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June 19, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

WATCHBLOG: $100 surcharge off the table in House transportation plan

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG – A proposal to add a $100 surcharge to moving traffic violations is off the table as the House of Representatives considers a transportation funding package.

STOPPING THE SURCHARGE: A proposal to add a $100 surcharge to traffic violations will not be part of a House transportation plan.

STOPPING THE SURCHARGE: A proposal to add a $100 surcharge to traffic violations will not be part of a House transportation plan.

Steve Miskin, spokesman for the House Republican caucus, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the surcharge will not be a part of an amended version of Senate Bill 1, a $2.5 billion transportation funding package passed by the Senate last week.

The surcharge, Miskin said, was “the top provision our members had issues with,” and that it concerned constituents and law enforcement agencies. It would’ve applied to all moving traffic violations, from running a stop sign to a speeding ticket.

The fee would’ve generated an estimated $100 million in revenue to be directed towards public transportation costs. Miskin could not say if the House plan would use another revenue source to make up the difference, but the plan will “adequately fund” public transportation.

The House version of the transportation plan is likely to be unveiled early next week, Miskin said.

Capitolwire.com first reported the change Wednesday, saying the surcharge will be dropped as the House continues to amend the bill and overall spending plan is likely to be lowered.

“Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty said his chamber “will see” what the House does when the bill is amended, and react then. He has been a strong proponent of the driving violation fee.

Chairman Dick Hess, R-Bedford, said the committee has not decided if it will replace those fees with some other dedicated revenues to help fund mass transit.”

Last week, Hess indicated he thought the fee should not be part of the package.

This post was updated to correct that state Rep. Dick Hess is from Bedford County.

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Melissa Daniels is a reporter for PA Independent. She can be reached at 717-350-0962 or Melissa@PAIndependent.com

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