Nebraska Revised Statute 74-1601
Section 1. MIDWEST INTERSTATE PASSENGER RAIL COMPACT
The contracting states solemnly agree:
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purposes of this compact are, through joint or cooperative action:
(1) to promote development and implementation of improvements to intercity passenger rail service in the Midwest;
(2) to coordinate interaction among Midwestern state elected officials and their designees on passenger rail issues;
(3) to promote development and implementation of long-range plans for high-speed rail passenger service in the Midwest and among other regions of the United States;
(4) to work with the public and private sectors at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure coordination among the various entities having an interest in passenger rail service and to promote Midwestern interests regarding passenger rail; and
(5) to support efforts of transportation agencies involved in developing and implementing passenger rail service in the Midwest.
ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION
To further the purposes of the compact, a commission is created to carry out the duties specified in this compact.
The manner of appointment of commission members, terms of office consistent with the terms of this compact, provisions for removal and suspension, and manner of appointment to fill vacancies shall be determined by each member state pursuant to its laws, but each commissioner shall be a resident of the state of appointment. Commission members shall serve without compensation from the commission. The commission shall consist of four resident members of each state as follows: The Governor or the Governor's designee who shall serve during the tenure of office of the Governor, or until a successor is named; one member of the private sector who shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve during the tenure of office of the Governor, or until a successor is named; and two legislators, one from each legislative chamber (or two legislators from any unicameral legislature), who shall serve two-year terms, or until successors are appointed, and who shall be appointed by the appropriate appointing authority in each legislative chamber (or unicameral legislature). All vacancies shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the appointing states. Any commissioner appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the end of the incomplete term. Each member state shall have equal voting privileges, as determined by the commission bylaws.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION
The duties of the commission are to:
(1) Advocate for the funding and authorization necessary to make passenger rail improvements a reality for the region;
(2) Identify and seek to develop ways that states can form partnerships, including with rail industry and labor, to implement improved passenger rail in the region;
(3) Seek development of a long-term, interstate plan for high-speed rail passenger service implementation;
(4) Cooperate with other agencies, regions, and entities to ensure that the Midwest is adequately represented and integrated into national plans for passenger rail development;
(5) Adopt bylaws governing the activities and procedures of the commission and addressing, among other subjects: Powers and duties of officers, voting rights of commission members, voting procedures, commission business, and any other purposes necessary to fulfill the duties of the commission;
(6) Expend such funds as required to carry out the powers and duties of the commission; and
(7) Report on the activities of the commission to the legislatures and Governor of the member states on an annual basis.
In addition to its exercise of these duties, the commission is empowered to:
(1) Provide multistate advocacy necessary to implement passenger rail systems or plans, as approved by the commission;
(2) Work with local elected officials, economic development planning organizations, and similar entities to raise the visibility of passenger rail service benefits and needs;
(3) Educate other state officials, federal agencies, other elected officials and the public on the advantages of passenger rail as an integral part of an intermodal transportation system in the region;
(4) Work with federal agency officials and members of Congress to ensure the funding and authorization necessary to develop a long-term, interstate plan for high-speed rail passenger service implementation;
(5) Make recommendations to member states;
(6) If requested by each state participating in a particular project and under the terms of a formal agreement approved by the participating states and the commission, implement or provide oversight for specific rail projects;
(7) Establish an office and hire staff as necessary;
(8) Contract for or provide services;
(9) Assess dues, in accordance with the terms of this compact;
(10) Conduct research; and
(11) Establish committees.
The commission shall annually elect from among its members a chairperson, a vice-chairperson who shall not be a resident of the state represented by the chairperson, and others as approved in the commission bylaws. The officers shall perform such functions and exercise such powers as are specified in the commission bylaws.
MEETINGS AND COMMISSION ADMINISTRATION
The commission shall meet at least once in each calendar year, and at such other times as may be determined by the commission. Commission business shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures and voting rights specified in the bylaws.
Except as otherwise provided for, the monies necessary to finance the general operations of the commission in carrying forth its duties, responsibilities, and powers as stated herein shall be appropriated to the commission by the member states, when authorized by the respective legislatures, by equal apportionment among the member states. Nothing in this compact shall be construed to commit a member state to participate in financing a rail project except as provided by law of a member state.
The commission may accept, for any of its purposes and functions, donations, gifts, grants, and appropriations of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services from the federal government, from any member state or from any department, agency, or municipality thereof, or from any institution, person, firm, or corporation. All expenses incurred by the commission in executing the duties imposed upon it by this compact shall be paid by the commission out of the funds available to it. The commission shall not issue any debt instrument. The commission shall submit to the officer designated by the laws of each member state, periodically as required by the laws of each member state, a budget of its actual past, and estimated future expenditures.
ENACTMENT, EFFECTIVE DATE, AND AMENDMENTS
The states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are eligible to join this compact. Upon approval of the commission, according to its bylaws, other states may also be declared eligible to join the compact. As to any eligible party state, this compact shall become effective when its legislature shall have enacted the same into law; provided that it shall not become initially effective until enacted into law by any three (3) party states incorporating the provisions of this compact into the laws of such states. Amendments to the compact shall become effective upon their enactment by the legislatures of all member states.
WITHDRAWAL, DEFAULT, AND TERMINATION
Withdrawal from this compact shall be by enactment of a statute repealing the same and shall take effect one year after the effective date of such statute. A withdrawing state shall be liable for any obligations which it may have incurred prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
If any member state shall at any time default in the performance of any of its obligations, assumed or imposed, in accordance with the provisions of this compact, all rights, privileges, and benefits conferred by this compact or agreements hereunder shall be suspended from the effective date of such default as fixed by the commission, and the commission shall stipulate the conditions and maximum time for compliance under which the defaulting state may resume its regular status. Unless such default shall be remedied under the stipulations and within the time period set forth by the commission, this compact may be terminated with respect to such defaulting state by affirmative vote of a majority of the other commission members. Any such defaulting state may be reinstated, upon vote of the commission, by performing all acts and obligations as stipulated by the commission.
CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY
The provisions of this compact entered into hereunder shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any member state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected hereby. If this compact entered into hereunder shall be held contrary to the constitution of any member state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters. The provisions of this compact entered into pursuant hereto shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.
Laws 2001, LB 244, § 1.