(HARRISBURG) – State Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37) pushed Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian for answers on why central PA is slated to receive $300 million in transportation funding while Allegheny, Beaver, and Lawrence counties are only to receive $50 million.
“It is concerning being that this area that covers the Southwest Planning Commission accounts for about 20-22% of the (PennDOT) state tax revenue … but is only receiving, this year, 11%,” Senator Robinson said during the Senate budget hearing. “It is a big disparity. We have a lot of investment coming into this side of the state by way of natural gas, manufacturing, and the airport region. I would appreciate being able to sit down and better allocate these funds.”
In response to Robinson’s questions, PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Planning, Larry Shifflet, said that the Department will be looking at a few key projects in the Southwestern counties on their priority list. Secretary Gramian continued by saying that some funding commitments on the list were made by previous Administrations, and the first discretionary money that this Administration spends will go toward the cost of replacing the recently collapsed bridge in Allegheny County.
“I understand that these are prior commitments. This is a process, and things come up surprisingly at times,” said Senator Robinson. “We are also talking about raising funds by way of toll bridges. It would be nice to say that we are already equally distributing existing funds throughout the Commonwealth before raising taxes on its citizens.”
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