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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 71 would allow for the creation of Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) in counties contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico as well as in counties bordering said counties (particularly, certain areas of the Rio Grande Valley). RTAs would have the power to construct and own/operate public transportation systems within their counties, would have the power to relocate or reroute the property of others, with written permission, and would also have the power of eminent domain (under certain circumstances) to construct and develop transportation systems. RTAs would additionally be able to hire fare enforcement officers, contract with third-parties, issue bonds and establish security forces.
RTAs would be governed by an executive committee appointed by the board of directors of the local Regional Planning Committee, and would be required to hold at least one meeting a month. The Regional Planning Commission would have the power to create RTAs, pending a public hearing and a public election.