HARRISBURG – In the upcoming legislative session, the effort to privatize the state liquor store system and put the money collected from the sale to good use by fixing Pennsylvania's road and bridges will continue, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill), today vowed.
Knowles will reintroduce his legislation which establishes the Infrastructure Future Fund, where the funds from the sale of the state store system must be used to pay for construction costs of transportation infrastructure projects.
"My proposal takes an antiquated state asset and invests its worth into Pennsylvania's infrastructure, which would allow for further job creation and economic growth," said Knowles. "I commend Gov. Tom Corbett for recognizing the importance of privatizing state liquor stores, and I look forward to working with him and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai to see this goal accomplished."
The Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee reported in 2010 that there are nearly 5,000 structurally deficient bridges and more than 7,000 miles of roads in poor condition throughout our state.
"At this time we don't have adequate funding to repair our roads and bridges," said Knowles. "The cost surrounding current repairs is approximately $3.5 billion annually, and we add about $1 million to that every day. The longer we wait to make improvements, the more damage we're doing to our infrastructure and our budget."
Under Knowles' legislation, all the money raised from the sale of the liquor stores would be split evenly over four years. The state would have exclusive control and authority to manage, invest and reinvest money in the fund.
"Maintaining safe roads and bridges is a core and essential role of government," said Knowles. "I can't think of any other problem that affects Pennsylvanians more than our aging roads and bridges. Essentially, any person who leaves their home, whether they be driving, walking or riding, is affected by this problem."
For more information on this issue, or any other state-related issue, contact Knowles' district office in Tamaqua by calling (570) 668-1240 or in Hamburg at (610) 562-3411.