Pa. Dems offer plan they say is key to 30,000 new jobs

    Pennsylvania Senate Democrats have a package of new bills they say could spur the state’s economy.

    They said their economic plan would create nearly 30,000 jobs by consolidating Pennsylvania’s job-training programs within one agency as well as expanding tax credits to small businesses.

    Caucus leaders want to use unspent state grant money to generate more private investment in new projects, such as infrastructure repairs.

    Sen. Vince Hughes of Philadelphia said the recent gas explosion in Allentown is the latest sign the state’s roads, bridges and pipe lines need to be fixed.

    “In many respects, they’re miles and miles and miles of steel-cast systems running beneath our cities and towns and communities, driving out natural gas,” said Hughes. “And they’re old, and they’re breaking down and, unfortunately, they’re causing tragic accidents.”

    To provide additional funding for the initiative, the Democrats also want to close tax loopholes and adjust corporate tax rates.

    Many of their proposals have failed in previous sessions, but the Democrats and the Corbett Administration agree on a few points, such as privatizing more state-owned resources to fund infrastructure repairs.

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