State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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House GOP drops speeding ticket surcharge idea

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Jun 19, 2013 10:08 PM

An effort to slap a $100 surcharge on speeding tickets to help fund mass transit in Pennsylvania looks to be dead in the water, as one House member said Wednesday.

The proposal is part of a $2.5 billion plan to fund roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure that has passed in the Senate. The surcharge revenue would be specifically routed for public transportation.

House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin said Wednesday lawmakers are hearing from constituents with concerns about their driving violations helping to pay for buses and trains. Another major concern has been introduced by law enforcement.

"The chief of Pittsburgh Police had said they won't write tickets on traffic violations because of the added fee," said Miskin. "Tickets are about safety, not about raising money."

The ranking Democrat on the House Transportation Committee, Mike McGeehan (D-Philadelphia) said he's disappointed, but he isn't yet threatening to withhold support for the larger plan to fix roads and bridges.

"Well, I haven't seen anything," said McGeehan.

Mass transit is estimated to get 100 million dollars from the surcharge. Leaving it out would reduce mass transit's share of money from the overall plan by about one-fifth. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch told House lawmakers without it, other pieces of the larger transportation plan will have to be renegotiated.

Support for that overall plan, on both sides of the aisle, is looking low. It could get a vote from committee early next week.


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