WHEREAS: the amendment also mandated that the Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (hereafter "TIMED"), which includes only those projects enumerated in Act 16 of the First Extraordinary Session of 1989 (hereafter "Act 16"), shall be funded as provided by law;
WHEREAS: R.S. 47:820.2 directs the state treasurer to create the Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development Account (hereafter "account") within the trust, and to fund it with a 15-year $.04 per gallon gasoline tax (hereafter "tax"), as described in R.S. 47:820.1 and 820.4, and that the monies in the account shall be used solely to fund the TIMED program;
WHEREAS: the purpose of the TIMED program is to dedicate the funds in the account to the 16 designated highway, bridge, port, and airport projects (hereafter "projects") listed in Act 16, R.S. 47.820.2(B); WHEREAS: the projects were designed to achieve a balance between the state's need for transportation infrastructure improvement and the state's overall need for economic development;
WHEREAS: pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 47:820.4, the tax shall expire in the year 2004, even though 11 of the projects will not be completed;
WHEREAS: significant changes in the economic development and transportation infrastructure improvement needs of the state, not envisioned at the time of the enactment of the TIMED program, have occurred since the ratification of the constitutional amendment in 1989; and
WHEREAS: due to these changes, the interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana would be best served by the creation of a task force charged with the duty of evaluating the state's continued need for projects not yet completed and for additional projects not listed in Act 16, based on the cost effectiveness of the projects and the economic development and transportation improvement infrastructure needs of the state, so that a reasoned decision can be made regarding the state's need to reenact and renew the tax and TIMED program and amend the provisions of Article VII, Section 27 of the Louisiana Constitution;
NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development Review Task Force (hereafter "task force") is established within the Executive Department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties of the task force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
SECTION 3: The task force shall prepare a comprehensive written report on the items listed in Section 2 and submit it to the governor; the House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works; the House Committee on Ways and Means; the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highway, and Public Works; and the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, no later than March 16, 1998.
SECTION 4: The task force shall be composed of 21 voting members who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the governor and two non-voting ex-officio members.
SECTION 5: The governor shall select the chair of the task force. The membership of the task force shall elect all other officers.
SECTION 6: The task force shall meet at the call of the chair.
SECTION 7: Support staff for the task force and facilities for its meetings shall be provided by the Louisiana Transportation Research Center.
SECTION 8: Task force members shall not receive compensation or a per diem. Nonetheless, contingent upon the availability of funds, members who are not employees of the State of Louisiana or one of its political subdivisions, or an elected official, may receive reimbursement with advance written approval of the Office of the Governor for actual travel expenses incurred, in accordance with state guidelines and procedures, upon the approval of the commissioner of Administration.
SECTION 9: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers 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 29th day of January, 1998.
M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Secretary of State