(HARRISBURG) – Reliable and sustainable transportation funding is critical for our residents and essential for commerce. In an effort to continue working towards adequate and fair funding for our interconnected transportation needs, today, the state Senate passed legislation, introduced by Senator Lisa Baker (R-20), to conduct a comprehensive study of PennDOT’s highway maintenance funding formula.
Senate Resolution 53 was passed with unanimous support and directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to undertake a contemporary review, comparing transportation funding and conditions from 1997 to the present, and the foreseeable future.
“For many years, across the state and across the nation, there have been repeated calls for additional investment in repair and expansion of critical infrastructure,” Senator Baker said. “We continue to frequently hear about the condition of local roads and bridges, where maintenance always seems to have lagged or been insufficient. No matter how much state money is committed or available, it is not distributed equitably, which is a problem that must be addressed. Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going, and how we can efficiently ensure a strong infrastructure for future generations.”
Senate Baker explained that this study is both appropriate and vital as a valuable tool to assess our State Highway Maintenance funding program.
“As the legislative and executive branches grapple with transportation policy and funding, it is important to have accurate and current data,” Senator Baker emphasized. “A modern assessment of how the factors in the formula should be weighted, according to documented needs and anticipated outcomes, will be an extremely useful tool.”
The study will include:
- An updated tally of state lane miles and bridges in each of PennDOT’s County Maintenance Offices (CMO), including the number and percentage that are three-digit and four-digit highways;
- Vehicle miles travelled in each of the CMO’s;
- A tally of state emergency funding by the CMO’s for acts of nature such as flooding and landslides;
- And the percentage of State Highway Maintenance Funding that goes towards major, fixed expenditures including personnel salary and benefit costs in each
“The study will be a positive step forward in helping us to better invest in all areas of our state, including small communities and rural areas, and their local byways which are indispensable lifelines, for jobs, healthcare, education, emergency services, and much more.”
The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee now has 12 months to conduct the study and issue a report on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s highway maintenance funding.
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