Summary: S.1389 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (08/26/2003)

Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2003 - (Sec. 2) Authorizes appropriations to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec. 3) Amends Federal transportation law to subject to U.S. Senate confirmation the President's designation of one of the STB members to serve as Chairman.

(Sec. 4) Directs the STB to promulgate supplemental regulations under Federal transportation law which shall establish: (1) clear standards for determining which small rail carrier rate challenges are eligible to use an expedited procedure, taking into account the size of the shipper, the value of the case, and other relevant factors; (2) clear tests for determining the reasonableness of such challenged rates; (3) streamlined evidentiary requirements; and (4) costs that do not exceed the cost of bringing a civil action in a U.S. district court.

Requires the revised regulations also to provide a procedure that: (1) will permit rate challenges to be completed within six months after the close of the administrative record (if the expedited method is used); (2) may provide for an initial determination of such rate challenges by an administrative law judge, with an opportunity for appeal of such determination to the full Board; and (3) will provide for full Board review.

Requires the STB to notify specified congressional committees if it determines that additional changes in the regulations are appropriate and require commensurate changes in statutory law.

(Sec. 5) Amends Federal transportation law regarding employee protective arrangements in transactions involving rail carriers.

Declares that terms of the agreement entitled "Revised Standards for Preemption of Collective Bargaining Agreements for Transactions Initiated Pursuant to Section 11323 of the Interstate Commerce Act" dated March 21, 2001, by and between six Class I railroads and 11 labor organizations, and the terms of the agreement entitled "Revised Standards for Preemption of Collective Bargaining Agreements for Transactions Initiated Pursuant to Section 11323 of the Interstate Commerce Act" dated February 11, 2000, by and between five Class I railroads, the National Carriers' Conference Committee, and the United Transportation Union (except for the provisions in both agreements stating `The terms of this agreement will become null and void when enacted into law'), shall apply to the signatories to such agreements in connection with approved transactions for consolidation, merger, and acquisition of control covered by such agreements, unless the affected rail carriers and the applicable labor organization or organizations agree on alternative terms.

(Thus provides that when newly consolidated rail operations involving the agreement signatories are subject to multiple collective bargaining agreements, the labor union parties, rather than the rail management parties, may choose which collective bargaining agreement will govern the new operations.)

Declares further that the terms of such agreements shall not be exempt from the antitrust laws and from all other law, including State and municipal law.