Continues Diversion of Highway Funds to the State Police
The General Assembly has taken significant procedural steps in passing a FY 2016-17 state budget within the next week. The process started earlier this week when the House adopted a budget bill that would shift nearly $802 million in Motor License Fund (MLF) monies to the PA State Police. This number is up from the current $755 million level but falls short from the $814 million price tag that Governor Wolf requested back in February. Late last night, the Senate adopted its version of the budget which also calls for an $802 million diversion amount.
House and Senate leaders responded to industry grassroots efforts and reduced the diversion amount below the Governor’s proposed $814 level. Several House and Senate members specifically cited they were contacted by industry and communicated that to budget negotiators before developing the budgetary language that was eventually approved.
While the budget process is nearing completion, it is not over and there is still time for the industry to have its collective voice heard on this issue. If you haven’t contacted your House and Senate members asking them to end the transfers of money from the MLF to the State Police you should do so TODAY! Go here to view APC’s Call to Action Alert.
As mentioned earlier, the $802 million level represents the equivalent of 13 cents per gallon, more than one-fifth of the approximately 55 cents in taxes levied per gallon. The diverted amount is increasing at a rate at which it will reach nearly $1 billion per year in the next five years.
At a press conference yesterday organized by the PA Highway Information Association, PennDOT Secretary warned that major highway projects would not be completed unless we find a way to stop taking Motor License Fund money for the General Fund. To read more about that press conference, go here. A current updated graph depicting the MLF diversion issue is available, here.
APC will continue to monitor the budget process and continue its call for no additional highway funds be diverted to fund the State Police operations.