Transportation Funding

Transportation
1:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Corbett Administration Finalizes 2014 Transportation Projects

Gov. Tom Corbett's administration says it has finalized the highway, bridge and mass transit improvement projects that'll begin this year as a result of a landmark transportation funding bill he signed in November.

The administration said Thursday that about 250 highway and bridge projects and 50 mass transit projects will begin in 2014 as a result of the law. That puts the total at approximately 950 highway, bridge and mass transit projects beginning in 2014.

Transportation
3:30 am
Mon March 31, 2014

No April Fool’s Joke: PennDOT Fee Increases To Take Effect Starting Tuesday

Starting Tuesday, an initial wave of fee increases for motor vehicle and driver services will go into effect.

The higher fees were part of the transportation law that passed last year, which allots $2.35 billion to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to roads, bridges and transit systems. That price tag is being paid for, in part, by an increase in gasoline taxes and higher vehicle service fees.

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Government & Politics
8:12 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Transportation Funding: Too Touchy To Tout?

A Wall Street Journal editorial last week delivered a harsh sizing-up of Gov. Tom Corbett’s legislative achievements, and in so doing prompted a question: Why isn’t the governor campaigning on securing additional transportation funding for the state?

The WSJ op-ed noted Corbett’s low polling numbers and criticized the governor for being “unable to corral his caucus to pass even de minimis pension, school and tax reforms.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:37 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

State Transportation Funding Passed Through Compromise

Credit joseph a / Flickr

The PA state legislature has finally approved a transportation bill that would fund mass transit and infrastructure improvements. Governor Tom Corbett and many others in the state have been pushing for its passage for well over a year.

State capitol correspondent Mary Wilson says by leading the most recent round of compromises between Republican and Democratic Representatives, the House speaker should be credited for the final adoption of this contentious bill.

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Transportation
3:08 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Corbett Signs $2.3 Billion PA Transportation Bill

Gov. Tom Corbett speaks under Pittsburgh's Liberty Bridge about legislation that will provide funds for improvements to Pennsylvania's highways, bridges and mass-transit systems.
Deanna Garcia 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Corbett spent Monday touring sites in need of repair to talk about the just-signed transportation bill.

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Government & Politics
2:21 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

For Some PA Lawmakers, Support for Transportation Plan Means Tough Elections Ahead

State lawmakers who voted to raise more than $2 billion in fees and gas taxes will have some explaining to do to conservative groups that keep close watch over tax votes in the Legislature.

Lawmakers who flipped to support the $2.3 billion plan are already being targeted by an anti-tax and limited government group based in Harrisburg.

Republican Rep. Stan Saylor of York County is among the members being singled out.

He said he’s already expecting a primary challenge in next year’s election.  

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Transportation
10:39 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Corbett Hails Passage of PA Highways Bill

After more than a year of discussion, the state has a transportation plan in place.

A $2.3 billion plan to fund roads, bridges, mass transit, airports, waterways, bike paths and more has passed the state House and heads to the governor’s desk.

Gov. Tom Corbett is hailing passage of new transportation bill, saying he perceived an urgent need to fix roads and bridges after he took office three years ago.

The Republican spoke Thursday shortly after legislative approval of a law to pump billions into transportation infrastructure and mass transit.

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Government & Politics
3:50 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Not Everyone Happy With PA Transportation Funding Bill

Not everyone is happy with the transportation plan nearing passage in the Pennsylvania legislature.

The conservative political action group Americans for Prosperity is calling the plan an attack on working Pennsylvanians. The proposal increases registration, licensing and other motor vehicle fees to get the funding needed for transportation projects. It also removes a cap on a tax paid by gas stations.

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Transportation
7:57 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Transportation Funding Plan Passes Senate, Heads Back to House

A $2.3 billion transportation infrastructure funding plan is headed back to the state House after it passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

Lawmakers are expected to take a concurring vote on it Thursday afternoon.

Senate Democrats were blocked from offering their own amendments to the bill.

Democratic state Sen. Jim Ferlo of Allegheny County says the plan includes a fund that will be used a lot like “walking around money,” or WAMs, which have been disparaged by Gov. Tom Corbett as an underhanded way of stewarding tax dollars.  

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Transportation
9:29 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

On Third Go, House Green-Lights Transportation Plan

A $2.3 billion amendment to a transportation funding plan passed a preliminary vote in the state House Tuesday night, within 24 hours of the House's rejection of the same measure, twice, amid concerns from tax-wary Republicans and labor-allied Democrats.

The vote was 104-95, though two Republicans who missed the final tally asked that their affirmative votes be noted in the record.

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Transportation
4:48 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Alternate Transportation Funding Model Floated as Lawmakers Debate Plan

As Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to debate a transportation funding plan, the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) is recommending a plan that would fund road, bridge and transit projects through a mix of cash and debt financing.

“With a combination of cash that’s raised through a number of vehicles (fees) and responsible borrowing, that will reduce the up-front cost but better reflect the fact that these are long-term investments that will have a long use over many years,” said PBPC Director Sharon Ward.

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Transportation
7:44 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Transit Activists Ask Pennsylvanians to Call State Reps About Transportation Bill

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has just four voting days left this year, and they still have not passed a transportation funding bill. A Senate bill that would fund roads, bridges and public transit has been languishing since it was passed in June.

Now, a local nonprofit is trying to turn up the heat on key legislators by calling the constituents in their districts.

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Mass Transit Funding
10:01 am
Tue October 29, 2013

$100 Surcharge on Speeding Tickets Slowing Action on Transportation Bill

A transportation funding bill for Pennsylvania is still stuck in park.

But while negotiations continue, the fate of one of its more controversial mechanisms for generating revenue is still unsettled.

The state Senate’s plan to fund infrastructure includes tacking a 100 dollar surcharge onto certain traffic violations, like speeding tickets.  Most of the money would go toward mass transit. The Senate projected the surcharge would raise as much as 75 million dollars in the first year of implementation.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon September 30, 2013

State House Leaders Prepare for Possible Transportation Funding Showdown

State House leaders are gearing up for a possible showdown on transportation funding as soon as this week.
    
The Republican Majority Leader has said he would bring the long-stymied funding bill up for a vote in his chamber.
    
PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said the governor would sign whatever can pass in the House, provided it doesn’t go below a $1.8 billion plan he offered earlier this year.

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Government & Politics
10:40 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Lawmakers Call on Corbett to Sever Any Ties Between Two Legislative Proposals

Two legislative leaders are calling on Gov. Tom Corbett to dispel the rumors once and for all that two of his top priorities from the spring are linked as some grand strategy.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa is again asking the administration to announce there is no effort to keep transportation funding hostage in order to pass a liquor privatization bill, or vice versa.

The GOP House Majority Leader agreed that it falls to Corbett to de-couple the two items.

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Transportation
5:31 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Casey Works to Close Gap in Bridge Funding

Pennsylvania has 5,543 structurally deficient bridges; 86 percent are owned by the state.

Now U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has unveiled a bipartisan proposal to increase funding by 10 percent for “off-system” bridges — bridges that are owned by a county or municipality and are not part of the federal highway system.

Casey said all bridges in the commonwealth average 54 years old, and only 10 percent of them receive federal funds.

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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.

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Infrastructure
5:54 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

House Appropriations Committee Explores Infrastructure Investment in Pittsburgh Hearing

How to fund transportation improvements hit a traffic jam this summer.

House Republican leaders wanted to spend less than the $2.5 billion the Senate passed, and neither can agree on where to get the money.

To try to break the gridlock, the House Appropriations Committee hosted a hearing in Pittsburgh Wednesday to explore how investments in infrastructure can generate economic growth.

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Government & Politics
2:16 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

County Commissioners Push Transportation Funding, Prevailing Wage Reforms

County officials remain steadfast in their support for more transportation dollars alongside reforms to the prevailing wage law.

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania says the set wages unnecessarily boost the cost of road work for local governments.

Association president Christian Leinbach, a Berks County commissioner, said despite a coolness to linking reforms to a transportation funding bill, his group is still pushing for an end to prevailing wage.

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Transportation
3:49 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Lawmakers Advance State Transportation Funding Bill

After days of false starts, a plan to fund Pennsylvania’s roads, bridges and mass transit has cleared a state House committee vote.
    
The roughly $2 billion proposal has received bipartisan support, though many Democrats say they still have concerns it contains too little money for mass transit.
    
Republican Transportation Committee Chairman Dick Hess said he’s open to more changes to the plan when it’s up for a vote before the full House.

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Government & Politics
6:50 am
Tue June 25, 2013

House Puts Off Panel Vote on Transportation Plan

State House Republicans are preparing major changes to a bill to fund roads, bridges and mass transit, despite warning cries from some of their colleagues in the Senate.

The $1.8 billion plan doesn't include any of the traffic violation fines or motorist fee increases lawmakers were grumbling about. But it still uncaps a tax paid by gas stations, doing so over 10 years, instead of three, as the Senate proposed.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:10 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

What's Next for Pennsylvania Transportation?

State Senator Jim Ferlo
Credit SenatorFerlo.com

A version of the Pennsylvania transportation funding bill passed last week is expected to be voted on in the State House of Representatives Tuesday.

But State Senator Jim Ferlo is concerned that the bill does not allocate enough money for infrastructure maintenance. He's also opposed to a provision that would allow partial privatization of select bus lines. State Senator Jim Ferlo talks about why he voted against the funding bill and legislation that would change the structure of the Port Authority of Allegheny County Transit board.

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Government & Politics
7:41 am
Wed June 19, 2013

For House GOP, Repealing Wage Law 'Integral' to Transportation Bill

Negotiations over a $2.5 billion plan to fix Pennsylvania's roads and bridges could include getting rid of state-set wages that increase the cost of road repair projects.

Many House Republicans have long opposed of the state's prevailing wage law, saying it typically sets the pay for public works projects at union rates, and boosts costs to local governments by as much as 20 percent.

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Transportation
7:50 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Rendell Enters the Fray over Transportation Funding

Ed Rendell couldn't sit this debate out.

The former Democratic governor has penned a letter to all the state House members pleading for their votes on the $2.5 billion transportation funding plan — and not to let it be linked to other issues, like liquor privatization.

In years past, top lawmakers have talked about such deal-making as perfectly acceptable. The Senate President Pro Tem calls it the "Rendell school of leverage."

But the school's namesake said the stakes are too high now.

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