Pennsylvania lawmakers have closed out their last session day until mid-November. Before they left, Gov. Tom Corbett once gain urged them to hammer out a deal funding roads, bridges, and mass transit.
But the real pressure is now on trade unions opposing changes to state law that would bring down laborers’ pay on certain state and local government public works projects.
Noting the “prevailing wage” law was last changed in the 1960s, Corbett said unions should be willing to cede some ground, since he and legislative leaders already have.
“We need to move into the 21st century. We need to think that way,” he said. “We need to come and each give a little to get a bill done now.”
Corbett brandished a concrete fragment to illustrate his point that the state’s transportation infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
“This is a piece of the Mulberry Street bridge here in Harrisburg,” he said. “It was a piece that PennDOT picked up and brought to me.”
A roughly $2.2 billion proposal is under discussion between House and Senate legislative leaders.
The governor proposed a $1.8 billion plan, which the Senate bumped up to generate $2.5 billion.
House majority leaders say the only thing that can win more votes from GOP lawmakers is a bill that includes changes to the prevailing wage law.