GOP crafts $500 million plan for Pa. transportation projects

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


    Lawmakers left Harrisburg for their summer recess without acting on a $2 billion funding plan.

    Now, House GOP staffers say a $500 million proposal is coalescing to fund essential infrastructure projects such as bridge maintenance and some public transit.

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    Bob Latham of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors said that will not be enough.

    Pointing to Maryland, where lawmakers this year approved a higher gas tax to fund transportation projects, and Virginia, where lawmakers approved a higher sales tax to fund such infrastructure repairs and improvements, Latham urged action.

    “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 absence of 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 the Democrats in both chambers.

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