Pa. lawmaker tries to hasten transportation infrastructure plan

    A top Pennsylvania Senate Republican is trying to bring the issue of the commonwealth’s ailing roads and bridges to the forefront.

    Sen. Jake Corman, who chairs the appropriations committee, is introducing a package of bills to pay for investments in Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure.

    At the beginning of the month, Gov. Tom Corbett said he hadn’t made any decisions about transportation funding because of the tough economy.

    But, Corman said, he can’t think of an easier time to make these investments.

    “Not only is it the first year of a cycle, but we’ve had floods, which have caused damage to our highways and bridges. We’ve had earthquakes,” Corman said.

    “The time is now. The evidence, the report has been completed. It says the same thing that previous administrations have said. To my knowledge, no one’s disputing the reports. No one’s disputing that this revenue source is not needed,” he said.

    Corman says his legislation is based on recommendations provided by the governor’s commission to find an answer to the multibillion-dollar gap in annual transportation funding.

    Among the panel’s findings were higher driver’s fees for licenses and vehicle registration so that the fees are adjusted for inflation, as well as phasing out the tax cap on the wholesale gas.

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