Bill Text: NJ A3400 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center and authorizes establishment of Foundation for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-02-15 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee [A3400 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A3400-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 3400

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 15, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  BETTYLOU DECROCE

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center and authorizes establishment of Foundation for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act establishing the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center, providing for its powers and duties, authorizing that center to establish the Foundation for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center, and amending and supplementing P.L.2001, c.113.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 1 of P.L.2001, c.113 (C.28:2-32) is amended to read as follows:

     1.  The Legislature finds and declares:

     a.  New Jersey has long been disadvantaged by the absence of an official historical exhibit site and institution for its large transportation artifacts.  As a result, our State's artifacts have been collected by transportation museums in neighboring states supported by state and federal funds.  Tourism, as well as museum volunteer labor, has also "migrated" out of the State to follow these artifacts.

     b.  Pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1993, c.209 (C.52:16A-46), as amended by P.L.1997, c.50, the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Museum Commission, authorized pursuant to an appropriation of $357,000 in Fiscal Year 2000, [has] developed a master plan for the proposed railroad and transportation museum, prepared by the firm of Wallace Roberts and Todd in May 2000. The master plan [examines] examined the establishment of the museum in the town of Phillipsburg, Warren County, with the development of a satellite facility in the borough of Netcong, Morris County [and including] , which included the feasibility of rail excursions between Netcong and Phillipsburg.

     c.  Pursuant to the master plan, the commission, in a report issued in September 2000, [recommends] recommended to the Governor, the Legislature, and the Department of Transportation that the final site for the museum be principally located in the town of Phillipsburg, Warren County, with a satellite location in the borough of Netcong, Morris County.  The commission [recommends] recommended that the museum be called the "New Jersey Transportation Heritage [Center."] Center" and that this   nomenclature shall be used in lieu of the term "New Jersey State railroad and transportation museum" in order to better comport with the proposed functions of the institution whose establishment is recommended by the commission.

     d.  It is in the public interest for the Legislature to create the "New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center," to provide for its powers and duties, to authorize the establishment of a Foundation for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center and to establish the location and final site of the [New Jersey transportation and railroad museum] heritage center in the town of Phillipsburg, Warren County, with a satellite facility in the borough of Netcong, Morris County[, the museum to be called the "New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center."].

(cf:  P.L.2001, c.113, s.1)

 

     2.  (New section)  There is hereby established in the Executive Branch of the State Government, the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center (hereinafter the "heritage center").  For the purpose of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the heritage center is hereby allocated within the Department of Transportation, but notwithstanding that allocation, the heritage center shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or by any board or officer thereof.

 

     3.  (New section)  It shall be the purpose of the heritage center to locate, acquire, preserve, and operate representative elements of the surface transportation system, including but not limited to, railway, marine, motor freight, motorbus, street railway, light rail transit, toll road, and canal operations, and to interpret these elements by appropriate exhibitions, educational programs, and related activities.

 

     4.    Section 2 of P.L.2001, c.113 (C.28:2-33) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    The principal location and final site of the New Jersey [railroad and transportation museum] Transportation Heritage Center, established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.           ) (before the Legislature as this bill), shall be in the town of Phillipsburg, Warren County, with a satellite location in the borough of Netcong, Morris County.  [The museum shall be called the "New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center."  Rail excursions are also authorized from the town of Phillipsburg and the borough of Netcong  at such times and following such routes as prescribed by the body, be it the board of directors, board of trustees, or otherwise, which shall be authorized to operate the "New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center."]  All references to the "New Jersey State railroad and transportation museum" or the "railroad and transportation museum" in any other law shall be deemed to refer and apply to the heritage center.

(cf:  P.L.2001, c.113, s.2)

 

     5.    (New section)  The general responsibility for the operation of the heritage center shall be vested in a board of trustees which shall possess the powers and duties provided for in this act.  The board of trustees shall consist of:

     a.     The Commissioner of Transportation, ex officio or Commissioner of Transportation's designee, and the Executive Director of the New Jersey Transit Corporation, ex officio or Executive Director's designee.

     b.    Seven public members, to be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, one of whom shall be chosen from the United Railroad Historical Society, one of whom shall be chosen from the Friends of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Museum, one upon recommendation of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the county of Warren, one upon recommendation of the municipal governing body of the town of Phillipsburg, and the rest of whom shall be chosen from among persons who have knowledge of, individual experience with, or demonstrated interest in, New Jersey railroad or transportation history, preservation, exhibition, or tourism.  A public member chosen from the United Railroad Historical Society or a public member chosen from the Friends of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Museum, shall have the power to appoint a designee from the membership of the respective organization.  If one of these organizations goes out of existence, the position on the board of trustees shall be considered vacant, and the position may be filled, by the Governor, from among persons who are affiliated with other railroad or transportation historical preservation organizations in New Jersey, or from among persons who have knowledge of, individual experience with, or demonstrated interest in, New Jersey railroad or transportation history and preservation.  The public members shall have terms of three years, and shall be eligible for reappointment to the board; except that, of those first appointed, three of the public members shall have terms of three years, two shall have terms of two years, and two shall have terms of one year.  Each appointed member of the board may be removed by the Governor for cause after a public hearing and may be suspended by the Governor pending the completion of the hearing.

     All appointments shall be made within 60 days of the effective date of this act.  For purposes of continuity, and to the extent practicable and feasible, the first appointments to the board shall include the public members of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Museum Commission, created by section 2 of P.L.1993, c.209 (C.52:16A-44), last serving on that commission; except that a member of the commission shall have the right to decline appointment to the board.  Vacancies in the membership of the board shall be filled, for the unexpired term only, in the manner described in this subsection, and within 60 days of the vacancy.  Members of the board shall serve without compensation for performing their duties as members, but the board may, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available therefor,

reimburse members for the actual expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties.

 

     6.  (New section)  A true copy of the minutes of every meeting of the board shall be forthwith delivered by and under the certification of the secretary thereof to the Governor.  No action taken at that meeting by the board shall have force or effect until the earlier of 10 days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, after the copy of the minutes shall have been so delivered, or the approval thereof by the Governor.  If, in the 10-day period, the Governor returns the copy of the minutes with veto of any action taken by the board or any member thereof at that meeting, the action shall be null and of no effect.  The minutes of any meeting at which the board proposes or approves its operating or capital outlay budget shall include a copy of that budget.  The governor may approve all or part of the action taken at any meeting prior to the expiration of  the 10-day period.

 

     7.  (New section)  Members of the board of trustees shall be subject to the provisions of the "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law," P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-12 et seq.).

 

     8.  (New section)  The board of trustees is hereby authorized and empowered:

     a.  To adopt bylaws for the regulations of its affairs and the conduct of its business.

     b.  To adopt an official common seal and alter it at its pleasure.

     c.  To plan, develop, construct, improve, operate, and maintain the heritage center, together with its contents, furnishings, and other properties.

     d. To prepare, adopt and implement a master plan for the development of the heritage center.

     e.  To submit an annual operational and capital funding request to the Governor through the Department of Transportation and the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury and to expend and authorize the expenditure of funds derived from such sources and funds as are appropriated by the State Legislature to the heritage center.

     f.  To appoint, retain, or employ, without regard for the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, such officers, agents, employees, or experts as it may require.

     g.  To acquire, lease as lessee or lessor, own, rent, use, hold, and dispose of real property and personal property, or any interest therein, in the name of the heritage center in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this act.

     h.  To acquire in the name of the heritage center by purchase, gift or otherwise, on terms and conditions and in a manner as the board may deem proper, or by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, except as against the State of New Jersey, and any of its departments, boards, agencies, or instrumentalities, any land, and other property which the board may determine is necessary for the heritage center.

     i.  To apply for, receive and accept from any federal agency, any bi-State agency, or the State or any subdivision thereof, grants for or in aide of the planning, improving, operating, and maintaining the heritage center or for any of its corporate purposes, and to receive, and accept aid or contributions from any other public or private source, of either money, property, labor, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied only for the purposes for which these grants and contributions may be made.

     j.  To set, collect, and hold admission fees and other charges in connection with the operation of the heritage center and to use the revenues from such fees and charges for the heritage center or any of its corporate purposes.

     k.  To solicit, encourage, and accept volunteer labor, support for the raising of funds and other things of value from any private source.

     l.  To call to its assistance and avail itself of the services and assistance of such officials and employees of the State and its political subdivisions and their departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities, and agencies as it may require as may be available to it for its purposes.

     m.  To act as a liaison concerning heritage center matters with the Executive and Legislative Branches of the State Government.

     n.  To prescribe rules and regulations consistent with the laws and rules of the State of New Jersey for the operation of the heritage center, including but not limited to, operations, capital projects, collections, exhibits, and services.

     o.  To acquire items for collections of the heritage center and to dispose of  items  in the collection on terms  which the heritage center may prescribe.

     p.  To care for and preserve property belonging to the heritage center.

     q.  To provide auxiliary services such as for the sale of books, periodicals, and transportation-related material and to provide facilities for the operation of food and beverage services at the heritage center.

     r.  To operate satellite locations of the heritage center.

     s.  To conduct transportation excursions.

     t. To promote the purposes of the heritage center through advertisements and by participation in public shows, parades, exhibitions, conferences, conventions, and other similar events.

     u.  To enter into any and all agreements or contracts, execute any and all instruments, and do and perform any and all acts or things necessary, convenient, or desirable for the purposes of the heritage

center or to carry out any power expressly or implicitly given in this act.

 

     9.  (New section)  The board shall, pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations concerning the procurement of goods and services by the heritage center.

 

     10.  (New section)  A member of the board of trustees and an employee of the heritage center shall not be liable in an action for damages to any person for any action taken within the scope of his functions as a member or employee, if the action was taken or made without malice.  The members of the board and employees of the heritage center shall be indemnified and their defense of any action provided for in the same manner and to the same extent as employees of the State under the "New Jersey Tort Claims Act," N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq.) on account of acts or omissions in the scope of their employment.

 

     11.  (New section)  All absolute and qualified immunities and defenses provided by the "New Jersey Tort Claims Act," N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., the "New Jersey Contractual Liability Act," N.J.S.59:13-1 et seq., and any other law shall apply to the heritage center and activities performed by the board of trustees and the employees of the heritage center in connection with the performance of their duties pursuant to the act.

 

     12.  (New section)  The Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury, the director's legally authorized representatives, and the State Auditor are hereby authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the accounts, books and records of the heritage center, including its receipts, disbursements, contracts, investments and other matters relating thereto and to its financial standing.

 

     13.  (New section)  Employees of the heritage center shall be enrolled in the Public Employees' Retirement System and shall be eligible to participate in the State Health Benefits Program established pursuant to the "New Jersey State Health Benefits Program Act," P.L.1961, c.49 (C.52:14-17.25 et seq.).  The heritage center may elect to provide health benefits for its employees through private insurance policies, hospital and medical service corporations, health maintenance organizations, and in any other manner available for the provision of health benefits.

 

     14.  (New section)  The board of trustees of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center is authorized to establish a  nonprofit educational and charitable organization to be known as the Foundation for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center (hereinafter "the foundation").  The foundation shall be devoted to the sponsoring of activities and raising of funds for the support and promotion of the heritage center and its several purposes, including but not limited to, capital and operating costs of the heritage center.  The foundation shall be incorporated, organized, and operated in such manner as to be eligible under applicable federal law for tax-exempt status and for the receipt of tax-deductible contributions and shall make application for such tax exempt status pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 26 U.S.C. s.501 (c)(3).

 

     15.  (New section)  The foundation shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of not less than 11 members.  The number of directors and their terms and manner of selection shall be determined upon its incorporation, provided that no more than five members shall be members of the board of directors of the heritage center.  The board shall elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson and a treasurer from among its members.

 

     16.  (New section)  The foundation's board of directors shall be authorized, within the limits of its own funds, to employ an executive director and professional, technical, and administrative personnel.  Employees of the foundation shall not be construed to be employees of the State of New Jersey.  The board of directors shall also be authorized to contract for such professional and administrative services as it shall deem necessary.

 

     17.  (New section)  Upon the incorporation of the foundation and the establishment of the first board of directors, the board shall adopt bylaws setting fourth the structure, offices, powers, and duties of the foundation.

 

     18.  (New section)  All funds received by the foundation, other than those necessary to pay the expenses of the foundation, shall be used exclusively for the support and promotion of the heritage center and its corporate purposes.

 

     19.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides for the creation of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center (Heritage Center).  The Heritage Center has as its purpose the location, acquisition, preservation and operation of representative elements of the surface transportation system, including, but not limited to, railway, marine, motor freight, motorbus, street railway, light rail transit, toll road and canal operations, and the interpretation of these elements by appropriate exhibitions, educational programs, and related activities.  The bill creates a board of trustees to operate the heritage center and provides for its power and duties.  The board consists of nine members:  the Commissioner of Transportation and the Executive Director of the New Jersey Transit Corporation, ex officio; and seven public members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, as follows:  one from the United Railroad Historical Society, one from the Friends of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Museum,  one upon recommendation of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Warren County, one upon recommendation of the municipal governing body of the town of Phillipsburg, and the remaining three chosen from among persons who have knowledge of, individual experience with, or demonstrated interest in, New Jersey railroad or transportation history, preservation, exhibition, or tourism.  The bill provides that the employees of the heritage center are in the Public Employees' Retirement System and grants them various protections under the "New Jersey Tort Claims Act."

     The bill also authorizes the board of trustees to establish the Foundation for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational and charitable foundation to serve as a fund raising body for the heritage center.  The board of directors of the foundation is to have at least 11 members, with no more than five members of the foundation board who are members of the board of trustees of the heritage center.

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