State Highway Patrol Funding: Fiscal Year 2015

2/21/2017

Introduction

State Highway Patrol officerDetermining the funding structure for the state highway patrol is a longstanding policy issue for state legislatures. There has been renewed interest in this policy area across states as a result of increasing patrol costs and the flattening of growth from existing revenue sources. The issue rests on constitutional and statutory provisions authorizing state highway money to be used for highway safety, and the role state highway patrols play in safety.

Ensuring highway safety not only includes the structural integrity of state roadways, but also providing for a state police to patrol, enforce traffic laws, and respond to and investigate motor vehicle accidents. In most states, this responsibility is split between the department of transportation and the state highway patrol. The state highway patrol is funded differently in each state, varying in level of support from the general fund, special funds, federal funds and the state highway fund.

Interactive Budget View

Below is an interactive tool which provides a visual overview of funding and expenditure information by state for FY 2015.

The pie chart breaks down each state's total state patrol budget into five categories: the State General Fund (light blue), Federal Funds (orange), the State Highway Fund or transportation dollars (grey), Special Funds (yellow), and Other Sources (dark blue). The characteristics of these funds are described in detail in the introduction of the report. The legend below the pie chart also details the amounts (in millions) that each funding source contributes to the total state patrol budget.

The Reported Expenditures chart details major state patrol expenditures calculated as a percentage of the total state patrol budget. Eleven states were unable to provide expenditure detail because the agency does not budget to that level of detail. Dollar amounts and additional descriptive detail of expenditure data can be viewed in Appendix I of the full report.

Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Alabama Highway Patrol
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 California Highway Patrol
Patrol 87.0%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 10.7%
Automobile Theft Prevention 2.3%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Alaska State Troopers
Patrol 68.7%
Statewide Drug & Alcohol Enforcement 10.4%
Major Crime Investigations 7.7%
Judicial Services (Court Security) 4.3%
Prisoner Transportation 2.7%
Search and Rescue 0.5%
Not specified in response 6.0%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Arizona Highway Patrol
Patrol 74.1%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 16.2%
Aviation 6.7%
Equipment 3.0%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Arkansas State Police
Patrol 31.3%
Criminal Investigations 6.4%
Crimes Against Children 5.2%
Regulatory 3.9%
Administration 2.9%
Director's Office 2.0%
Not specified in response 48.3%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Colorado State Patrol
Ports of Entry 5.8%
Communications 5.6%
Automobile Theft Prevention 4.5%
Capitol Police 3.3%
Counter-drug Enforcement 2.9%
Training 1.8%
Not specified in response 76.1%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Connecticut State Police
Patrol 46.6%
Traffic Services Unit 2.6%
Not specified in response 50.8%
  Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Delaware State Police
Patrol 45.1%
Criminal/Homicide Investigations 24.5%
Aeromedical Evacuation 4.2%
Bureau of Identification 3.9%
Training/Communications 8.9%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 2.1%
Not specified in response 11.3.0%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Florida Highway Patrol
Patrol 74.7%
Communications 5.9%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 12.0%
Not specified in response 7.4%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Georgia State Patrol
Patrol $113.6
Total Expenditures Exceeding Appropriations -$3.7
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Idaho State Police
Investigations 13.2%
Patrol 53.3%
Bureau of Criminial Identification 11.0%
Forensic Services 7.6%
Capitol Police 0.8%
POST 7.4%
Not specified in response 6.7%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Illinois State Police
Administration 7.7%
Information Services Bureau 2.8%
Operations 63.5%
Financial Fraud & Forgery 0.8%
Forensic Services 21.0%
Internal Investigation/Supplemental Appropriation 4.2%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Indiana State Police
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Iowa State Patrol
Patrol 74.5%
Communications 9.0%
Capitol Police 4.1%
ISP Fleet & Supply 1.3%
Training 1.3%
Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau 2.1%
Not specified in response 7.7%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Kansas Highway Patrol
Patrol 70.5%
Motor Carrier Inspection 5.3%
Motorist Assistance Program/VIN Inspection Program 4.8%
Capitol Police/Homeland Security 9.3%
Information Technology/Debt Service/Capital Improvements 5.2%
Turnpike 4.9%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Kentucky State Police
Administration (includes Commissioner's Office) 14.3%
Technical Services: electronic crimes, lab analysis, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) 18.4%
Operations (Kentucky State Police posts) 59.4%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 7.9%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Louisiana State Police
Patrol 29.4%
Not specified in response 70.6%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Maine State Police
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Maryland State Police
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Massachusetts State Police
Patrol 56.1%
Investigative Services 22.2%
Training 4.7%
Administrative Services 9.1%
Details 7.9%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Michigan State Police
Executive and Administrative Services 14.2%
Law Enforcement Services 13.6%
Field Services 47.0%
Specialized Services 22.1%
One-Time Appropriations 3.0%
Not specified in response 0.1%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Minnesota State Patrol
Patrol 81.1%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 12.7%
Capitol Police 6.1%
Administrative Services 0.1%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol
Patrol 71.7%
Driver Services 28.3%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Missouri State Highway Patrol
Patrol 33.0%
Water Patrol 2.6%
Crime Labs 3.5%
Training 0.8%
Vehicle and Driver Safety (Driver's Exams, Vehicle Inspections, etc) 3.9%
Technical service (IT, Communications, etc.) 14.4%
Not specified in response 41.8%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Montana Highway Patrol
Patrol 53.5%
Communication 6.9%
Vehicles 4.7%
Montana Highway Patrol Prisoner Boarding and Medical 3.3%
Not specified in response 31.6%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Nebraska State Patrol
Public Protection 78.0%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 13.6%
Operational Improvements 1.0%
Anti-Drug Abuse, Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant 0.4%
Capitol Police 1.4%
Public Safety Communication System 5.6%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Nevada Highway Patrol
Patrol 67.0%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 8.8%
Administration 8.2%
Pass Thru Funding 0.7%
Dignitary Protection 0.1%
Not specified in response 15.2%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 New Hampshire State Police
Traffic Bureau 68.8%
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) 2.6%
Enforcement 15.1%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 13.5%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 New Jersey State Police
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 New Mexico State Police
Patrol 36.7%
Communications 5.2%
Special Investigations 16.4%
Training 3.6%
Other (Internal Affairs, Standards & Research, Fleet) 16.4%
Special Operations 15.9%
Not specified in response 5.8%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 New York State Police
Personal Service 95.7%
Vehicles Acquisition 1.8%
Security Supplies and Equipment 0.6%
Phone/Telecom 0.4%
Fleet Repair and Maintenance (Vehicle and Aviation) 0.2%
Fuel/General Service Charge/Miscellaneous Costs 1.3%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 North Carolina State Highway Patrol
Highway patrol and motor carrier enforcement 89.2%
Training 2.4%
VIPER establishment and maintenance 8.4%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 North Dakota Highway Patrol
Patrol 73.3%
Training 0.1%
Capitol Police 1.5%
Not specified in response 25.1%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Ohio State Highway Patrol
Patrol 91.6%
Off-highway enforcement, security, investigations 4.1%
Information Services (LEADS) 1.8%
Not specified in response 2.5%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Oklahoma Highway Patrol
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Oregon State Police, Patrol Services Division
General Operations 85.6%
Oregon State University Patrol 2.0%
Special Operations 1.3%
Field Support 4.7%
Capitol Police 2.9%
Dignitary Protection 1.8%
Not specified in response 1.7%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Pennsylvania State Police
Patrol 96.9%
Communications 2.3%
Training 0.8%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Rhode Island State Police
Administrative Support 13.4%
Detectives 26.3%
Patrol 35.0%
Pension 21.5%
Communications 3.8%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 South Carolina Highway Patrol
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 South Dakota Highway Patrol
Patrol 57.9%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 14.1%
Accident Records 1.6%
Highway Safety 20.5%
State Radio 5.9%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Tennessee Highway Patrol
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Texas Highway Patrol
Patrol 72.7%
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 27.3%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Utah Highway Patrol
Patrol 73.5%
Capitol Police and Dignitary Protection 4.7%
Truck and Vehicle Safety Inspections 8.8%
Special Enforcement (College Security) 4.3%
Construction Enforcement 3.6%
Not specified in response 5.1%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Vermont State Police
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Virginia State Police
Patrol 44.8%
Communications 8.2%
Not specified in response 47.0%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Washington State Patrol
Patrol 67.0%
Adminstration 14.7%
Disaster Response 5.8%
Fingerprint Identification 2.2%
Investigations 1.7%
Fire Services 1.7%
Not specified in response 6.9%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 West Virginia State Police
Law Enforcement 94.5%
Motor Vehicle Inspection 1.8%
Commission on Drunk Driving Prevention 3.7%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Wisconsin State Patrol
Expenditure data not included; agency does not budget to this level of expenditure.
Reported Expenditures FY 2015 Wyoming Highway Patrol
Patrol 90.8%
Training 2.3%
Capitol Police 6.9%
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016

Executive Summary

State Highway Patrol Funding: Fiscal Year 2015presents the findings from NCSL’s survey of state highway patrol fiscal officers, legislative fiscal offices and executive budget staff on the structure of state highway patrol funding and expenditure information for fiscal year 2015. It includes information on 49 states. Hawaii does not have a state level highway patrol. These functions are funded and performed at a county level, generally broken down by island.

  • Twenty-five states use state highway fund dollars to fund the state highway patrol.
  • Forty states use general fund monies to fund the state highway patrol.
  • Seventeen states have considered legislation or state action to address state highway patrol funding in the past 10 years. Of these states, 14 considered an alternative or new funding source for the state patrol.
  • Thirty-five states use a special fund or a dedicated revenue source to fund a portion of state highway patrol functions.
  • Eleven states currently impose caps or rules limiting funding that can be received by the state highway patrol.

The functions and funding formulas of the state highway patrol are unique to the makeup of each state. This report seeks to provide an overview of the funding structure of state highway patrol departments and major reported expenditures. The report is organized by state, and the following appendices detail recent legislation and state actions to address state highway patrol funding, descriptions of specific taxes and dedicated revenue sources, and rules or caps imposed by states to limit certain funding sources, as well as detailed funding and expenditure data

PDF | Download the Full Report

Source: Information for this report was gathered with cooperation from State Highway Patrol fiscal officers, the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices (NALFO) members, and executive budget staff.