§17-2B-1. Legislative findings and purposes.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares:

(1) That modern, well-constructed and properly maintained roads and highways are of great importance to the economic and industrial growth and development and well-being of the state and to the health, education, welfare and prosperity of its citizens;

(2) That due to budgetary and economic constraints, it is frequently not feasible, desirable nor prudent to meet the costs of construction and maintenance of a modern highways system sufficient to meet current or future needs of the state, of its citizens and of its industrial and commercial communities through the utilization of current revenues, increased or expanded taxation or general obligation bonds;

(3) That there is opinion that alternative methods of financing the construction and maintenance of an efficient and modern road and highway system could be desirable; that these alternative methods may include, but not necessarily be limited to, the utilization of tolls to be paid by the users of such highways and other methods of financing or a combination of various methods, including tolls; and

(4) That the purpose of this article is to create a commission, as hereinafter constituted and appointed, to study various and alternative methods of financing road and highway construction and maintenance, with particular emphasis upon the feasibility and desirability of adopting a system of tolls to be paid by the users of such roads and highways either alone or in combination with other methods of financing.

(b) The Legislature further declares that it recognizes that the provisions of section 1, article V of the Constitution of West virginia prohibit any person from exercising the powers of more than one branch or department of government at the same time; however, it is the express purpose, intent and finding of the Legislature that those members of the commission who are members of the Legislature are acting as such while serving on the commission and in the furtherance of the Legislature's inherent right and power to investigate and inquire into and report on those matters which are legimately within its powers, and that since the commission's role and duties are investigative and reportive in nature, the service upon the commission by its legislative members is not violative of nor inimical to the Constitutional mandate with respect to the separation of governmental powers.