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2015 SESSION

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HB 2344 Dulles Greenway; powers & responsibilities of SCC to regulate toll road operators.

Introduced by: David I. Ramadan | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:

Dulles Greenway. Amends the powers and responsibilities of the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to regulate toll road operators under the Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 1988. The measure adds requirements that toll rates not materially discourage the public's use of the toll road, that the cost of operating the toll road be reasonably apportioned across all toll road users based on the relative distance each class of user travels on the toll road such that the toll rates are established in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner in relation to the benefit obtained, and that toll rates shall provide the operator with no more than a reasonable return. In addition, the measure (i) requires the SCC, by October 1, 2015, to initiate an investigation into the tolls charged by all operators subject to the Act and to issue a ruling by April 1, 2016, on its investigation as to whether the current tolls charged by the operator comply with such new requirements; (ii) prohibits the SCC from using the fact that any incremental return resulting from increased traffic related to a relative change in potential toll users that is greater than zero on a cumulative basis as the sole basis for finding that the operator's return exceeds a reasonable level as specified in such new requirements, during any future complaint proceeding; (iii) requires the SCC, in its initial investigation, to develop a baseline from which it can measure the relative change in potential toll users and directs how the incremental return shall be computed; (iv) prohibits an operator from seeking a toll increase that attempts to raise its return above the reasonable level; (v) requires the full disclosure, in public financial reports to the SCC, of the details of any related party transactions; and (vi) establishes a presumption that any related party transactions shall be presumed to be imprudent and excluded from costs used for any purpose, including but not limited to costs of lobbyists, excessive compensation, and entertainment expenses, unless the operator provides information showing that at least three separate competitive bids demonstrate that the operator could not have achieved better contract terms from a third party.


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