(1) PURPOSE.—It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation, and development of surface transportation systems that will serve the mobility needs of people and freight and foster economic growth and development within and through urbanized areas of this state while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions through metropolitan transportation planning processes identified in this section. To accomplish these objectives, metropolitan planning organizations, referred to in this section as M.P.O.’s, shall develop, in cooperation with the state and public transit operators, transportation plans and programs for metropolitan areas. The plans and programs for each metropolitan area must provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities, including pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities that will function as an intermodal transportation system for the metropolitan area, based upon the prevailing principles provided in s. 334.046(1). The process for developing such plans and programs shall provide for consideration of all modes of transportation and shall be continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive, to the degree appropriate, based on the complexity of the transportation problems to be addressed. To ensure that the process is integrated with the statewide planning process, M.P.O.’s shall develop plans and programs that identify transportation facilities that should function as an integrated metropolitan transportation system, giving emphasis to facilities that serve important national, state, and regional transportation functions. For the purposes of this section, those facilities include the facilities on the Strategic Intermodal System designated under s. 339.63 and facilities for which projects have been identified pursuant to s. 339.2819(4). (2) DESIGNATION.—
(a)1. An M.P.O. shall be designated for each urbanized area of the state; however, this does not require that an individual M.P.O. be designated for each such area. Such designation shall be accomplished by agreement between the Governor and units of general-purpose local government representing at least 75 percent of the population of the urbanized area; however, the unit of general-purpose local government that represents the central city or cities within the M.P.O. jurisdiction, as defined by the United States Bureau of the Census, must be a party to such agreement.
2. To the extent possible, only one M.P.O. shall be designated for each urbanized area or group of contiguous urbanized areas. More than one M.P.O. may be designated within an existing urbanized area only if the Governor and the existing M.P.O. determine that the size and complexity of the existing urbanized area makes the designation of more than one M.P.O. for the area appropriate.
(b) Each M.P.O. designated in a manner prescribed by Title 23 of the United States Code shall be created and operated under the provisions of this section pursuant to an interlocal agreement entered into pursuant to s. 163.01. The signatories to the interlocal agreement shall be the department and the governmental entities designated by the Governor for membership on the M.P.O. Each M.P.O. shall be considered separate from the state or the governing body of a local government that is represented on the governing board of the M.P.O. or that is a signatory to the interlocal agreement creating the M.P.O. and shall have such powers and privileges that are provided under s. 163.01. If there is a conflict between this section and s. 163.01, this section prevails.
(c) The jurisdictional boundaries of an M.P.O. shall be determined by agreement between the Governor and the applicable M.P.O. The boundaries must include at least the metropolitan planning area, which is the existing urbanized area and the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period, and may encompass the entire metropolitan statistical area or the consolidated metropolitan statistical area.
(d) In the case of an urbanized area designated as a nonattainment area for ozone or carbon monoxide under the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 7401 et seq., the boundaries of the metropolitan planning area in existence as of the date of enactment of this paragraph shall be retained, except that the boundaries may be adjusted by agreement of the Governor and affected metropolitan planning organizations in the manner described in this section. If more than one M.P.O. has authority within a metropolitan area or an area that is designated as a nonattainment area, each M.P.O. shall consult with other M.P.O.’s designated for such area and with the state in the coordination of plans and programs required by this section.
(e) The governing body of the M.P.O. shall designate, at a minimum, a chair, vice chair, and agency clerk. The chair and vice chair shall be selected from among the member delegates comprising the governing board. The agency clerk shall be charged with the responsibility of preparing meeting minutes and maintaining agency records. The clerk shall be a member of the M.P.O. governing board, an employee of the M.P.O., or other natural person.
Each M.P.O. required under this section must be fully operative no later than 6 months following its designation.
(3) VOTING MEMBERSHIP.—
(a) The voting membership of an M.P.O. shall consist of at least 5 but not more than 25 apportioned members, with the exact number determined on an equitable geographic-population ratio basis, based on an agreement among the affected units of general-purpose local government and the Governor, as required by federal regulations. In accordance with 23 U.S.C. s. 134, the Governor may also allow M.P.O. members who represent municipalities to alternate with representatives from other municipalities within the metropolitan planning area which do not have members on the M.P.O. With the exception of instances in which all of the county commissioners in a single-county M.P.O. are members of the M.P.O. governing board, county commissioners shall compose at least one-third of the M.P.O. governing board membership. A multicounty M.P.O. may satisfy this requirement by any combination of county commissioners from each of the counties constituting the M.P.O. Voting members shall be elected officials of general-purpose local governments, one of whom may represent a group of general-purpose local governments through an entity created by an M.P.O. for that purpose. An M.P.O. may include, as part of its apportioned voting members, a member of a statutorily authorized planning board, an official of an agency that operates or administers a major mode of transportation, or an official of Space Florida. As used in this section, the term “elected officials of a general-purpose local government” excludes constitutional officers, including sheriffs, tax collectors, supervisors of elections, property appraisers, clerks of the court, and similar types of officials. County commissioners shall compose not less than 20 percent of the M.P.O. membership if an official of an agency that operates or administers a major mode of transportation has been appointed to an M.P.O.
(b) In metropolitan areas in which authorities or other agencies have been or may be created by law to perform transportation functions and are or will be performing transportation functions that are not under the jurisdiction of a general-purpose local government represented on the M.P.O., such authorities or other agencies may be provided voting membership on the M.P.O. In all other M.P.O.’s in which transportation authorities or agencies are to be represented by elected officials from general-purpose local governments, the M.P.O. shall establish a process by which the collective interests of such authorities or other agencies are expressed and conveyed.
(c) Any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, a chartered county with over 1 million population may elect to reapportion the membership of an M.P.O. whose jurisdiction is wholly within the county. The charter county may exercise the provisions of this paragraph if:
1. The M.P.O. approves the reapportionment plan by a three-fourths vote of its membership;
2. The M.P.O. and the charter county determine that the reapportionment plan is needed to fulfill specific goals and policies applicable to that metropolitan planning area; and
3. The charter county determines the reapportionment plan otherwise complies with all federal requirements pertaining to M.P.O. membership.
Any charter county that elects to exercise the provisions of this paragraph shall notify the Governor in writing.
(d) Any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, any county as defined in s. 125.011(1) may elect to have its county commission serve as the M.P.O., if the M.P.O. jurisdiction is wholly contained within the county. Any charter county that elects to exercise the provisions of this paragraph shall so notify the Governor in writing. Upon receipt of such notification, the Governor must designate the county commission as the M.P.O. The Governor must appoint four additional voting members to the M.P.O., one of whom must be an elected official representing a municipality within the county, one of whom must be an expressway authority member, one of whom must be a person who does not hold elected public office and who resides in the unincorporated portion of the county, and one of whom must be a school board member. (4) APPORTIONMENT.—
(a) Each M.P.O. shall review the composition of its membership in conjunction with the decennial census, as prepared by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, and with the agreement of the Governor and the affected general-purpose local government units that constitute the existing M.P.O., reapportion the membership as necessary to comply with subsection (3). At the request of a majority of the affected units of general-purpose local government comprising an M.P.O., the Governor and a majority of units of general-purpose local government serving on an M.P.O. shall cooperatively agree upon and prescribe who may serve as an alternate member and a method for appointing alternate members, who may vote at any M.P.O. meeting that he or she attends in place of a regular member. The method must be set forth as a part of the interlocal agreement describing the M.P.O. membership or in the operating procedures and bylaws of the M.P.O. The governmental entity so designated shall appoint the appropriate number of members to the M.P.O. from eligible officials. Representatives of the department shall serve as nonvoting advisers to the M.P.O. governing board. Additional nonvoting advisers may be appointed by the M.P.O. as deemed necessary; however, to the maximum extent feasible, each M.P.O. shall seek to appoint nonvoting representatives of various multimodal forms of transportation not otherwise represented by voting members of the M.P.O. An M.P.O. shall appoint nonvoting advisers representing major military installations located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the M.P.O. upon the request of the aforesaid major military installations and subject to the agreement of the M.P.O. All nonvoting advisers may attend and participate fully in governing board meetings but may not vote or be members of the governing board.
(b) Except for members who represent municipalities on the basis of alternating with representatives from other municipalities that do not have members on the M.P.O. as provided in paragraph (3)(a), the members of an M.P.O. shall serve 4-year terms. Members who represent municipalities on the basis of alternating with representatives from other municipalities that do not have members on the M.P.O. as provided in paragraph (3)(a) may serve terms of up to 4 years as further provided in the interlocal agreement described in paragraph (2)(b). The membership of a member who is a public official automatically terminates upon the member’s leaving his or her elective or appointive office for any reason, or may be terminated by a majority vote of the total membership of the entity’s governing board represented by the member. A vacancy shall be filled by the original appointing entity. A member may be reappointed for one or more additional 4-year terms.
(c) If a governmental entity fails to fill an assigned appointment to an M.P.O. within 60 days after notification by the Governor of its duty to appoint, that appointment shall be made by the Governor from the eligible representatives of that governmental entity.
(5) AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY.—The authority and responsibility of an M.P.O. is to manage a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process that, based upon the prevailing principles provided in s. 334.046(1), results in the development of plans and programs which are consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government the boundaries of which are within the metropolitan area of the M.P.O. An M.P.O. shall be the forum for cooperative decisionmaking by officials of the affected governmental entities in the development of the plans and programs required by subsections (6), (7), (8), and (9). (6) POWERS, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES.—The powers, privileges, and authority of an M.P.O. are those specified in this section or incorporated in an interlocal agreement authorized under s. 163.01. Each M.P.O. shall perform all acts required by federal or state laws or rules, now and subsequently applicable, which are necessary to qualify for federal aid. It is the intent of this section that each M.P.O. shall be involved in the planning and programming of transportation facilities, including, but not limited to, airports, intercity and high-speed rail lines, seaports, and intermodal facilities, to the extent permitted by state or federal law. (a) Each M.P.O. shall, in cooperation with the department, develop:
1. A long-range transportation plan pursuant to the requirements of subsection (7);
2. An annually updated transportation improvement program pursuant to the requirements of subsection (8); and
3. An annual unified planning work program pursuant to the requirements of subsection (9).
(b) In developing the long-range transportation plan and the transportation improvement program required under paragraph (a), each M.P.O. shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will:
1. Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
2. Increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
3. Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight;
4. Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, and improve quality of life;
5. Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
6. Promote efficient system management and operation; and
7. Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.
(c) In order to provide recommendations to the department and local governmental entities regarding transportation plans and programs, each M.P.O. shall:
1. Prepare a congestion management system for the metropolitan area and cooperate with the department in the development of all other transportation management systems required by state or federal law;
2. Assist the department in mapping transportation planning boundaries required by state or federal law;
3. Assist the department in performing its duties relating to access management, functional classification of roads, and data collection;
4. Execute all agreements or certifications necessary to comply with applicable state or federal law;
5. Represent all the jurisdictional areas within the metropolitan area in the formulation of transportation plans and programs required by this section; and
6. Perform all other duties required by state or federal law.
(d) Each M.P.O. shall appoint a technical advisory committee, the members of which shall serve at the pleasure of the M.P.O. The membership of the technical advisory committee must include, whenever possible, planners; engineers; representatives of local aviation authorities, port authorities, and public transit authorities or representatives of aviation departments, seaport departments, and public transit departments of municipal or county governments, as applicable; the school superintendent of each county within the jurisdiction of the M.P.O. or the superintendent’s designee; and other appropriate representatives of affected local governments. In addition to any other duties assigned to it by the M.P.O. or by state or federal law, the technical advisory committee is responsible for considering safe access to schools in its review of transportation project priorities, long-range transportation plans, and transportation improvement programs, and shall advise the M.P.O. on such matters. In addition, the technical advisory committee shall coordinate its actions with local school boards and other local programs and organizations within the metropolitan area which participate in school safety activities, such as locally established community traffic safety teams. Local school boards must provide the appropriate M.P.O. with information concerning future school sites and in the coordination of transportation service.
(e)1. Each M.P.O. shall appoint a citizens’ advisory committee, the members of which serve at the pleasure of the M.P.O. The membership on the citizens’ advisory committee must reflect a broad cross-section of local residents with an interest in the development of an efficient, safe, and cost-effective transportation system. Minorities, the elderly, and the handicapped must be adequately represented.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph 1., an M.P.O. may, with the approval of the department and the applicable federal governmental agency, adopt an alternative program or mechanism to ensure citizen involvement in the transportation planning process.
(f)1. The department shall allocate to each M.P.O., for the purpose of accomplishing its transportation planning and programming duties, an appropriate amount of federal transportation planning funds.
2. In a county as defined in s. 125.011(1), the M.P.O. may not assess any fees for municipalities, counties, or other governmental entities that are members of the M.P.O.
(g) Each M.P.O. shall have an executive or staff director who reports directly to the M.P.O. governing board for all matters regarding the administration and operation of the M.P.O. and any additional personnel as deemed necessary. The executive director and any additional personnel may be employed either by an M.P.O. or by another governmental entity, such as a county, city, or regional planning council, that has a staff services agreement signed and in effect with the M.P.O. Each M.P.O. may enter into contracts with local or state agencies, private planning firms, private engineering firms, or other public or private entities to accomplish its transportation planning and programming duties and administrative functions.
(h) In order to enhance their knowledge, effectiveness, and participation in the urbanized area transportation planning process, each M.P.O. shall provide training opportunities and training funds specifically for local elected officials and others who serve on an M.P.O. The training opportunities may be conducted by an individual M.P.O. or through statewide and federal training programs and initiatives that are specifically designed to meet the needs of M.P.O. board members.
(i) The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairs Coordinating Committee is created within the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, composed of the M.P.O.’s serving Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota Counties. The authority shall provide administrative support and direction to the committee. The committee must, at a minimum:
1. Coordinate transportation projects deemed to be regionally significant by the committee.
2. Review the impact of regionally significant land use decisions on the region.
3. Review all proposed regionally significant transportation projects in the respective transportation improvement programs which affect more than one of the M.P.O.’s represented on the committee.
4. Institute a conflict resolution process to address any conflict that may arise in the planning and programming of such regionally significant projects.
(j)1. The Legislature finds that the state’s rapid growth in recent decades has caused many urbanized areas subject to M.P.O. jurisdiction to become contiguous to each other. As a result, various transportation projects may cross from the jurisdiction of one M.P.O. into the jurisdiction of another M.P.O. To more fully accomplish the purposes for which M.P.O.’s have been mandated, M.P.O.’s shall develop coordination mechanisms with one another to expand and improve transportation within the state. The appropriate method of coordination between M.P.O.’s shall vary depending upon the project involved and given local and regional needs. Consequently, it is appropriate to set forth a flexible methodology that can be used by M.P.O.’s to coordinate with other M.P.O.’s and appropriate political subdivisions as circumstances demand.
2. Any M.P.O. may join with any other M.P.O. or any individual political subdivision to coordinate activities or to achieve any federal or state transportation planning or development goals or purposes consistent with federal or state law. When an M.P.O. determines that it is appropriate to join with another M.P.O. or any political subdivision to coordinate activities, the M.P.O. or political subdivision shall enter into an interlocal agreement pursuant to s. 163.01, which, at a minimum, creates a separate legal or administrative entity to coordinate the transportation planning or development activities required to achieve the goal or purpose; provides the purpose for which the entity is created; provides the duration of the agreement and the entity and specifies how the agreement may be terminated, modified, or rescinded; describes the precise organization of the entity, including who has voting rights on the governing board, whether alternative voting members are provided for, how voting members are appointed, and what the relative voting strength is for each constituent M.P.O. or political subdivision; provides the manner in which the parties to the agreement will provide for the financial support of the entity and payment of costs and expenses of the entity; provides the manner in which funds may be paid to and disbursed from the entity; and provides how members of the entity will resolve disagreements regarding interpretation of the interlocal agreement or disputes relating to the operation of the entity. Such interlocal agreement shall become effective upon its recordation in the official public records of each county in which a member of the entity created by the interlocal agreement has a voting member. This paragraph does not require any M.P.O.’s to merge, combine, or otherwise join together as a single M.P.O. (7) LONG-RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN.—Each M.P.O. must develop a long-range transportation plan that addresses at least a 20-year planning horizon. The plan must include both long-range and short-range strategies and must comply with all other state and federal requirements. The prevailing principles to be considered in the long-range transportation plan are: preserving the existing transportation infrastructure; enhancing Florida’s economic competitiveness; and improving travel choices to ensure mobility. The long-range transportation plan must be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with future land use elements and the goals, objectives, and policies of the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government located within the jurisdiction of the M.P.O. Each M.P.O. is encouraged to consider strategies that integrate transportation and land use planning to provide for sustainable development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The approved long-range transportation plan must be considered by local governments in the development of the transportation elements in local government comprehensive plans and any amendments thereto. The long-range transportation plan must, at a minimum: (a) Identify transportation facilities, including, but not limited to, major roadways, airports, seaports, spaceports, commuter rail systems, transit systems, and intermodal or multimodal terminals that will function as an integrated metropolitan transportation system. The long-range transportation plan must give emphasis to those transportation facilities that serve national, statewide, or regional functions, and must consider the goals and objectives identified in the Florida Transportation Plan as provided in s. 339.155. If a project is located within the boundaries of more than one M.P.O., the M.P.O.’s must coordinate plans regarding the project in the long-range transportation plan.
(b) Include a financial plan that demonstrates how the plan can be implemented, indicating resources from public and private sources which are reasonably expected to be available to carry out the plan, and recommends any additional financing strategies for needed projects and programs. The financial plan may include, for illustrative purposes, additional projects that would be included in the adopted long-range transportation plan if reasonable additional resources beyond those identified in the financial plan were available. For the purpose of developing the long-range transportation plan, the M.P.O. and the department shall cooperatively develop estimates of funds that will be available to support the plan implementation. Innovative financing techniques may be used to fund needed projects and programs. Such techniques may include the assessment of tolls, the use of value capture financing, or the use of value pricing.
(c) Assess capital investment and other measures necessary to:
1. Ensure the preservation of the existing metropolitan transportation system including requirements for the operation, resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation of major roadways and requirements for the operation, maintenance, modernization, and rehabilitation of public transportation facilities; and
2. Make the most efficient use of existing transportation facilities to relieve vehicular congestion, improve safety, and maximize the mobility of people and goods. Such efforts must include, but are not limited to, consideration of infrastructure and technological improvements necessary to accommodate advances in vehicle technology, such as automated driving systems and other developments.
(d) Indicate, as appropriate, proposed transportation enhancement activities, including, but not limited to, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, scenic easements, landscaping, historic preservation, mitigation of water pollution due to highway runoff, and control of outdoor advertising.
(e) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (a)-(d), in metropolitan areas that are classified as nonattainment areas for ozone or carbon monoxide, the M.P.O. must coordinate the development of the long-range transportation plan with the State Implementation Plan developed pursuant to the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.
In the development of its long-range transportation plan, each M.P.O. must provide the public, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, freight shippers, providers of freight transportation services, private providers of transportation, representatives of users of public transit, and other interested parties with a reasonable opportunity to comment on the long-range transportation plan. The long-range transportation plan must be approved by the M.P.O.
(8) TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.—Each M.P.O. shall, in cooperation with the state and affected public transportation operators, develop a transportation improvement program for the area within the jurisdiction of the M.P.O. In the development of the transportation improvement program, each M.P.O. must provide the public, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, freight shippers, providers of freight transportation services, private providers of transportation, representatives of users of public transit, and other interested parties with a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed transportation improvement program. (a) Each M.P.O. is responsible for developing, annually, a list of project priorities and a transportation improvement program. The prevailing principles to be considered by each M.P.O. when developing a list of project priorities and a transportation improvement program are: preserving the existing transportation infrastructure; enhancing Florida’s economic competitiveness; and improving travel choices to ensure mobility. The transportation improvement program will be used to initiate federally aided transportation facilities and improvements as well as other transportation facilities and improvements including transit, rail, aviation, spaceport, and port facilities to be funded from the State Transportation Trust Fund within its metropolitan area in accordance with existing and subsequent federal and state laws and rules and regulations related thereto. The transportation improvement program shall be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government whose boundaries are within the metropolitan area of the M.P.O. and include those projects programmed pursuant to s. 339.2819(4). (b) Each M.P.O. annually shall prepare a list of project priorities and shall submit the list to the appropriate district of the department by October 1 of each year; however, the department and a metropolitan planning organization may, in writing, agree to vary this submittal date. Where more than one M.P.O. exists in an urbanized area, the M.P.O.’s shall coordinate in the development of regionally significant project priorities. The list of project priorities must be formally reviewed by the technical and citizens’ advisory committees, and approved by the M.P.O., before it is transmitted to the district. The approved list of project priorities must be used by the district in developing the district work program and must be used by the M.P.O. in developing its transportation improvement program. The annual list of project priorities must be based upon project selection criteria that, at a minimum, consider the following:
1. The approved M.P.O. long-range transportation plan;
2. The Strategic Intermodal System Plan developed under s. 339.64. 3. The priorities developed pursuant to s. 339.2819(4).
4. The results of the transportation management systems; and
5. The M.P.O.’s public-involvement procedures.
(c) The transportation improvement program must, at a minimum:
1. Include projects and project phases to be funded with state or federal funds within the time period of the transportation improvement program and which are recommended for advancement during the next fiscal year and 4 subsequent fiscal years. Such projects and project phases must be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government located within the jurisdiction of the M.P.O. For informational purposes, the transportation improvement program shall also include a list of projects to be funded from local or private revenues.
2. Include projects within the metropolitan area which are proposed for funding under 23 U.S.C. s. 134 of the Federal Transit Act and which are consistent with the long-range transportation plan developed under subsection (7).
3. Provide a financial plan that demonstrates how the transportation improvement program can be implemented; indicates the resources, both public and private, that are reasonably expected to be available to accomplish the program; identifies any innovative financing techniques that may be used to fund needed projects and programs; and may include, for illustrative purposes, additional projects that would be included in the approved transportation improvement program if reasonable additional resources beyond those identified in the financial plan were available. Innovative financing techniques may include the assessment of tolls, the use of value capture financing, or the use of value pricing. The transportation improvement program may include a project or project phase only if full funding can reasonably be anticipated to be available for the project or project phase within the time period contemplated for completion of the project or project phase.
4. Group projects and project phases of similar urgency and anticipated staging into appropriate staging periods.
5. Indicate how the transportation improvement program relates to the long-range transportation plan developed under subsection (7), including providing examples of specific projects or project phases that further the goals and policies of the long-range transportation plan.
6. Indicate whether any project or project phase is inconsistent with an approved comprehensive plan of a unit of local government located within the jurisdiction of the M.P.O. If a project is inconsistent with an affected comprehensive plan, the M.P.O. must provide justification for including the project in the transportation improvement program.
7. Indicate how the improvements are consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with affected seaport, airport, and spaceport master plans and with public transit development plans of the units of local government located within the jurisdiction of the M.P.O. If a project is located within the boundaries of more than one M.P.O., the M.P.O.’s must coordinate plans regarding the project in the transportation improvement program.
(d) Projects included in the transportation improvement program and that have advanced to the design stage of preliminary engineering may be removed from or rescheduled in a subsequent transportation improvement program only by the joint action of the M.P.O. and the department. Except when recommended in writing by the district secretary for good cause, any project removed from or rescheduled in a subsequent transportation improvement program shall not be rescheduled by the M.P.O. in that subsequent program earlier than the 5th year of such program.
(e) During the development of the transportation improvement program, the M.P.O. shall, in cooperation with the department and any affected public transit operation, provide citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, freight shippers, providers of freight transportation services, private providers of transportation, representatives of users of public transit, and other interested parties with reasonable notice of and an opportunity to comment on the proposed program.
(f) The adopted annual transportation improvement program for M.P.O.’s in nonattainment or maintenance areas must be submitted to the district secretary and the Department of Economic Opportunity at least 90 days before the submission of the state transportation improvement program by the department to the appropriate federal agencies. The annual transportation improvement program for M.P.O.’s in attainment areas must be submitted to the district secretary and the Department of Economic Opportunity at least 45 days before the department submits the state transportation improvement program to the appropriate federal agencies; however, the department, the Department of Economic Opportunity, and a metropolitan planning organization may, in writing, agree to vary this submittal date. The Governor or the Governor’s designee shall review and approve each transportation improvement program and any amendments thereto.
(g) The Department of Economic Opportunity shall review the annual transportation improvement program of each M.P.O. for consistency with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government whose boundaries are within the metropolitan area of each M.P.O. and shall identify those projects that are inconsistent with such comprehensive plans. The Department of Economic Opportunity shall notify an M.P.O. of any transportation projects contained in its transportation improvement program which are inconsistent with the approved local government comprehensive plans of the units of local government whose boundaries are within the metropolitan area of the M.P.O.
(h) The M.P.O. shall annually publish or otherwise make available for public review the annual listing of projects for which federal funds have been obligated in the preceding year. Project monitoring systems must be maintained by those agencies responsible for obligating federal funds and made accessible to the M.P.O.’s.
(9) UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM.—Each M.P.O. shall develop, in cooperation with the department and public transportation providers, a unified planning work program that lists all planning tasks to be undertaken during the program year. The unified planning work program must provide a complete description of each planning task and an estimated budget therefor and must comply with applicable state and federal law.
(10) AGREEMENTS.— (a) Each M.P.O. shall execute the following written agreements, which shall be reviewed, and updated as necessary, every 5 years:
1. An agreement with the department clearly establishing the cooperative relationship essential to accomplish the transportation planning requirements of state and federal law.
2. An agreement with the metropolitan and regional intergovernmental coordination and review agencies serving the metropolitan areas, specifying the means by which activities will be coordinated and how transportation planning and programming will be part of the comprehensive planned development of the area.
3. An agreement with operators of public transportation systems, including transit systems, commuter rail systems, airports, seaports, and spaceports, describing the means by which activities will be coordinated and specifying how public transit, commuter rail, aviation, seaport, and aerospace planning and programming will be part of the comprehensive planned development of the metropolitan area.
(b) An M.P.O. may execute other agreements required by state or federal law or as necessary to properly accomplish its functions.
(11) METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION ADVISORY COUNCIL.—
(a) A Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council is created to augment, and not supplant, the role of the individual M.P.O.’s in the cooperative transportation planning process described in this section.
(b) The council shall consist of one representative from each M.P.O. and shall elect a chairperson annually from its number. Each M.P.O. shall also elect an alternate representative from each M.P.O. to vote in the absence of the representative. Members of the council do not receive any compensation for their services, but may be reimbursed from funds made available to council members for travel and per diem expenses incurred in the performance of their council duties as provided in s. 112.061. (c) The powers and duties of the Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council are to:
1. Enter into contracts with individuals, private corporations, and public agencies.
2. Acquire, own, operate, maintain, sell, or lease personal property essential for the conduct of business.
3. Accept funds, grants, assistance, gifts, or bequests from private, local, state, or federal sources.
4. Establish bylaws by action of its governing board providing procedural rules to guide its proceedings and consideration of matters before the council, or, alternatively, adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of law conferring powers or duties upon it.
5. Assist M.P.O.’s in carrying out the urbanized area transportation planning process by serving as the principal forum for collective policy discussion pursuant to law.
6. Serve as a clearinghouse for review and comment by M.P.O.’s on the Florida Transportation Plan and on other issues required to comply with federal or state law in carrying out the urbanized area transportation and systematic planning processes instituted pursuant to s. 339.155.
7. Employ an executive director and such other staff as necessary to perform adequately the functions of the council, within budgetary limitations. The executive director and staff are exempt from part II of chapter 110 and serve at the direction and control of the council. The council is assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation for fiscal and accountability purposes, but it shall otherwise function independently of the control and direction of the department.
8. Adopt an agency strategic plan that prioritizes steps the agency will take to carry out its mission within the context of the state comprehensive plan and any other statutory mandates and directives.
(12) APPLICATION OF FEDERAL LAW.—Upon notification by an agency of the Federal Government that any provision of this section conflicts with federal laws or regulations, such federal laws or regulations will take precedence to the extent of the conflict until such conflict is resolved. The department or an M.P.O. may take any necessary action to comply with such federal laws and regulations or to continue to remain eligible to receive federal funds.
(13) VOTING REQUIREMENTS.—Each long-range transportation plan required pursuant to subsection (7), each annually updated Transportation Improvement Program required under subsection (8), and each amendment that affects projects in the first 3 years of such plans and programs must be approved by each M.P.O. on a recorded roll call vote, or hand-counted vote, of a majority of the membership present.