HARRISBURG, PA – Sen. Mike Folmer, R–Lebanon, said he thinks it’s time to demand more accountability from Pennsylvania state employees who drive around in taxpayer-provided vehicles.
Folmer said he plans to introduce legislation that would limit long-term assignment of state cars to employees who log at least 1,200 business miles a month, not including their commutes to and from work, according to www.pennlive.com.
It would require employees to keep mileage logs that detail their travels and have the logs posted on the Internet. Employees would have to reimburse for fuel and insurance based proportionately on their personal use of the vehicle under Folmer’s proposal. It also calls for replacing the standard Pennsylvania license tag on some state vehicles with “official use” plates, except on those vehicles used for undercover work.
The State Department of General Services, which manages the state vehicle fleet, reported that 3,650 employees have full-time use of state vehicles. In some instances, they can be driven for personal use. They include Cabinet officers, deputy secretaries, chief counsels, bureau directors, and state troopers.
However, General Services Secretary James Creedon said that some employees are provided vehicles as part of their compensation package. He said all employees must pay federal taxes for their personal use of state vehicles. However, taxpayers pay to maintain, service, insure, and fuel the state fleet at a cost of $15.6 million. That figure is based on the state’s $4,274 yearly cost-per-vehicle figure included in the governor’s budget.
The state auditor general’s office plans to conduct an audit of the use of state-owned vehicles.