James Backs Job-Creating Transportation Investment Bill Passed by House
HARRISBURG – Joining with a bipartisan majority of his colleagues in the state House, Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) today voted to approve a transportation funding bill that would pay for road and bridge repairs across the Commonwealth.

“Roads and bridges are fundamental to our economy,” James said. “If our roads and bridges fail, our economy fails. Workers need roads and bridges to get to their jobs and businesses need road and bridges to deliver products and services to consumers. Fixing our transportation infrastructure is a fundamental responsibility of government.”

An estimate suggests the bill could create up to 50,000 new jobs.

“The investment in our transportation infrastructure will have ripple effects throughout our economy,” James said.

The plan – House Bill 1060 – would eliminate Pennsylvania’s current 12-cent state tax on gasoline sold at the pump. It also would uncap a tax paid by oil companies that could, in several years, reach a little more than a quarter per gallon.

“This is a user-fee based system where those who use the roads and bridges will be asked to pay to repair them,” James said. “This is a responsible approach that pays for projects as we undertake them instead of running up the bill on the taxpayers’ credit card for future generations to pay back.”

The bill also would modify the fees charged for vehicle registrations and a driver’s license, and would increase the costs associated with certain traffic tickets.

The price of a car registration would rise by $1 in 2015, another $1 in 2017 and would then be increased every two years based on the rate of inflation. Pickup truck registrations would increase by $1.50 in 2015 and $2 in 2017, and would be subject to the same inflation-based increases. Driver’s license fees would increase by $1 in 2015, another $1 in 2017 and also would be tied to the inflation rate.

The money generated from the changes would be used for road and bridge projects and for buses and trains operated across the Commonwealth.

“Waiting to fix our roads and bridges would have cost taxpayers more money in the future,” James said. “As these assets continue to deteriorate, the cost of repairing them continues to rise. The decision was whether to make the investment now or pay a higher price later.”

The bill now heads to the governor to be signed into law.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
RepJames.com / Facebook.com/RepLeeJames
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