1997 Regular Session
By: Representatives Stevens, Compretta
House Bill 1630
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 65-1-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION WITH REGARD TO RAILROADS AND RAILROAD SAFETY; TO AMEND SECTION 65-1-173, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE RAILROAD INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO ENTER UPON PRIVATE PROPERTY UPON WHICH A RAILROAD FACILITY IS CONNECTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING INSPECTIONS, INVESTIGATIONS AND SURVEILLANCE OF PACKAGING, LOADING AND TRANSPORTATION OF MATERIALS PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE IF THE FACILITY IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH SAFETY RULES AND REGULATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 65-1-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-1-2. (1) There is hereby created the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which shall include the following offices:
(a) Office of Administrative Services.
(b) Office of Highways.
(c) Office of State Aid Road Construction.
(d) Office of Intermodal Planning.
(e) Office of Enforcement.
(2) Each office shall be composed of such bureaus as deemed necessary by the executive director of the department.
(3) The department is designated as the single state agency to receive and expend any funds made available by the United States Department of Transportation or any agency of the federal government for transportation purposes and to cooperate with federal, state, interstate and local agencies, organizations and persons performing activities relating to transportation. This subsection shall not apply to motor carrier safety assistance program funds made available by the federal government to the Public Service Commission.
(4) The powers, duties and responsibilities of the State Highway Department with respect to the construction and maintenance of the state highway system are transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
(5) The powers, duties and responsibilities of the Department of Economic and Community Development with respect to aeronautics are transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
(6) The powers, duties and responsibilities of the State Tax Commission with respect to the weighing of motor vehicles along the highways of this state at inspection stations and by means of portable scales are transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
(7) The powers, duties and responsibilities of the Department of Economic and Community Development with respect to transportation matters, except with respect to ports, are transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
(8) The powers, duties and responsibilities of the State Aid Engineer and the Office of State Aid Road Construction are transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
(9) All powers, duties and responsibilities of the Public Service Commission with regard to railroads, except rate-making authority, are transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The Mississippi Transportation Commission may perform any act and issue any rule, regulation or order permitted by the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 (45 USCS 231 et seq.). (10) All records, personnel, property and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocation or other funds of all those agencies, boards, commissions, departments, offices, bureaus and divisions that are transferred by Laws, 1992, Chapter 496 shall be transferred to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The transfer of segregated or special funds shall be made in such a manner that the relation between program and revenue source as provided by law shall be retained.
(11) From and after January 1, 1993, and until January 1, 1994, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Mississippi Transportation Commission shall be exempt from State Personnel Board procedures for the purpose of the employment, promotion, realignment, demotion, reprimand, suspension, termination, reallocation, reassignment, transfer, moving or relocation of personnel of all those agencies, boards, commissions, departments, offices, bureaus and divisions whose duties and responsibilities are transferred by Laws, 1992, ch. 496 to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
SECTION 2. Section 65-1-173, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-1-173. For the purpose of enforcing and investigating
all violations of the railroad laws, and the rules, regulations
and general orders of the Mississippi Transportation Commission
promulgated thereunder, the commission is hereby authorized to
employ six (6) inspectors. The salaries of the inspectors shall
be fixed by the commission, subject to the state personnel system
law as provided under Sections 25-9-101 et seq. The inspectors
shall devote their full time to the performance of their duties
and shall take an oath faithfully to perform the duties of their
positions. The commission shall require bonds to be carried on
such employees as the commission may deem necessary, the cost
thereof to be paid by the commission.
The inspectors shall be selected after an examination, as
prescribed by the commission, as to physical and mental fitness,
knowledge of the railroad laws, the rules and regulations of the
commission, the laws of this state pertaining to arrest and any
other examination as may be prescribed by the commission. An
inspector, at the time of appointment, shall be a citizen of the
State of Mississippi, of good moral character, and shall not be
less than twenty-one (21) years of age.
The inspectors of the Mississippi Transportation Commission may enter upon private property upon which a railroad facility is located that is connected to but not a part of the general railroad system of transportation, at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner to perform an inspection, investigation or surveillance of facilities, equipment, records and operations relating to the packaging, loading or transportation of hazardous materials or other materials to determine whether the railroad facility complies with the applicable federal or state safety statutes, rules, regulations or orders. Any inspection, investigation or surveillance performed on the site of a manufacturing facility shall be performed in compliance with the safety rules or regulations of the facility.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.