The Commonwealth’s tight financial picture in recent years has led lawmakers and two governors to significantly increase the amount diverted from the Motor License Fund to help pay for the State Police. I should note that while patrolling highways is a legitimate use of revenue raised from fuel taxes and other highway user fees, we seem to have exceeded that threshold.

The proportion of the State Police budget funded by the Motor License Fund is rapidly approaching 75 percent. In the proposed 2015-15 budget, it totals $739 million, or the equivalent of 12 cents per gallon. A much smaller amount was diverted to the Department of Agriculture weights and measures operation.

There’s no question that State Police operations should be funded, but from where? A recent public opinion poll commissioned by the highway construction industry shows that PA voters don’t like having highway money diverted for non-highway uses. Unfortunately, the odds of correcting this matter are not very good while facing a $1.2 billion year-end structural deficit. More information about the poll can be found here.

Transportation Issue Update