Governor Wolf Releases Seven Detailed White Papers on Restore Pennsylvania Initiative
June 06, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – With nearly a majority of the General Assembly supporting Restore Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf released detailed summaries of the plan to address critical infrastructure needs across Pennsylvania.
“Restore Pennsylvania is the most aggressive infrastructure plan in generations,” said Governor Wolf. “This is a rare opportunity to make lasting improvements and tackle investiture problems from our big cities to rural communities. We can finally address blight in our communities, better protect homes and businesses from floodwaters, bring high-speed internet to rural communities and position people and businesses as leaders in the 21st century.”
Restore Pennsylvania was introduced in the General Assembly this week with strong bipartisan support. House Bill 1585, sponsored by Rep. Jake Wheatley and Rep. Thomas Murt, has 99 cosponsors and Senate Bill 725, sponsored by Sen. John Yudichak and Sen. Tom Killion has 25 cosponsors. More than 60 stakeholders and municipal leaders are also endorsing the proposal.
To accompany the legislation, the governor released a series of white papers detailing the investments Restore Pennsylvania would make, helping local communities prevent flooding, eliminate blight, expand broadband, and address other critical infrastructure needs.
Storm Preparedness and Disaster Recovery
Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding to help towns and cities prepare for flooding and severe weather, upgrade flood walls and levees, replace high-hazard dams, and conduct stream restoration and maintenance.
Providing High-Speed Internet Access
Broadband is essential to education, quality of life, and the economy. Lack of high-speed internet puts hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians at a disadvantage. Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding to completely bridge the digital divide in every community in Pennsylvania, making Pennsylvania a better place to work, do business, and live.
There are an estimated 300,000 blighted structures in rural and urban communities throughout Pennsylvania. Restore Pennsylvania will increase resources for addressing blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings in order to create new development opportunities or provide new green space.
Contaminant Remediation and Brownfield Cleanup
Many communities face issues with harmful contaminants, such as lead and Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Abandoned industrial and commercial sites are also still waiting for cleanup to unlock their potential as commercial, residential, or industrial sites. Restore Pennsylvania will address contaminant remediation and help brownfield clean-up throughout the commonwealth.
Restore Pennsylvania will provide significant new funding to enable new environmental projects and new recreational opportunities across the state, including infrastructure and maintenance in state parks, creation, and revitalization of new local parks, funding best management practices to improve local water quality, and funding for new hiking, biking, and ATV trail projects.
Transportation Capital Projects
Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding for local road and bridge upgrades, create new flexible funding options for businesses that need local infrastructure upgrades to enable development projects and multimodal and large-scale capital projects for transit.
Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding for infrastructure that helps build manufacturing facilities and other downstream businesses for the natural gas produced in Pennsylvania.
Business Development, and Energy Infrastructure
Restore Pennsylvania will help businesses and individuals use more of Pennsylvania’s natural gas in their homes, creating jobs, lowering costs, and improving energy efficiency.
Restore Pennsylvania will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant, high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure. The plan is funded through the monetization of a commonsense severance tax. The existing impact fee will remain in place.
The projects would be identified by local stakeholders and evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high-priority, high-impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.