Monday, December 19, 2011

Sen. Toomey Introduces Legislation Repealing Street Sign Regulation

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has introduced the Stopping Intrusive Government Now (SIGN) Act to protect municipalities' from the costs of complying with a federal unfunded mandate.
The SIGN Act, S. 2021, would eliminate the federal government's ability to issue a mandatory minimum reflectivity standard for street signs and forever protect municipalities' unique street signs.

Sen. Toomey announced this legislation's introduction at an event in Southeast Pennsylvania's Lower Merion Township. Officials in several municipalities, including Scranton and Lower Merion, contacted Sen. Toomey about upcoming enforcement of a longstanding Transportation Department mandate that would require all municipalities to replace their current street signs with new signs that meet federally approved reflectivity standards.
According to the mandate, local towns would be responsible for paying for the replacement of current street signs - about $1.5 million for Lower Merion alone.
Working with the Transportation Department, Sen. Toomey achieved a historical exemption for Lower Merion to preserve the township's character and cast-iron street signs. And thanks to Sen. Toomey's work, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced in late August that the department would eliminate the street sign replacement mandate.
"This legislation will ensure that our communities aren't forced to foot the bill for expensive federal mandates. While I appreciate the Transportation Department's willingness to work with me on this issue, we need this legislation to ensure that the federal government cannot impose this mandate on our communities in the future," Sen. Toomey said. "There is no evidence that these existing signs constitute a danger, and keeping these signs will preserve local history while saving communities money during difficult financial times."

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