HARRISBURG – Amid rumors out of Washington, D.C., concerning possible efforts to place tolls on Interstate 80, state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) is preparing legislation that would change the process by which tolling efforts on all Pennsylvania roads would be considered.
“When I ran for office, I made a promise to do all I could to prevent tolling of I-80 that would penalize residents and businesses in the 75th District in so many ways,” said Gabler.
“Since the passage of Act 44, three attempts to toll the roadway were denied by the federal government. This bill is intended to make sure any future discussions about tolling run a transparent course through state government to avoid surprises and give citizens a strong voice.”
Under Act 44 of 2007, a process was created in which the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), with federal approval and inside of certain time restrictions, could place tolls on Interstate 80. Gabler’s legislation, which is being circulated for co-sponsors, would require future tolling applications by the commission to first obtain specific approval from the Pennsylvania General Assembly before being considered at the federal level.
“While we are dealing with interstate highways, this is an issue that has serious implications for individual states,” Gabler added. “The economic uncertainty that existed following the passage of Act 44 was harmful to jobs and economic development along the I-80 corridor.
“My bill will ensure that the decision-making process is out of the hands of unelected government officials at agencies like the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and make it the responsibility of individuals who answer to the voters of Pennsylvania.
“The legal timeframe to toll Interstate 80 has expired. It is now time to remove all uncertainty and establish that future tolling schemes cannot be implemented without specific legislative approval.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at 814-375-4688 or his St. Marys office at 814-781-6301.