Senator Yaw Supports Transportation Funding Bill

Major Investment Made in Dirt and Gravel Road Program

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania State Senate today overwhelmingly approved a funding plan aimed at upgrading Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure, according to State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senate Transportation Chairman John Rafferty (R-44), will increase Pennsylvania’s annual transportation investment by $2.5 billion. It follows the major recommendations made by the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. The plan also increases funding for Pennsylvania’s Dirt and Gravel Road Program from $5 million to $35 million.

“The transportation funding plan approved today by the Senate was supported across the board by the business community, chambers of commerce, engineers, contractors, AFSCME, the agriculture community and many others,” Yaw said. “By far, our ultimate objective and number one responsibility as a governing body is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our residents – this bill does just that.”

Senate Bill 1 will raise needed revenue through a number of sources including adjusting outdated vehicle and driver fees for inflation, surcharging fines for drivers who violate traffic laws, uncapping the Oil Company Franchise Tax over three years, and achieving significant cost savings by modernizing many PennDOT services.

The plan will invest:

  • $2.5 billion in Pennsylvania’s highways and bridges, transit agencies, railways, airports, ports and bicycle and pedestrian programs by the fifth year of the plan.
  • Approximately $1.9 billion for state and local highways and bridges.
  • Approximately $510 million for Pennsylvania’s 36 urban and rural transit agencies.
  • Approximately $115 million for railways, airports, ports and bicycle and pedestrian programs.

“As part of this funding plan, several transportation-related projects throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania will receive needed financial support,” Yaw added. “This includes the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway Project, a project that has sat dormant for almost 40 years. This bill will create needed jobs throughout my district, especially in the trades and construction industry. I am hopeful that when signed by Governor Corbett this bill will also advance the needs of our agriculture industry and improve the competitiveness of our dairy industry with other states. As a result of highway weight differential between states, Pennsylvania dairy operations are forced to put out bids with smaller loads, requiring the customer to unload more trucks and pay higher hauling costs. This has hurt us competitively to the point where we have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs to New York State.”

“As a co-sponsor to Senate Bill 1, I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for recognizing this urgent need to improve our infrastructure and ensure the safety of our motorists by passing this important bill.”

Contact: Rita Zielonis
(717) 787-3280

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