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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 21, 2021 10:35 AM
From: Representative R. Lee James
To: All House members
Subject: Fair Funding Formula for State Highway Maintenance in Boroughs
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation amending the State Highway Law to require that PennDOT maintain all surface and subsurface drainage facilities connected with the state highways within qualifying boroughs and incorporated towns with populations equal to or less than 2,500 people, and that have a population no greater than 400 residents per linear mile of state highway.  This legislation would assist approximately 300 boroughs in the Commonwealth.

Currently, responsibility for state highway maintenance varies based on municipality type. Generally, if the state highway is located in a township then surface and subsurface drainage systems are maintained by PennDOT, and if the state highway is located in a borough or incorporated town then only the surface of the road is maintained leaving the subsurface maintenance to the borough or town.

When the State Highway Law was originally passed, townships were small and boroughs and towns were where people lived outside of cities. The boroughs consequently had the financial ability to maintain the subsurface of the road where a township did not. In the more than 50 years since the State Highway Law was passed, the population distribution in Pennsylvania has changed dramatically. Boroughs have seen a decline in population over the years with people moving to townships or cities. This leaves the boroughs and towns with less tax base to maintain the subsurface of the state highways in their boundary. This maintenance then results in a financial strain on boroughs and towns, causing them to either cut services or increase taxes on an already shrinking and strained population.

Please join me in sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

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Introduced as HB2239