Americans for Prosperity Pennsylvania, the state’s largest grassroots free market organization, is calling for common sense to be a part of ongoing transportation funding discussions. Americans for Prosperity Pennsylvania Policy Director, Anna McCauslin, participated in the Bridge Safety Emergency First Initiative Press Conference this morning. Also participating at the press conference were Representative Stephen Bloom and the Commonwealth Foundation.
“Families in the Commonwealth know what it is like to stick to a budget, not just pass one. Because families are dealing with tight budgets, they are not an endless resource for increasing taxes for bike lanes and other extraneous expenditures,” said McCauslin. “Pennsylvania families want to be safe on the roads and bridges that carry them to their children’s day cares and schools and that bring them to work and home and to soccer games and the endless stops in between. But they also need their state government to prioritize, and utilize their tax dollars for the essentials first. That is why we want to thank Representative Bloom for interjecting common sense into the transportation discussion through HB 1717 by prioritizing current dollars to fix what is necessary, instead of what is nice – without raising a dime more in tax dollars to do it.”
McCauslin pointed out that Pennsylvanians currently send more than $6 billion every year to the state government for transportation funding. In fact, Pennsylvania has the 11th highest in the country for dollars going toward roads and bridges.
Representative Stephen Bloom who represents Pennsylvania’s 199th District in the Pennsylvania House has introduced legislation (HB 1717) which will prioritize transportation spending by requiring the state Department of Transportation to make the replacement and/or restoration of closed or posted bridges the top priority among construction projects.
“We need to have good roads and structurally sound bridges. Bike lanes are nice to have, but sooner or later bicyclists will need to cross a bridge. Safety comes first,” continued McCauslin.
“While it is never acceptable to raise taxes, doing so during these difficult economic times is simply unthinkable. Before any politician considers increasing taxes on our working families, they must first address the cost drivers on these projects by fully repealing prevailing wage.”