Rendell pushing for passage of $2.5 billion transportation funding bill

    Former Gov. Ed Rendell has written to all Pennsylvania House members pleading for their votes on a $2.5 billion transportation funding plan.

    The Democrat is asking lawmakers to vote for the transportation bill and prevent its linkage to other issues, including liquor privatization.In years past, top lawmakers have talked about such deal-making as perfectly acceptable.

    The Senate President Pro Tem calls it the “Rendell school of leverage.”

    But the school’s namesake says the stakes are too high now.

    “We’ve delayed so long on infrastructure,” Rendell said. “Look, sometimes that’s a perfectly acceptable maneuver. But we’ve let our infrastructure go.”

    House Republicans have indicated this vote will be a tough one — because of the proposed fees in the plan, and the chance it could cause gas prices to go up.

    But the chairman of the Transportation Committee now considering the measure says he wants to get it done.

    And the head of the state Department of Transportation said the governor wouldn’t object to the two-point-five billion dollar price tag of the overall proposal.

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