|Posted:||December 10, 2020 03:46 PM|
|From:||Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||The Reduction MLF Funding for PA State Police (Former HB 2061)|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that will accelerate the conservation of Motor License Fund (MLF) infrastructure monies that are currently being diverted to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) as an offset of General Fund obligations. Currently, the PSP receives most of its funding from the MLF, which is intended to fund the construction and maintenance of the Commonwealth’s roads and bridges. However, because the Commonwealth’s Constitution enables the MLF to fund “highway safety”, the PSP can be appropriated such monies from the MLF. In fact, in Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the PSP was appropriated $801.7 million, which was approximately 76% of its total funding for that FY. Since the MLF is intended to fund the Commonwealth’s critical infrastructure and MLF revenues have been on a consistent decline due to gas tax revenues being less reliable, the MLF should be relied upon to fund the Commonwealth’s infrastructure. In addition, we all have seen the economic impact that COVID had on this Commonwealth, particularly the MLF. Since citizens have not been traveling as much as they typically would, less people have been filling up their vehicle which is a direct loss in MLF revenues. As a result, COVID has only exacerbated the current transportation funding crisis. In fact, PennDOT has stated the MLF lost approximately $400 million due to COVID.
While the General Assembly has taken action in an attempt to rectify this funding dilemma within the MLF, I believe legislation should be introduced to accelerate the current step down instituted by Act 85 of 2016 to ensure the portion of the PSP’s funding coming from the MLF meets the appropriate and justifiable level of MLF support which was found to be $532.8 million. In a 2017 report from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, the report concluded that $532.8 million is the appropriate and justifiable level of MLF support for the PSP.
My legislation would increase the current step down by reducing the amount of diversion from the MLF by 8% for each Fiscal Year until the total reaches $500 Million from the MLF or 60% of the total amount appropriated for the same purposes in Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (as contained in Act 85).Specifically, my legislation would implement the 8% stepdown in FY 2020-201.
We invite you to join us in sponsoring this important piece of transportation-related legislation.
Pervious co-sponsors: Gabler, Hennessey, Struzzi II, Peifer, Kaufer, Freeman, Readshaw, Irvin, Ecker, Heffley, Pickett, Barrar, Neilson, Everett, Causer, Rader