HARRISBURG – Working to ensure the state’s transportation infrastructure system can meet the growing needs of business and industry, as well as the traveling public, Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) has introduced legislation to provide another funding option for local governments to pursue road and bridge projects.
House Bill 2064
would allow county infrastructure banks to apply for loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank, which could provide special terms and lower interest rates that are otherwise unavailable to a county infrastructure bank.
“Our drivers already pay the highest gasoline and diesel taxes in the entire nation, so asking people to shell out more money to fix our roads and bridges is simply not an option,” Warner said. “At the same time, it is vitally important that we invest in our transportation infrastructure here and across the Commonwealth for the sake of our economy. This bill is about being strategic in our investment and getting the most bang for the taxpayers’ buck.”
Under the bill, PennDOT would be tasked with developing eligibility requirements and processes for county infrastructure banks to apply for loans that are intended to fund large transportation projects. However, language in the bill would require a county infrastructure bank that applies for such a loan to submit a 30-year infrastructure plan to ensure the loan will be used exclusively for qualified projects.
Warner noted the bill does not require counties to create an infrastructure bank; however, counties that have created infrastructure banks are having success with them and the ability to borrow from the state infrastructure bank should encourage more counties to pursue the option to improve their roads and bridges.
The proposal is one of several bills based on recommendations offered by the House Transportation Infrastructure Task Force to which Warner was appointed last summer. Other measures aim to improve the private sector permitting process to improve efficiency, implement the design-build method for large projects, update PennDOT contract standards; and cease using motor license funding for state police operations.
House Bill 2064 is awaiting consideration by the House Transportation Committee.
Representative Ryan Warner
52nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler