Corman Proposes Transportation Funding Legislation; Says Time is Now to Address Road and Bridge Needs

Pennsylvania must act now to repair its crumbling transportation network, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-34), who today announced that he will introduce legislation that encompasses many of the funding recommendations of a state commission appointed by Governor Tom Corbett.

“Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges, and more than 8,000 miles of highway need to be repaired or replaced,” Corman said.  “At this point, the Commonwealth is losing ground in simply maintaining our current transportation network, let alone improving infrastructure, adding capacity where necessary, or modernizing to the needs of state travelers.”

Senator Corman’s multi-bill legislative package is based largely on recommendations included in the report issued by the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission (TFAC), which Governor Corbett created in April to find solutions to the transportation funding crisis facing the state.  To view the report, go to http://www.tfac.pa.gov/

“The state will have to invest at least an additional $2 billion annually to meet our transportation infrastructure needs, and the cost to repair our infrastructure grows with each passing year,” stated Corman.  “We can’t continue to ignore these pressing challenges, which are directly related to public safety and economic development. Now is the time to act — the evidence is overwhelming and the need is there.  The only thing holding us back is political fear.”

The TFAC report urged PennDOT to consider a number of measures including adjusting outdated vehicle driver fees for inflation, increasing fines, uncapping the Oil Company Franchise Tax over five years and modernizing many PennDOT services for cost savings.

The Corman bill package incorporates most of the Commission’s recommendations, providing a fair, strategic plan for addressing the transportation funding needs of Pennsylvania.  All revenue generated will be dedicated specifically to transportation projects, which means the money will stay in Pennsylvania, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Corman added, “Drivers are already paying for an underfunded transportation system.  Factoring in vehicle damage, time loss due to a degraded or overcrowded roadways, and reduced options to effectively and efficiently move products, motorists continue to pay more and get nothing in return for an overstressed transportation system.”

Corman said that funding is badly needed, noting that the state currently has 50 closed bridges and 650 weight-restricted or posted bridges – many in rural parts of the state where drivers must make long detours.  Urban and suburban areas are seeing greater road congestion because money is not available to keep up with traffic needs.

“A safe and reliable transportation network is a core function of state government and necessary to a strong economy – we have to find a way to fund our roads and bridges even in these tough fiscal times,” Corman said.  “This package provides commonsense, well-thought-out funding mechanisms that are fair and reasonable.  And most important, it will allow us to start investing in our transportation system now – rather than putting off much-needed maintenance and construction.”

CONTACT:
Mark Meyer
717-787-1377