FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Hanna
Hanna, Frankel introduce state transportation funding plan
HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 Ė Democratic state Reps. Mike Hanna and Dan Frankel have introduced a comprehensive legislative package to deal with the state's transportation funding crisis.
"It has been five months since Governor Tom Corbett's handpicked Transportation Funding Advisory Commission issued its report. The governor has chosen to say little about the group's recommendations, other than he is assessing them," said Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre. "Pennsylvania's deteriorating roads and bridges deserve a higher priority than the governor has given them. And if he is choosing not to lead on this issue, then it's time for the legislature to take action."
The Democrats' plans resemble that of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman, R-Centre, who introduced a funding proposal modeled after many of the $2.5 billion in TFAC recommendations.
The TFAC report urged PennDOT to consider a number of measures including adjusting outdated vehicle driver fees for inflation, increasing fines, uncapping the Oil Company Franchise Tax over five years and modernizing many PennDOT services for cost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 proposal also carries specific recommendations to ensure adequate funding for mass transit.
Frankel is sponsoring a proposal that would provide money from the Pennsylvania Turnpike for mass transit.
"Mass transit is a critical component of our transportation network,Ē said Frankel, D-Allegheny. "A well-functioning public transit system creates vibrant cities, takes cars off the roads, and gives freedom of movement to all our residents who canít drive.
"Rural areas that donít see much daily traffic still deserve upkeep, just as urban centers deserve buses and trains to get people to work," he added. "Itís not either/or. We need both."
Hanna continued: "By working in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, it is my hope that we can reach a consensus on this priority in the coming weeks.
"Given the governor's recent support for a levy on Marcellus Shale, as well as the supportive tax votes of Republican legislators on that issue; it doesn't appear that the Americans for Tax Reform no-tax pledge should be holding anyone back from voting for appropriate funding mechanisms for our state's infrastructure needs.
The lawmakers said all funding generated by the proposals will go toward transportation projects.
"The long-term viability of our roads, bridges and mass transit systems, as well as the thousands of jobs for Pennsylvania workers that will be created through these projects, are critical to the commonwealth's economy," Hanna said.
The Democrats' bills are H.B. 2099, H.B. 2101 and H.B. 2112.
To view the full TFAC report, go to www.tfac.pa.gov.