This week we sent a letter to members of the General Assembly urging them to freeze, at $755 million, the amount of revenue being diverted for State Police from the Motor License Fund. It is the same amount that was diverted in the current fiscal year.
As you are probably aware, Governor Wolf had proposed increasing the diverted amount to $814 million in the next fiscal year. There has been increasing concern among legislators and within the administration that the large increases in diverted money is already having a negative impact on Pennsylvania’s transportation program by significantly reducing the amount available for much-needed highway maintenance and other improvements.
The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 622 directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study and determine the actual cost of patrolling highways and providing highway safety as opposed to other law enforcement efforts. This study is to be completed by the fall of 2016. The State Transportation Advisory Commission is also studying the situation.
Given that situation, and the likelihood that the diverted amount does not align with provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution, it does not make sense to again increase the amount before those studies can be completed.
We encourage all Coalition members and friends to join us in voicing concern to your legislators.
Transportation Issue Update
- The Pennsylvania Economy League, Keystone Crossroads and the Washington Observer-Reporter provide the latest news and commentary on the State Police funding issue.
- PennDOT joined several other departments and other state and local officials in unveiling an interactive off Bike to Work Week May 16 – 20 by announcing the launch of a new interactive mapping tool for BicyclePA routes.
- Coalition participant Amy Wise, Huntingdon County Business & Industry executive director, said the region would benefit from additional passenger rail services from Amtrak, but additional rail cars are not currently available.
- A northeastern Pennsylvania project reminds us that modestly priced initiatives can significantly improve safety for motorists.
- Those wondering precisely where those 70-mph stretches would be on the Turnpike and Interstates need wonder no more.
- Various regions of the Commonwealth are finding out what Act 89 will be funding in their backyards. There’s the news from western PA.
- SEPTA was among seven public transportation agencies to receive federal clean energy grants. The funds were available through the FAST Act, recently passed by Congress.
- PennDOT will begin this month to review necessary steps to improve bicycle safety, accessibility and connectivity on Route 6 across the state’s northern tier. The route is currently officially designated as PA Bike Route Y.