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Wolf rejects diverting more transportation funds

November 10, 2017

Transportation advocates appear to have received great news this week as a spokesman for Governor Wolf said the governor does not intend to tap into transportation money to close a $300 million budget gap.

In recognition of a legislative study concluding that the state had been diverting $222 million more than it should from the Motor License Fund to support State Police operations, the governor and General Assembly had trimmed last year’s $802 million diversion by about $23 million and apparently will continue to scale the diverted amount back.

However, House Republicans then suggested diverting some $400 million from the Multimodal Transportation and Public Transportation Trust funds to plug the budget gap, later reducing that to $100 million before stripping out specific sources and leaving it up to the governor’s discretion.

The governor’s spokesman, J.J. Abbott, said the following to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via email:

“Gov. Wolf will not raid any funds related to public transit as proposed by the House Republicans. Governor Wolf understands that public transit and other infrastructure are vital parts of Pennsylvania’s economy and he’s committed to continuing to invest more — not less — in these programs.”

 

News

PennDOT lets $156 million in October

November 3, 2017

PennDOT let just over $156 million projects during the month of October according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has let just over $1.9 billion in project lettings to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $1.986 billion in projects.  The official 2016 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT anticipates a $2.4 billion letting program by year’s end.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full October letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

October Letting Report* (PDF)

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

Featured, News

PA revenue package approved, but questions remain

October 26, 2017

Nearly four months beyond the beginning of the fiscal year, the General Assembly has approved revenue bills that – at least in theory – will balance the budget of nearly $32 billion that was approved earlier this year.

Assuming Governor Wolf approves the measures, the revenue will result from a significant expansion of gambling – casino-style gambling in truck stops, airports, online, and 10 new casino locations around the state, each with hundreds of slot machines and possibly table games – projected to raise $200 million per year.

Another $1.5 billion will be borrowed and repaid over 20 years, and $500 million is to come from “off-budget” funds at the governor’s discretion. Previously, House Republicans proposed siphoning $50 million each from multimodal transportation and public transportation funds, but the specific sources were stripped from the final version.

It is not clear what the governor will do or when he will act. Earlier measures are diverting almost $740 million from the Motor License Fund this fiscal year. PHIA will provide updates as decisions are made.

 

News

PennDOT lets $101 Million in September

October 2, 2017

PennDOT let just over $101.7 million projects during the month of September according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has let just over $1.74 billion in project lettings to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $1.89 billion in projects.  The official 2016 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT anticipates a $2.4 billion letting program by year’s end.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full September letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

September Letting Report* (PDF)

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

Senate to consider House-passed plan to divert another $100 million from transportation

September 19, 2017

House Republicans, trying to avoid increasing taxes and having already approved a spending measure, have sent to the Senate a proposed revenue plan that would peel another $100 million away from transportation in Pennsylvania.

Although it’s not as much as the nearly half-billion dollars proposed to be diverted initially, it would represent yet another leak in the increased revenue stream created by Act 89 of 2013.

You may recall that the budget for this fiscal year, passed during the summer, included a diversion of $778 million from the Motor License Fund to support State Police operations. The General Assembly had rolled back the amount diverted last year by about $24 million, but instead of decreasing the diverted amount this year, the House plan would actually increase it by a $76 million. Read more

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