I also understand the concern with funding for the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) coming out of the Motor License Fund (MLF) and expending monies that could be devoted to roads and bridges. Because of the concern that funding is being diverted from MLF each year, we in the General Assembly pushed to limit the amount coming out of the MLF as part of the Fiscal Code for 2016-17 fiscal year (Act 85 of 2016) to control these growing costs.
For your information, this language established that the amount allocated from the MLF to the State Police may not be higher than the amount used in 2016-17, and amounts are reduced each year thereafter for 10 years. Specifically, the amount will continue to be reduced until 2027-28, when the appropriation will be limited to the greater of $500 million or 60 percent of the amount appropriated in 2016-17. Not only will this reduce the MLF portion, but it places all the growth of the PSP budget in the General Fund and allows additional monies in the MLF to be used for other road and bridge projects.
However, it is very important to understand the PSP has received funding from the MLF for more than 50 years because it is a traffic and safety enforcement agency on over 60% of all highway miles in Pennsylvania. This is because Article VIII, Section 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution allows the proceeds from gasoline taxes and motor vehicle/ licensing fees to be used for safety on public highways and bridges, which was amended and approved via a vote of the people on Nov. 6,1945.
In short, I am happy to report that we continue to meet the needs of our State Police while reducing the use of MLF revenues as part of the final 2019-20 budget. For example, we were able to increase State Police General Fund support by $62 million or 20% while decreasing the MLF portion by $32 million or 4%, when compared to last year. It should be noted the budget includes an additional $9.7 million dedicated for three new Pennsylvania State Police cadet classes.
I hope this has offered you the information that is often left out of press releases when the state administration is trying to build a case for more taxes on your household.
For more information or to keep updated on the latest events and news, you can visit my website at RepBrown.com or my Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepRosemaryBrown.
Below is a list of roadwork that our office has received inquiries on over the last several weeks:
Base Paving: Placement of patches over surface distresses in limited areas.
RAP: Recycled Asphalt Paving.
Patching: Standard manual repair of potholes.
From Price Chopper (Mt. Nebo Road) North to Foxmoor Village (Municipal Drive):
• This Safety Improvement Project is currently in the design unit to upgrade shoulders, storm water and turning lanes. The bid date is scheduled for 2021 with paving to follow. This engineering is being done to ensure the final project is thorough.
Marshalls Creek Village Intersection, North Route 402 to the Pike County Line:
• Patching to be completed Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.
• Complete repair slated for 2020-2021.
Route 447 to Route 191(Eighth Street):
• Currently patching.
• To be paved Spring/Summer 2020.
• Bidding of this project starts January 2020.
Route 209 Marshalls Creek Village to Eagle Valley Intersection:
• Paving scheduled Spring/Summer 2020.
• Bidding for project starts January 2020.
Route 209 (Seven Bridge Road):
• Continued routine maintenance will be completed with anticipated paving next year as funding becomes available.
River Road (Railroad Tracks, by the soccer field) to Minisink (Minisink Bar):
• Continuing routine maintenance as needed, as funding becomes available- working towards a surface improvement project.
Route 33 (Lehighton Exit) to and from Lesh Lane:
• Currently four-lane Route 209 is in the design phases for complete reconstruction.
• Base repair occurring this Fall/Spring 2020.
Creek Road, State Route 1007:
• Is currently identified on our Decade of Investment Plans. Routine maintenance will continue to be performed.
Neola/ Pensyl Creek/ Snydersville Drive:
• Route 33/ Route 209 Section- patching and maintenance.
• Multiple patching and roadwork currently occurring.
State Route 2001:
• Betterment project and paving continuing on Section 2.
• Patching at Pike County Line.
• Patching September-October 2019.
This is just a small snapshot of some anticipated projects based on the calls I have received. This list is based on the best current information available; however, there could be changes or adjustments. If you have additional questions or would like to alert me to an issue, please feel free to contact the office at 570-420-8301.