After recent run off elections in the House, the General Assembly finally started to settle and get to work in March 2023. We saw a handful of issues we care about pop up in the form of co-sponsorship memos and bills, here is a run down of all the legislation we’re keeping an eye on and advocating for this session!

House bills/co-sponsorship memos

  1. Local Funding Options for Transportation (House bill 902 and co-sponsorship memo)
    • At the federal level, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has offered a once-in-a-generation opportunity for transformative investment in transportation. But in order to tap into those funds, our region needs to be able to raise its own local/state funds for Public Transportation in order to match federal grant dollars.
    • Rep. Ben Waxman (D, 186) introduced a bill that would give certain counties the authority to add a local fee or surcharge on the following levies : Alcoholic Beverages, Vehicle Rental, Realty Transfer, Personal Income, Sales, Local Services, Vehicle Property, and Additional $5 fee on Vehicle Registration (though the latter would go to the Motor License Fund)
    • Rep Joe Hohenstein (D, 177) uploaded a co-sponsorship memo that would expand the reach of Rep. Waxman’s bill
    • Though this legislation gives counties the choice to raise money for local transit, highway, bridge and other transportation projects, SEPTA sees this as the best option to raise the capital funds necessary to complete a set of large capital projects including Trolley Modernization and full ADA accessibility of the Broad Street Line
    • Best way to stay up to date on actions regarding this bill is to subscribe to our Biking in Philly or Biking the Region newsletters and Transit Forward Philadelphia’s newsletter
  2. Parking Protected Bike Lanes and Plazas (House bill 35)
    • After a big fight last session that resulted in Gov Wolf vetoing HB 140, Emily and Susan’s law has been reintroduced by Rep. Dave Maloney (R,130) and has been referred to the House Tourism and Economic and Recreational Development committee
    • Rep. Mary Jo Daley is the majority chair of this committee and personally a member of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia
    • Best way to stay up to date on actions regarding this bill is to subscribe to our Biking in Philly or Biking the Region newsletters
  3. Automated Speed Enforcement Pilot in School Zones (House bill 522)
    • Rep. Ed Neilson’s (D,174) bill would create a pilot for automated speed enforcement cameras in school zones only on state-mandated roads in Philadelphia County
    • The bill is similar to the Automated Speed Enforcement pilot passed in 2018 except for what the fines will fund
    • In the 2018 (and hopefully the 2023) bill the fines paid for the enforcement program and then a majority (over 90%) funded safety improvements around the Roosevelt Blvd or where the cameras are located
    • Money from this school zone pilot will be directed to the State Police for recruiting, training, and to increase police presences in school zones. Only 15% of the fines will actually go toward school zone safety, traffic safety and educating the motoring public on school zone safety
  4. Removing the State Police from the Motor License Fund (co-sponsorship memo)
    • This memo uploaded by Rep. Ed Neilson and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R, 171) would reduce the amount of funding going to the PA State Police (PSP) from the Motor License Fund
    • So far, the PSP has received over $6.3 billion that could have gone to transportation projects including roads, bridges, bike & pedestrian infrastructure, and public transportation
    • The memo specifically calls for the funds to fully go to roads and bridges, though there is room for including multimodal improvements on highway projects
    • The Transit for All PA coalition calls for some of these funds be used on active transportation infrastructure via Constitutional change, and we will keep tracking this legislation
  5. Makings Our Streets Safer for Pedestrians (House bill 1056)
    • Rep Malagari’s (D, 53) legislation would require drivers to stop for pedestrians at all traffic-control and pedestrian-control crosswalks
    • It also imposes penalties to drivers who don’t give pedestrian the right of way to cross
    • Currently, the State Vehicle Code requires that drivers “shall” yield to pedestrians and this would change the code to say drivers are “required” to yield
  6. Vulnerable User (co-sponsorship memo)
    • Rep. Brett Miller (D, 41) uploaded this memo as a re-introduction of past legislation to amend Title 75 (vehicle code) to expand the definition of vulnerable highway users
    • Currently, the law requires a 4 foot buffer only when passing a person on a bicycle on the road
    • This legislation would update the definition to include pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchairs, motorcycles, horseback riders, horse and carriage, and farm equipment
    • We hope to see this legislation introduced soon and will keep our members informed on our plan to advocate for all vulnerable road users

Senate bills/co-sponsorship memos

  1. Automated Speed Enforcement (co-sponsorship memo)
  2. Jay – Alert (co-sponsorship memo)
    • State Senator Anthony Williams(D,8) has been trying to pass this legislation since the 2017-2018 legislative session after Jayanna Powell was killed in November of 2016
    • Jay-Alert would create an alert, similar to Amber Alert, after a hit and run that would send information about the driver and car involved to autobody shops
    • We hope to see Senator Williams introduce this legislation soon, please ask your State Senator to co-sponsor Senator Williams memo
  3. E-Scooters (co-sponsorship memo)
    • Senator Laughlin(R, 49) uploaded a co-sponsorship memo that would update the vehicle code to include low-speed electric scooters 🎉 but only allows for “Low-Speed Scooter programs” in Class 2, 2a and 3 cities, which means not in Philadelphia 😞
    • UPDATE AS OF 5/8: Senator Laughlin has introduced the legislation (SB 692)
    • Stay tune for an updated action for this legislation
  4. Parking Protected Bike Lanes and Plazas (co-sponsorship memo)
    • After a big fight last session that resulted in Gov Wolf vetoing HB 140, Senator Langerholc(R,35) has uploaded a memo for his own version of Emily and Susan’s Law. We have not seen the bill language for this and don’t know at this time if it is the same as Rep. Maloney’s bill
    • Best way to stay up to date on actions regarding this bill is to subscribe to our Biking in Philly or Biking the Region newsletters
  5. Alleviating the Burden of Ever-Increasing Turnpike Tolls (Senate bill 419)
    • State Senator Santarsiero(D,10) introduced this bill to give a tax credit to frequent users of Delaware bridges
    • There is no language that targets low income users so it is our understanding that this would apply to any users
    • We do not support giving a tax credit to drivers especially because tolls are vital funding sources to our infrastructure
    • Best way to stay up to date on actions regarding this bill is to subscribe to our Biking in Philly or Biking the Region newsletters
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