Hess Criticizes Transportation Committee's Vote on Transit Funding
6/20/2007
In a surprise move late Tuesday afternoon, members of the House Transportation Committee were forced to vote on legislation that completely repeals current funding mechanisms for public transportation with no alternative offered, said Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford), a ranking member of the committee.
 
“The action undertaken by the Democrats was completely irresponsible,” Hess said. “The procedure that was used to force this bill to the floor was undemocratic and compromises the reform efforts under way in Harrisburg.”
 
“We cannot allow PennDOT to have free reign over the turnpike,” Hess said. “We must put into place restrictions that ensure commuters and the Commonwealth is not negatively impacted.”
 
Hess noted that this legislation also repeals the Lottery Fund’s subsidy of senior citizen fares on mass transit with no alternative funding source.
 
“Senior citizens throughout Pennsylvania depend on public transportation,” Hess said. “We owe it to them to ensure their transportation needs are met so they can continue to lead independent lives.”
 
Hess, who voted no on moving the bill from committee, sharply criticized House Democrats and the Rendell administration’s procedural move to send the bill to the full House for consideration. Hess said that he only received the 69-page bill 15 minutes after the meeting began.
 
“There was no time for committee members to analyze the bill or offer amendments,” Hess said. “We were forced into voting on this bill with no public hearings or lengthy discussions on the ramifications of the proposal.” 
 
Hess said that Republicans were not part of the drafting or negotiating process to move this bill to committee.
 
“Since transportation is a hot button issue throughout the state, we owe it to the citizens and commuters of Pennsylvania to ensure we draft a plan that is both fair and responsible,” he added.
 
On a party line vote, the bill passed the committee and was sent to the full House for consideration.
 
Rep. Dick Hess
78th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(814) 623-9097
(717) 787-7076
Contact: Tim Eller
House Republican Public Relations
teller@pahousegop.com
(717) 260-6242
Member site: DickHess.com