Pa. House GOP tapping brakes on transportation funding plan

    Republicans in the Pennsylvania House are preparing major changes to a bill to fund roads, bridges, and mass transit — despite warnings from some state senators.

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

    But it greatly reduces funding for mass transit, and it’s largely for that reason that Democratic House Minority Leader Frank Dermody says his members won’t support it.

    “If they need Democratic help for this, forget it,” he said Monday. “There’s not going to be Democratic help for that amendment.”

    The amended plan would require transit systems to try to outsource at least 10 percent of their bus lines a year to private companies that can run the services more efficiently.

    It would also require local governments to provide more funding for their mass transit, and gives them leeway to do that with local tax increases.

    A committee vote on the measure was put off until Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, the Republican author of the Senate transportation bill urged that roads, bridges, and public transit should get no less than the $2.5 billion allocation his chamber approved.

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