-Mary Keenan
March 16, 2021

NWRA State Update: Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association Provides Legislative Update

In Pennsylvania, both chambers returned to session this week. The House has completed its Appropriations Committee hearings on Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $37.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. The Senate will continue to hold its hearings through April 22. The American Rescue Plan will likely have a significant impact on Pennsylvania’s budget deliberations. Of the total $13.7 billion estimated for Pennsylvania, $7.3 billion will be coming to the state with most of the balance headed to local governments. Republican legislators have already stated a desire to use the federal rescue funds for one-time expenses.

Prior to passage of the American Rescue Plan, the Independent Fiscal Office had estimated the deficit for this fiscal year to be in excess of $2 billion.

This week, the Senate Transportation Committee will consider Senate Bill 114 and 382.

Senate Bill 114 sponsored by Sen. Lisa Boscola (D- Bethlehem) would require motorists to clear snow and ice from vehicles and all law enforcement to fine those who fail to do so. A similar bill passed the Senate last session but did not make it to the governor’s desk. Senate Bill 382 sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R- Bedford) would void the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships’ bridge tolling initiative that has generated much controversy.

In addition, Wolf has proposed phasing out the gasoline tax as a way to fund highways and mass transit. The current tax only covers about half of the estimated annual construction and maintenance need. Wolf also charged a commission to develop alternate funding plans by August 1.