Lawmaker renews call for attention to Pa. transportation needs

    One Pennsylvania lawmaker is issuing a familiar call for his colleagues and the governor to get moving on a funding solution for the state’s transportation infrastructure. The push for action comes just a week before the state primary.

     

    Rep. Rick Geist, R-Blair, again touted his pet bill – to change the way road construction projects are funded. He said Monday he hopes it will lead to a comprehensive package to fill the multibillion-dollar deficit facing the state’s roads and bridges.

    But Geist would not call out – or even call on – Gov. Tom Corbett to act.

    “Standing here, I cannot speak for the governor, he has to speak for himself,” Geist said. “And I would think that would be happening soon.”

    And Geist denies he’s rallying about transportation funding more for the pre-primary publicity.

    “What plays here doesn’t play in my district. So it’s what we do,” he said. “My job here is transportation chairman.”

    Geist is facing a Republican challenger in the primary next Tuesday – a tea party candidate who has taken aim at Geist for not being conservative enough.

    The state auditor general recently called on Corbett to prod lawmakers to start passing revenue-generating reforms – such as a higher driver’s license fees, and an uncapped wholesale gas tax.

    Last fall, Senate Republicans introduced a plan modeled on the recommendations of the governor’s transportation funding panel, but no action has been taken.

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