PA State Rep Mike Carroll (Democrat-118th district) about fixing the roads

Newsmaker Interviews
Tuesday, February 13th

PA State Representative Mike Carroll (Democrat-118th district) talks to Frank Andrews about fixing the roads in Pennsylvania, the gas tax, and where that fits in with President Trump's infrastructure plan and also if bills to raise the minimum wage will go anywhere.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I gotta tell you this before we interview Mike is a friend of mine a guy have a great deal of respect for he is the same representative from the 118. District how are you Michael. I'm fine prior contributor and thank you okay that the the first question I want ask Dana and I and I do you probably in don't have a specific answer but when we're talking about Trump's plan yesterday it looked like he was throwing a lot of responsibility on the state. And the basic question was if we already have this gas tax so we already have this big plan does that mean that we're not gonna get any benefit from the feds. There's almost no way to answer that right now because what the president and opera just there was a proposal and there's no way to know what the congress will eventually enacted but based on what I know. On the president's proposal yesterday. You know what it's about 10% of the money comes from the federal government 90% comes from under the State's local governments or. In a public private partnership which is should crosswind for tall rooms so I'm not sure that the proposal from the governor or from the president yesterday. Just something that would be wildly embrace and Harrisburg. Okay now but that one of the questions that we had yesterday and in a fight if I say something and you need to correct and please feel free but that the tax that we pay and gasoline in Pennsylvania 76 point seven cents including federal is that right. Including federal that's about right okay there's some there's up. Point something in the air but more noble goal academies around the number. Okay and from what I understand that's the highest in the nation and so the question was if we pay the highest gas tax in the nation shouldn't we have the best roads in the nation and people say we don't. Well because there is an apple and orange comparison going on in Pennsylvania Penn dot is assigned a responsibility and almost orders data response there's there's assigned. And that is I'm not as they've been huge inventory broad step they are required to maintain. That we refer to as SR Roche state roads. That they wouldn't be your interstate road Trevor Bell received guy you want it wouldn't be US eleven are you wish. You know Justine. But these are the small generally two lane roads that. Are in every community across two states. And most other states are required to local governments to maintain those trucks stay here in Pennsylvania Penn that is responsible for the outsourced. And as a result and dodged. Explain miles that they need to maintain its foreign accessed on every other state for example all the New England states combined. Have fewer miles of roads then Pennsylvania has four panda. Okay now my dad's gas tax that went in. A few years ago she is there anything and that legislation. That's that that's gonna see the gas tax go up again I mean is there something is an incrementally gonna go up every couple years. Now that they're doing everything that's been in that time capsule. It's it was a phase in over five year period and were were passed a. Harsh okay now. This could this question what was brought up a couple times do we know how much has been collected do we know where the money is going and and I guess I'm Ina a print the sea so that is is everybody looked every bit of our pencil and guess sex go for roads. Well now that's part of the problem I've been part of the money is. It is separated out of the motor license fund to help to stay in the state police. And that was an accommodation that was started many years ago to relieve pressure on the general fund. But the problem is that our true the years. Through various administrations both democratic and Republican. No reliance on the motor license fund for state police. You know a caution. Have continued to grow. And currently some chance somewhere in the neighborhood. As 700 million dollars or there about 750. OK so so do we know I mean that the money that's been collected so far can you couldn't he do you know any specific projects that we we we see that are benefiting from a gas tax. Well I think you could say that there in northeastern Pennsylvania to give the most visible projects that are are completed or nearly completed already off the connector road up at the world spur Scranton airport. Back to the ground industrial park and then secondly the states crushed Alley shop Prussia valley expressway. That is done in the area of manna pro canoe port township Hanover township that. Goes from 29 down towards a community college it's okay now and they're important on top of that frank you have to remember that that the additional. Money also was an effort to trying to attack the bridge used that are structurally deficient. And also maintain that massive. Network of roads and I talked about earlier including the outsourced. Okay now what one of the questions we had and I wanna make sure that I I say this we're not making you responsible for every problem but you know intend on but people people seem to suggest that the quality of our road materials. Is is not up to par then that somehow those materials that are used in new York New Jersey somehow seem better and Pennsylvania we use. From immaterial to do to fix our roads. Well I I'm not sure that I subscribe to that theory mean Penn dot does have a very rigorous about testing. Our process for materials that are used in the construction of roads. And I'd be shocked and further I don't believe that job panned out and or state where do toward. Intentionally except in your projects for the a proposed products for the construction. And it and it's a true. That's when a contractor bids on a project. That date that that part of the the award is held back to keep them responsible for coming back and fixing any damage is almost like like a punch list. Well total project is completed and but you know that want to produce was completed and that and the commonwealth settles. The obligation and under the terms of the contract and the road becomes kind of responsibility to maintain. So Michael yo what do we see in the future I mean do you do you see any thing necessary on the door you know what the federal government might do like what we need to didn't keep our roads our infrastructure strong. Well one thing you have to remember me Pennsylvania there I stopped in the transportation funding though a few years bash. They have for certain reasons one of which was that the federal government. True in the last ten or fifteen years has dramatically reduce the amount of money that flows from the states. Including Pennsylvania. Sold babe there's benefits to the true benefits from the Pennsylvania transportation funding bill. We're minimized the to a great extent because of the federal government reduction. In support of the various state transportation departments including Penn dot. So it when it comes to the are true enhancement and improvement of the transportation network I think it's important that we have a strong federal partner tax. So and for the last number here that has not been the case. And I'm not convinced based on where I heard yesterday. That that these troops these are offering of the president really does provide. I hope that we can have you know top line transportation infrastructure us. Someone is someone has just texted and said to ask you why Philadelphia public transportation can't stand on its own wind doesn't need money from Penn dot. And why and and money from the turnpike and money from our gas tax is what why we have to help Philadelphia. Well we don't need every single file public transportation network in the state and in the in the country. It's subsidized. But sort local roads they're mean if we were just direct our transportation dollars to projects that. That. And feed a video of their cost benefit ratio analysis. He's not probably a small local roads in rural areas would qualify. And so when it comes to transportation. Four. But the the folks in torture even touched burger credible expert for that matter. Com those dollars that go to the transportation they used up public transportation systems do not come out of the motor license fund. Snuck motor license fund is constitutionally. Prohibited from you drug being used by public transportation networks. Why get another question what why is dependent on the turnpike to super density is why weren't they won Big Ten road crew. Well act against Newt through the years it was developed that way when the Pennsylvania turnpike we've created in terms by commission was set up. And I you have to turn type with magnificent. Our financial obligations. That period you know video for bondholders. I'm not sure bet they'd be eager to receive some sort of re arrangement because. The turnpike can be entity to those videos posted bond holders money yourself. Thought I suppose it could be a discussion about depend on the turnpike. Then lectured me it would be distinction with a difference. All right well Michael one question and a different subject should end and I appreciate all your information yesterday we saw two bills are senate and house built to raise the minimum wage to twelve bucks you think that's going anywhere. I think we have mr. Harrisburg I would suggest it's such thing you're not likely. Thanks Michael support okay thank you very much for taking your time and earlier in Harrisburg and I really appreciate you taking the time to call. Okay different spectral OK and Mike Carroll 118 legislative district.