Judge rejects lawsuit over Pennsylvania turnpike toll hikes

Pennsylvania
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A federal judge is dismissing a lawsuit over Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increases that are financing payments the commission makes to help fund transit agencies.

U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane ruled Thursday that a truckers’ organization didn’t adequately argue that the scheme violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution or the constitutional right to travel.

The lawsuit had also asked the court to bar the turnpike commission from using tolls to pay off debt stemming from payments it is required to make under a 2007 law.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s transportation secretary, Leslie Richards, told lawmakers in February that it would be “catastrophic” to have to repay the $6 billion total transferred by the turnpike commission.

The payments are driving up the turnpike commission’s debt, despite 11 straight annual toll increases.

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