In a flurry of activity this week, the General Assembly took action on several pieces of APC-endorsed legislation before adjourning for the year.
Over 500 industry advocates took action over the past few months, and that hard work finally paid off. PA’s Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement pilot program will now be permanent Pennsylvania law. The General Assembly agreed on House Bill 1284, which eliminates the sunset provision and makes the use of speed cameras in work zones permanent. The bill also added some requirements to make the warning signs more visible. The bill does not establish a first-offense penalty, which APC strongly advocated, but allows the graded fine structure to remain intact. Second offenses result in a $75 fine, and third and subsequent violations are $150. The bill has yet to be signed by Governor Shapiro, but we expect that to happen soon.
The House adopted the second piece of legislation, House Bill 1833, by an 189-14 vote. HB 1833 amends the Procurement Code by allowing Design Build Best Value construction methods for PennDOT and the PA Turnpike. The legislation draws from the best practices of several state Departments of Transportation. The drafting of this legislation included input from both design and construction firms who have successfully performed design-build projects throughout the nation. The use of DBBV would be limited under this bill. The legislation limits the number of design-build projects to a relatively small percentage of PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission’s annual capital program and has an eight-year sunset provision. The bill moves to the Senate, which is expected to take action when the General Assembly returns next year.
Also moving along in the process this week was SB 596, which would establish an electric vehicle annual registration fee of $290 to ensure owners are paying their fair share of using the roadways in Pennsylvania. The bill originally passed the Senate back in June, but the House Transportation Committee moved the bill out of committee this week in order to work on a compromise with the Senate. The bill remains in the House Appropriations Committee until compromise can be reached.