HARRISBURG - Speed-enforcement cameras and alcohol-triggered ignition locks are getting serious consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature, and inaction by Congress threatens statewide highway projects, state transportation officials said Tuesday.

Acting Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards and Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Transportation Committee told business and transit executives that Washington gridlock could undermine funding boosts approved by state lawmakers in 2013.

The funding authorization for the federal Highway Trust Fund expires May 31, and if Congress fails to act, "that could pretty much erase the good work that Act 89 has done," Richards said, referring to a state law enacted in 2013 to increase transportation funding by raising state gasoline tax and vehicle fees.

Richards said Pennsylvania gets $1.6 billion a year in federal transportation funding - about 40 percent of its capital budget.

She and other transportation officials predicted that Congress would not come up with a long-term fix by May but likely would enact another stopgap measure to keep money flowing to the states. In recent years, that has meant transferring money from the general fund to the highway fund.

The highway fund gets its money from the federal gasoline tax, last increased in 1993. There is little support in Congress or within the Obama administration for raising that tax to increase funding.

"Ultimately, it comes down to revenues. . . . It should be a user-paid system," said Brian Tynan, director of government relations for the American Public Transportation Association.

State Rep. John Taylor (R., Phila.), chairman of the Transportation Committee, said legislators are considering legalizing cameras in highway work zones to automatically ticket drivers who exceed speed limits.

He said Maryland's use of such cameras could be a model for Pennsylvania, but acknowledged that the speed cameras, like red-light cameras, are controversial.

Taylor said lawmakers needed to assure that cameras are used as safety tools, not money-raisers.

He also said legislators are seeking to toughen state laws against drunken driving, including proposals to require ignition interlock systems for first-time drunken-driving offenders.

Such systems require drivers to blow into alcohol-detection devices before they can start their cars. State law now requires ignition interlocks for repeat drunken-driving offenders.

Taylor predicted that a long budget battle looms between the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic Gov. Wolf, "and money will not flow from Harrisburg until that is resolved."

And funding for SEPTA and other mass-transit agencies faces continuing resistance from some rural Republican lawmakers, he said.

"We are constantly defending mass transit and particularly SEPTA," Taylor said. "Some members of my caucus complain about 'those Democrats who control SEPTA,' and I have to remind them that Republicans control SEPTA and always have."