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Transportation advocates turn attention toward Washington

July 8, 2021

Two weeks ago, we expressed optimism that the then soon-to-be-enacted PA budget would include a boost in transportation funding. We’re pleased to report that the General Assembly and governor saw fit to add $279 million to PennDOT’s construction program this fiscal year, enough to keep hundreds of highway builders working and continue much-needed bridge and road improvements. The added revenue comes from American Rescue Act funds.

As we put the budget behind us and state lawmakers recess until late September, our attention turns toward activities in Washington, where the bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act awaits Senate approval after advancing from a unanimous Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Our ever-vigilant Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition distributed this draft letter to Coalition members asking them to consider contacting Senators Casey and Toomey to push for Senate leaders to schedule floor time for the bill this month. Doing so would signal support for the measure, which would increase federal highway investment by 34 percent.

As those who follow transportation funding know, the previous funding mechanism expired in 2020, but the renewal process stalled and the funding program was extended for just a year. A longer-term funding mechanism would provide the certainty that the industry requires to function efficiently.

We hope to be able to report good news in the coming weeks.

 

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