Senator Pat Browne E-Newsletter

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In This Update:

  • Lawmakers Seek to Put the Brakes on New Bridge Tolling Plan
  • Emergency Rental Assistance Applications Available Now
  • Discounted Fishing Licenses Available for Non-Resident Students

Lawmakers Seek to Put the Brakes on New Bridge Tolling Plan

PennDOT recently announced plans to add tolls to nine existing bridges on Pennsylvania’s interstate system. Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to put the brakes on this tolling plan and reform the state’s Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) process, which produced the tolling plan. 

The legislation would:

  • Increase transparency by requiring PennDOT to publish a detailed analysis prior to the P3 Board’s voting meeting.
  • Incorporate public input by creating a new 30-day public comment period prior to the P3 Board’s voting meeting.
  • Create a checks and balances on an obscure P3 Board by clarifying the P3 project with a user fee shall be deemed disapproved unless the General Assembly approves.
  • Void the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative and requires reconsideration by the P3 Board.

Several Senators gathered in Harrisburg for a news conference this week to announce the legislation and to voice support for voiding the statute that PennDOT is using to enact these new tolls.

Emergency Rental Assistance Applications Available Now

Renters struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply now for financial assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program authorized by the General Assembly last month.

Families and individuals can apply for grants to help with rent, rental arrears, utilities, and home energy costs incurred due, directly, or indirectly, to COVID-19.

Applications and eligibility information for those living in Lehigh County can be found on the Catholic Charities Website.

Discounted Fishing Licenses Available for Non-Resident Students

Non-resident students attending in-state universities now qualify for a discounted fishing license from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The price of a license is $22.97, which is the same price as an annual license for state residents and $30 less than the cost of an annual non-resident license.

Licenses are available through the HuntFishPA online licensing system. The opening day of trout season is April 3.

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