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.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 41

October 25, 2017

Lawmakers want details before authorizing new funding for state police

Many officials have long been concerned about an increasing reliance on state police for primary patrols without a more direct, fee-for-service type of funding mechanism.  The issue has grown more dire as the state began tapering off diversions to the state police from the state’s Motor License Fund.

PennDOT to reveal new path for thruway in Snyder County

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to reveal the new location for an approximately two-mile section of the Route 15 bypass in Snyder County at a public meeting Nov. 15. Feedback will be sought at the meeting to be held at the Selinsgrove Middle School, spokesman David Thompson said.

I-95 Corridor Coalition, Delaware DOT to test mileage-based revenue project with trucks

The I-95 Corridor Coalition, in a partnership with the Delaware Department of Transportation, is leading a pilot program to assess the feasibility of generating mileage-based revenue from trucks.

Elon Musk’s East Coast Hyperloop will launch digging in Maryland, state and company say

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) — taking a cue from the big splash, low information PR strategy of Elon Musk — tweeted Thursday that Musk’s Boring Company is going to build a Hyperloop tunnel from Baltimore to Washington.

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PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 40

October 16, 2017

Massive bridge over Susquehanna may not open for years after completion

The opening of a 4,545-foot bridge being built over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the Winfield area could be delayed for several years after it is completed in 2020.

Secretary pushes importance of STEM for women in transportation

For the state Department of Transportation, teaching students the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines are a priority as the department continues to aim for diversity in its workforce.

Business, community leaders form coalition to push for highway projects

The Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) has been considering how to fund a a new high-speed interchange between Interstates 99 and 80 at Bellefonte as well as improvements to the two-lane stretch of Route 322 between Boalsburg and Potters Mills.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 39

October 9, 2017

Road hazard: Statistics on distracted driving ‘sobering, real’

In Pennsylvania, all drivers are prohibited from using a cellphone or other electronic device to send, read or write a text-based communication while his or her vehicle is in motion. Violators face a fine of $50 plus court costs and other fees. Is the penalty enough to stop people of all ages from texting while driving?

Massive Pa Turnpike detour rescheduled for Oct. 13-16

A lengthy detour of more than an hour is being planned for the Northeastern Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Oct. 13 through 16th. Motorists are being advised to avoid the area if at all possible, or plan for an additional hour of travel time that weekend.

PA Turnpike broadband PPP paves way for connected travel

A primary purpose of the broadband network will be to expand the PTC’s cashless toll collections. It will also provide connectivity for the PTC’s administrative buildings, maintenance sheds, tolling systems, traffic cameras, electronic road signs, in addition to accommodating future applications.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 38

October 2, 2017

Public-private bridge deal getting job done

A contractor hired by the state to replace more than 500 bridges in three years appears on track to get the job done on time, a PennDOT official said this week.

Now Lower Nazareth could leave Colonial Regional Police

Lower Nazareth Township could become the next municipality to pull out of Colonial Regional Police, the 24-person force created more than 20 years ago to serve Lower Nazareth, Hanover Township, and Bath in Northampton County.

Pittsburgh’s bike culture must be preserved amid transportation issues

In a city where 25 percent of households have no access to a vehicle, people are being pushed to areas without quality transit or safe biking and walking options, decimating their quality of life.

Public transportation would help many people. But will it ever happen?

Since a fixed-route public bus system shut down in 2004 after operating for 13 years, county residents have had few public transportation options to choose from.

Trump backs off vow that private sector should help pay for infrastructure package

President Trump told lawmakers Tuesday that he was abandoning a key element of his planned $1 trillion infrastructure package, complaining that certain partnerships between the private sector and federal government simply don’t work.