The Senate Transportation Committee today (June 8) unanimously approved legislation introduced by Senator Joe Pittman to expeditiously reduce the amount of funding diverted each year from essential transportation improvement projects to support State Police operations.
Senate Bill 242 significantly expedites the timeframe for reducing the diversion of money from the state’s Motor License Fund (MLF) – which supports highway and bridge improvement efforts – to fund the State Police.
“When Act 89 of 2013 was enacted, Pennsylvanians were promised a significant investment would be made to improve our deteriorating roads and bridges,” Senator Pittman said. “We need to continue to fulfill that promise and ensure tax dollars earmarked to maintain and improve our roadway system are available for their intended purpose. My legislation moves us in that direction more expeditiously.”
A 2016 Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) report determined that 47 percent of State Police manpower hours were dedicated to highway safety (i.e. patrolling roads, preventing, and responding to accidents, enforcing traffic violations, etc.).
“The LBFC estimated the annual cost of those highway safety efforts to be about $500 million,” Senator Pittman said. “Subsequently, the plan to cap and gradually scale back funding from the MLF was put into place as part of the budget agreement. While eight years are left in the current plan, my legislation would further reduce that timeframe to four years. I believe now is the time to accelerate the shift to funding the State Police through the General Fund and to use the MLF for its intended purpose — to improve the condition and safety of our highways and bridges.”
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Video of the committee meeting.