FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Steven J. Santarsiero
Public hearing to discuss transportation issues
HARRISBURG, July 13 – State Rep. Steven J. Santarsiero, D-Bucks, today announced that he will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing next week to discuss transportation issues in Pennsylvania.
The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 19 in Yardley Borough Hall, 56 S. Main St. The public is invited to attend, but only members of the committee are permitted to comment and ask questions of those testifying. The public may submit written comments to be entered into the hearing's record.
Those scheduled to testify include Joseph McAttee, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Urban Engineers Inc.; Bill Rickett, executive director, TMA Bucks; George Wolff, region leader, Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition; and a representative from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
"The state budget has been addressed, but the governor continues to ignore a $3.5 billion shortfall for transportation," Santarsiero said. "We have more structurally deficient bridges than any state in the nation, and thousands of miles of roads are in poor condition. The state needs to act before our transportation problems worsen."
According to reports, Pennsylvania has more than 5,000 structurally deficient bridges and 8,000 miles of roads in poor condition.
The hearing also will hear about public transportation, as well as touch upon the public-private partnership the governor recently signed into law that creates a seven-member board to create partnerships with private corporations to operate, maintain, build and collect tolls for transportation projects.
Santarsiero said he voted against this law because it removes the ability of local residents to have a say in local projects.
"The real problem is our critical funding problem, and that hasn't been addressed yet," he said. "We need the governor to come out with a proposal. Unless he signals his support for some plan, it's not going to move."
Santarsiero said the committee extended an invitation to the state Transportation Department to testify, however PennDOT declined to participate.