The House votes to overturn PennDOT’s bridge tolling plan, but there’s a stumbling block ahead.
The state House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday that could put a stop to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s plan to toll as many as nine major interstate bridges, including the I-83South Bridge in Harrisburg.
However, it appears that the bill will hit a snag when it reaches Gov.
The desk of Tom Wolf
He is opposed to it.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 125-74, with support from the entire Republican caucus and 14 Democrats.
It now returns to the Senate for concurrence on a minor amendment added by the House.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sponsored a previous version of the bill that was passed by the Senate.
In November, Wayne Langerholc, R-Cambria County, was elected to that chamber with a 28-19 vote.
Neither chamber has shown it has the two-thirds majority needed to override a gubernatorial veto so far.
Along with voiding the bridge tolling program’s November 2020 approval by the legislatively created public-private partnership board, the bill would create a new process for the panel to follow when reconsidering the program or any other transportation projects.
This procedure would entail getting legislative approval for a project that includes a user fee and allowing the General Assembly to reject a project that does not.
The governor’s opposition to the bill is fueled by the possibility of political interference in the P3 approval process.
“Not only does it undercut the benefits of public-private partnerships, but it also politicizes a process designed to foster innovation and efficient public-private collaboration,” said Beth Rementer, a Wolf spokeswoman.
“It adds unnecessary bureaucracy that the original legislation was designed to avoid,” she continued, “and forces proposed P3 projects to compete for the Legislature’s attention and action with other important issues and priorities.”
Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland County, who championed the bill, lamented the lack of transparency in the P3 board’s current decision-making process, which didn’t identify the bridges it planned to toll until two months after it decided to go ahead with the program.
She claimed that the bill would address this by establishing checks and balances.
It would necessitate a detailed analysis of a project by the P3 board, which would include diversionary traffic impacts, public safety, and cost…
Latest News from Infosurhoy