeon Commerce, or the chair's designee;

H. A member of the Senate, elected from the northwest region of the state of Louisiana, designated by the president of the Senate;

I. A member of the House of Representatives, elected from the northwest region of the state of Louisiana, designated by the speaker of the House of Representative;

J. Citizens of the state of Louisiana who reside in a community in the northwest region of the state of Louisiana; and

K. Representatives of businesses and/or industries that are located in the northwest region of the state of Louisiana.

SECTION 5: The governor shall appoint the chair from the membership of the Task Force. All other officers, if any, shall be elected from the membership of the Task Force.

SECTION 6: The Task Force shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals and at the call of the chair.

SECTION 7: Support staff for the Task Force and facilities for its meetings shall be provided by the Department of Transportation and Development.

SECTION 8: Commission members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem for serving on the Commission from the Office of the Governor and/or the Department of Transportation and Development. State officers and/or employees may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with I-49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency, and/or office.

SECTION 9: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and offices of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Task Force in implementing the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 10: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 19th day of October, 2000.

M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Governor

ATTEST BY
THE GOVERNOR
Fox McKeithen
Secretary of State