Sen. Rafferty – Moody’s Gives PA Credit-Positive for New Transportation Funding Bill

Moody’s Investor’s Service, one of the nation’s leading rating agencies, says the state’s new Transportation Funding Program  is “a credit positive for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” according to Senator John Rafferty (R-44), who championed Act 89 0f 2013.

Rafferty said Moody’s also gave the bill a credit positive because it phases out the annual funding burden that the prior transportation bill (Act 44) created for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  “By relieving the Turnpike of its Act 44 burden, Act 89 will result in less long-term debt for that agency.  That is a win for all who pay tolls to travel the Turnpike.”

“Moody’s said the new law is good for our state’s credit rating because it provides a new and recurring revenue stream to address the states large backlog of transportation improvement and maintenance projects,” Rafferty said.  “Moody’s recognizes what we have been saying all along – this much-needed investment in our transportation infrastructure is crucial not just to public safety but economic development as well.”

For more information on Act 89 of 2013, please visit: https://www.senatorrafferty.com/transportation-funding/

CONTACT:

Nate Spade
(717) 787-1398

Senate Approves Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan

The State Senate voted today to approve a transportation funding plan that Senate leaders said would provide a critical investment in Pennsylvania’s aging infrastructure system.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) and Senate Transportation Committee John Rafferty (R-44) said passage of the legislation is crucial to public safety and will help create more than 50,000 jobs.

House Bill 1060 is similar to Senate Bill 1, which Rafferty sponsored and was passed by the Senate in June.  It follows the major recommendations made by the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

“We worked hard with PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch and a long list of stakeholders to get the word out that this funding is crucial to addressing critical safety issues in communities across the state – from structurally deficient bridges, to crumbling roads and congested highways,” Rafferty said.  “The Senate Transportation Committee held public hearings across the state and the message we heard time and again was that there is a major cost if we do nothing.”

Pennsylvania has more structurally deficient bridges – nearly 4,500 – than any other state in the nation, and 23 percent of its 44,000 miles of state-owned roads are in poor condition.

Senator Pileggi noted that it has been 16 years since Pennsylvania enacted a meaningful transportation funding program.

“A safe and reliable transportation network is a core function of state government and necessary for a strong economy,” Pileggi said.  “It is the General Assembly’s duty to provide funding for our infrastructure, and today the Senate is doing its part to meet that important responsibility.”

Senator Scarnati said the Senate’s strong and bipartisan support for the legislation indicated how important the measure is to public safety and Pennsylvania’s future.

“Legislators from rural, suburban and urban districts all across the state joined together to support this plan because it will help to fix aging bridges, unsafe roads, rail lines, airports and mass transit systems in every community in our Commonwealth,” Scarnati said.  “It represents a comprehensive and thought-out approach to our transportation needs and will get projects moving now.”

The transportation funding package will raise revenue through several sources, including adjusting outdated vehicle driver registration fees for inflation, increasing fines, uncapping the Oil Company Franchise Tax over five years and modernizing many PennDOT services for cost savings.

“A safe and reliable transportation system is much more than a matter of personal convenience, and I think Pennsylvanians recognize that,” Rafferty said. “This funding plan is about jobs, economic development, quality of life and safety.  It’s about investing in our future.”

CONTACTS:

Senator Rafferty – Nate Spade (717) 787-1377

Senator Scarnati – Drew Crompton (717) 787-7084

Senator Pileggi – Erik Arneson (717) 787-4712

 

MEDIA ALERT – State Senate Transportation Committee to Hold Sept 12 Hearing on Need for Transportation Funding Bill

The Senate Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 12, at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, according to Senate Transportation Committee Chair John Rafferty (R-44).

The hearing will take place in Shusterman Hall, which is located on Liacouras Walk between Montgomery Avenue and Polett Walk.

During the hearing committee will receive testimony from Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch, transportation officials, engineers, economic development groups and SEPTA representatives on the need for passage of Senate Bill 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The comprehensive transportation funding legislation, which Rafferty sponsored, passed the Senate in June by a vote of 45-5 and awaits action in the House this fall.

 

CONTACT:

Nate Spade
(717) 787-1398

Comprehensive Transportation Funding Legislation in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Comprehensive Transportation Funding Legislation in Southeastern Pennsylvania

September 12, 2013
10 a.m.
Temple University Beasley School of Law

(Shusterman Hall is Building 46)

Click Here for Law School Directions

Parking at the Liacouras Center Visitor Parking
15th Street

10 a.m. Hon. Barry Schoch, P.E., Secretary of Transportation
Ross Myers, CEO – American Infrastructure
11 a.m. Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities – City of Philadelphia
Hon. Thomas Micozzie, Mayor – Upper Darby Township
Thomas Judge, Jr., Manager – Upper Darby Township
11:30 a.m. Joseph Casey, General Manager – SEPTA
Rod Powell, Chairman – SEPTA Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation (SAC)
Patricia Johnson, President and CEO – Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
12:15 a.m. Thomas Caramanico, P.E., CEO – McCormick Taylor Engineers & Planners
Rob Wonderling, President and CEO – Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Senate Transportation Committee to Examine Effect of Failure to Approve New Funding

The Senate Transportation Committee will hold two public hearings this week to examine the long-term impact to the state if the General Assembly fails to pass comprehensive transportation funding legislation, according to Committee Chairman Senator John Rafferty (R-Montgomery).

The first hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 20, at 1:00 p.m. in the Altoona City Council Chambers and Training Facility in Altoona. A second hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 21, at 9:30 a.m. at the A.W. Beattie Career Center in Allison Park.

Both hearings will feature testimony from local business owners and community leaders regarding the regional effects of continued transportation funding shortfalls.

Contact:

Nate Spade
(717) 787-1398

Transportation Funding

Transportation Funding

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
9:30 a.m.

A.W. Beattie Career Center
9600 Babcock Boulevard
Allison Park, PA  15101

9:30 a.m. Robert Nelkin, President – United Way of Allegheny County
De Peart, President – Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
Matthew Pavlosky, Transportation Planner – Southwestern PA Commission 
10:30 a.m. Ellen McLean, Acting CEO – Port Authority of Allegheny County
Jerry Andree, Manager – Cranberry Township
John Trant, Jr., Chief Strategy Director – Cranberry Township     
11:30 a.m.
Rich Barcaskey, Executive Director – Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania
Rich Fitzgerald – Allegheny County Executive               

Transportation Funding

Transportation Funding

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
1:00 p.m.

          Altoona City Council Chambers & Training Facility
1320 Washington Avenue
Altoona, PA  16601

Written Testimony

 

The Time to Act is Now on a Transportation Funding Plan for PA

It has been more than 16 years since Pennsylvania enacted a meaningful transportation funding program and two years since a special task force recommended comprehensive funding options.  Yet, our transportation network remains in dire need of long-overdue maintenance, construction and safety upgrades.

Pennsylvania has more structurally deficient bridges – nearly 4,400 – than any other state in the nation, and 23 percent of its 44,000 miles of state-owned roads are in poor condition.

The situation will get worse if we do not take action. That’s why the Senate last month overwhelmingly passed legislation to increase Pennsylvania’s annual transportation investment by $2.5 billion.

Senate Bill 1 was a bipartisan effort by Senators from rural, suburban and urban communities to address a growing concern about the decline of condition of our transportation infrastructure.

The funding package, which now awaits action in the House of Representatives, would enable the state to repair unsafe roads and aging bridges, undertake construction projects in congested areas and improve our ports, rail lines and mass transit systems.

The cost of further delay is staggering.

A recent report by a national transportation group found that the poor state of Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges costs state residents $9.4 billion annually in vehicle operating costs, congestion delays and traffic accidents.  Those statistics make it clear that state residents are paying the price for our deteriorating infrastructure.

Our economy will also suffer. MSNBC ranked Pennsylvania 30th out of 50 states in 2012 when it considered which states are the best for doing business. Of the 10 categories used in scoring each state, Pennsylvania ranked 35th out 50 for infrastructure and transportation.  In addition, it is estimated Pennsylvania will see 12,000 private sector layoffs in transportation-related sectors.

Public safety is another major concern.  If we do nothing, the number of miles of state-owned highways rated in poor condition will increase from 9,000 to 17,000 by 2017 – that is an 89 percent increase.

Between 4,000 to 5,000 additional state-owned bridges will be weight-restricted, causing 31,000 children traveling in school buses to spend more time on poorer quality roads due to closed or posted bridges.  Ambulances, fire trucks, and other emergency services personnel will travel greater distances due to posted or closed bridges, losing critical life-saving minutes.

And as transit agencies cut service, Pennsylvania’s already overburdened highway system will see an increase in traffic, and seniors and the disabled will lose their link to medical and other life-sustaining services.

Our roads and bridges continue to crumble, our mass transit systems lack the funds for expansion needed to meet continued demand, and our railways, airports and ports struggle to be economic generators for the 21st century.

Senate Bill 1 will enable us to begin investing in our transportation network now – rather than continuing to put off much-needed maintenance, construction and safety upgrades that are crucial our state’s future.   The time to act is now.

CONTACT:

Carol Milligan cmilligan@pasen.gov
Director, Senate Republican Communications
(717) 787-6725

Transportation Funding and the financial status of and reform efforts within the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

July 31, 2013
9:30 a.m.
Room 8 E-B

Meeting to Consider Transportation Funding and the financial status of and reform efforts within the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan (SB 1)

9:30 a.m. Hon. Barry Schoch, P.E., Secretary of Transportation
11:00 a.m. Economic Impact Panel
11:45 a.m. Break

Financial status and reform efforts of the PA Turnpike Commission

2:00 p.m. Hon. Barry Schoch
Mark Compton, Chief Executive Officer, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Craig Shuey, Chief Operating Officer, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Additional Information:

  • Transportation Development Foundation
  • Pennsylvania Turnpike Attachments
    • Attachment 1
    • Attachment 2
    • Attachment 3
    • Attachment 4
    • Attachment 5

Senate Transportation Committee to Hold Hearing on Transportation Funding, PA Turnpike

The Senate Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 8 E-B, according to Senator John Rafferty, who chairs the panel.

During the morning portion of the hearing the Committee will receive testimony from Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch on the need for passage of Senate Bill 1.  The comprehensive transportation funding legislation, which Rafferty sponsored, passed the Senate in June and awaits action in the House.

The afternoon portion of the hearing will be devoted to the financial status of and reform efforts within the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.   Among those testifying will be Mark Compton, Chief Executive Officer, and Craig Shuey, Chief Operating Officer, of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

 

CONTACT:

Nate Spade
(717) 787-1398