The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Mass Transit Funding
Tue October 29, 2013
$100 Surcharge on Speeding Tickets Slowing Action on Transportation Bill
A transportation funding bill for Pennsylvania is still stuck in park.
But while negotiations continue, the fate of one of its more controversial mechanisms for generating revenue is still unsettled.
The state Senate’s plan to fund infrastructure includes tacking a 100 dollar surcharge onto certain traffic violations, like speeding tickets. Most of the money would go toward mass transit. The Senate projected the surcharge would raise as much as 75 million dollars in the first year of implementation.
However, many House lawmakers balked, and Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) says odds are the surcharge won’t make it into any final plan.
"We don’t agree with their revenue estimate, if you will, on that, so it kind of melts away the ice on that," Smith says. "Police have been quoted saying they would not write speeding tickets if the surcharge were made law, out of an objection to using violations to fund transportation infrastructure."
But the Senate minority leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) says if it is spiked, it’ll have to be replaced with something else to ensure enough money for mass transit.
"If the House does not feel that the 100 dollar surcharge is appropriate, we’re open to other types of revenue streams that replaces that. But that’s an important component, because that goes directly to the heart of the transit funding, which we believe is essentially, is very essential," Costa says.