By a 13-1 vote, the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee approved Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Chairman John Rafferty (R-Chester/Montgomery), which would provide an additional $2.5 billion annually to the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure.
The committee’s action is a first step toward enacting a comprehensive funding bill. Final action is expected before the summer recess, on or about June 30. Senate Bill 1 closely mirrors the recommendations of the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission (TFAC) and embodies the principles of a multimodal, comprehensive funding package as endorsed by the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition (KTFC).
Senate Bill 1 would be the first major funding enhancement in almost 16 years. The industry will be working diligently with the KTFC, the General Assembly, and the Administration as the legislation develops into a final package.
The committee issued a detailed breakdown of the bill, which:
- Provides overall additional investment of $2.5 billion annually for highways, bridges, transit agencies, railways, airports, ports, bicycle and pedestrian programs by the fifth year of enactment;
- Provides $1.9 billion for roads and bridges, $510 million for public transit and $115 million for other modes;
- Uncaps the Oil Company Franchise Tax rate over the next three years, providing an additional $1.7 billion in highway and bridge investment;
- Indexes many vehicle registration and license fees to current levels of inflation to provide an additional $350 million;
- Establishes additional fines and surcharges creating additional funding for Pa.’s public transit agencies;
- Shifts approximately $25 million in constitutionally unprotected fees to help fund public transit;
- Eliminates Act 44 in eight years and shifts approximately $200 million to public transit; and
- Establishes a new $100 million multimodal transportation fund.
The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it will likely be amended, before coming before the full Senate, and following that, onto the House.