(HARRISBURG) – Senator Devlin Robinson (R-37) today supported legislation to put the brakes on plans by the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to toll nine bridges, including the I-79 bridge near Bridgeville, Allegheny County.
“This proposal is a slap in the face to all of the business owners in my district,” Senator Robinson said during the news conference. “They are being asked to pay more in taxes just to get to work each day. They are taxed enough. And make no mistake about it – this toll is a tax.”
Senate Bill 382 reforms the Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) statute, and voids the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative:
- Increases transparency by requiring PennDOT to publish a detailed analysis prior to the P3 Board’s voting meeting, and mandating PennDOT to distribute a copy of the P3 Board’s resolution, with or without a user fee, within 24 hours.
- Incorporates public input by creating a new 30-day public comment period prior to the P3 Board’s voting meeting; and
- Creates checks and balances on an obscure P3 Board by clarifying the P3 project with a user fee shall be deemed disapproved unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution approving the P3 project with a user fee.
Senator Robinson joined several of his colleagues in calling for the legislation, including Senator Wayne Langerholc Jr. (R-35), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
“The 37th District is one of the fastest growing areas of southwestern Pennsylvania,” Senator Robinson said. “I have heard from countless business owners and residents about their concerns for how this will affect their livelihoods. The focus should be on partnering with local employers and helping our economy grow. The focus should not be on putting an undue burden on this community.”
CONTACT: Elizabeth Weitzel