Pennsylvania Senate advances bill to reform transportation statute

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The Pennsylvania Senate recently advanced legislation that would reform the Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) statute.

Senate Bill 382 would do four things.

It would require the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to publish a detailed analysis before the P3 Board’s voting meeting and distribute the P3 Board’s resolution within 24 hours.

It would create a new 30-day public comment period before a P3 Board meeting and incorporate public input.

It would deem any user fee disapproved unless the fee is approved by the governor and General Assembly.

It would void the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative. The P3 Board could reconsider the initiative by following the process outlined in the bill.

The P3 Board, under PennDOT’s jurisdiction, supported a proposal in November to impose user fees or tolls on major bridges throughout the interstate system. Three months after the P3 Board meeting, PennDOT announced the proposal’s details.

“A one-page resolution from PennDOT that does not fulfill the conditions required by legislation that created the P3 statute deserves further scrutiny by the General Assembly,” state Sen.Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-Cambria County), who introduced the bill, said.

The bill moves to the House for consideration. If it does not become law, PennDOT will impose tolls on nine bridges statewide.