News

PHIA helps to shine spotlight on Act 89 benefits

June 30, 2016

ACT89ABSTRACTAmong our goals for PHIA this year is to raise the organization’s profile and strengthen its reputation as “the go-to source” for information about transportation issues.

We were pleased this week to coordinate and participate in a Harrisburg news conference featuring PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards. The news conference was held to provide an update of where things stand with Act 89 in advance of a series of regional events we’re sponsoring to promote the benefits of the transportation funding measure enacted in 2013.

Secretary Richards began by recapping the progress that has been made because of Act 89. The measure enabled PennDOT to award $2.5 billion in construction projects last year, and an estimated $2.4 billion this year. Without Act 89, the awards would have totaled only about $1.5 billion per year.

She then turned her attention toward the diversion of revenue from the Motor License Fund for the State Police budget. While highway patrol operations are a legitimate use for revenue from fuel taxes and user fees under the Pennsylvania Constitution, the consensus is that the $755 million diverted in the 2015-16 fiscal year and the proposed diversion of $801 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year is far greater than what is required for patrolling highways.

The secretary expressed optimism that the administration and General Assembly would find a way to reduce the diverted amounts and align them with the constitutional requirement.

The news conference was broadcast statewide on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Click here to read a news account of the news conference.

The first of the regional events will be at 10 a.m. July 25 at the Lancaster Airport. The format will be a panel discussion moderated by PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. Other events will be held in late summer and into the fall, and we will post more information about them as dates and venues become final.

 

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    […] taking Motor License Fund money for the General Fund. To read more about that press conference, go here. A current updated graph depicting the MLF diversion issue is available, […]

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