So far, so good on restoring diverted highway money
PA House Republicans this week introduced a proposed state budget that counters the proposal put forth several weeks ago by Governor Wolf.
The good news is that the administration and lawmakers are closer from the outset than they have been in the past. Additional good news is that both versions call for reducing the amount of revenue that has been diverted from the Motor License Fund to support State Police operations.
The governor proposed a $63 million cut in money diverted from the Motor License Fund, which is the constitutionally created source for most of PennDOT’s operations and highway construction and maintenance. The governor proposed to offset the reduction to State Police by imposing a $25 per capita fee on municipalities that rely solely on the State Police for community policing.
The House proposal also reduces the Motor License Fund diversion by $63 million. What isn’t known is whether the House intends to go along with the $25 per person fee or has another mechanism in mind to replace the reduction to the State Police.
Although there appears to be agreement at the moment to begin walking back the amount diverted from highway work, many things can change in the coming weeks as the House and Senate deliberate over the spending plan that would be effective July 1.
Overall, PennDOT’s budget appears to be largely intact in the House proposal, but that’s mainly because PennDOT receives very little General Fund appropriations. Only approximately $1.6 million comes from the General Fund that that is primarily earmarked for vehicle sales tax collections and voter registration operations.
For more information about the House budget proposal, click here.