|Posted:||January 29, 2021 10:27 AM|
|From:||Senator Lisa Baker|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Comprehensive LBFC study of PennDOT’s highway maintenance funding|
|As you know, reliable and sustainable transportation funding remains an important issue in the Commonwealth. Critical for our residents and essential for commerce, elected officials must continue working towards adequate and fair funding for our interconnected transportation needs. Currently, one aspect of this is receiving attention as the Department of Transportation and the P3 Board are advocating user fees or tolls as revenue for bridge construction and maintenance. While we engage on this policy debate, a different existing revenue vehicle warrants further analysis.
Act 89 of 2013 is providing billions of dollars for state road and bridge construction contracts, public transportation capital projects, local road and bridge assistance, certain Turnpike expansion projects, multi-modal capital projects, and dirt/gravel/low-volume roads. These investments are critical to highway safety, mobility, and economic development.
Also critical to the safety of our motoring public is highway maintenance provided by PennDOT. Chapter 91 of Title 75 provides for State Highway Maintenance and the necessary formula for funding distribution for PennDOT’s County Maintenance Offices (CMO). Created in 1980, the formula was last updated in 1997. The Legislative Budget & Finance Committee (LBFC) conducted a Performance Audit of PennDOT in 2002, a portion of which assessed the 1997 changes. At the time, LBFC found the “new formula resulted in a fairer allocation of maintenance monies.”
A contemporary review comparing the conditions from 1997 to present and the foreseeable future is both appropriate and vital as a valuable tool to assess our State Highway Maintenance funding program.
The study should consist of the following:
Last Session, Senate Resolution 106 was cosponsored by Senators Argall, Bartolotta, Browne, Martin, Mensch, Vogel, J. Ward, K. Ward and Yudichak.
If the General Assembly considers transportation funding needs moving forward, having an accurate account of this existing program is important and I encourage you to join in co-sponsoring the study.
Introduced as SR53