Transportation
4:50 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

State House GOP May Be Hitting Reset Button on the Transportation Funding Debate

State House Republicans, who couldn’t muster majority support of a transportation funding plan this year, might be offering a much smaller proposal to pay for infrastructure needs.

Lawmakers headed home for the summer this year after a roughly $2 billion funding plan stalled in the House.
 
Now, House GOP staffers say a $500 million plan may be coming from their quarters.
    
It would pay for infrastructure must-haves, like bridge maintenance and some public transit.

Bob Latham, with Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, disagrees.

He points to Maryland, where lawmakers this year approved a higher gas tax to fund transportation, and Virginia, where lawmakers approved a higher sales tax to fund such infrastructure.

"These states are going to clean our clock economically because we have short-sighted people in the General Assembly that are trying to put the brakes on this," he said.
    
Last month, PennDOT announced additional weight limits on about 1,000 bridges to slow their deterioration in the light of no additional transportation funding.
     
Conventional wisdom among lawmakers is a proposal couldn’t muster support with House Republicans, in part, because it was being used as a bargaining chip to achieve liquor privatization, opposed by both chambers’ Democrats.