A few House Republicans are chiming in with their own ideas about how to spend the money raised if a plan to phase out Pennsylvania’s wine and spirits stores goes to the governor’s desk.
Instead of education, as Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed, they’d prefer to see it devoted to transportation infrastructure.
The eight Republicans stress that they don’t speak for the entire House GOP caucus or leadership.
But they say it’s time to start debating how money from liquor privatization should be spent, even though the bill already passed the state House on the premise it would go into grants for schools.
The state’s largest teachers union criticized the Corbett administration for linking education funding to the controversial liquor privatization proposal, pointed out Rep. Brad Roae of Crawford County.
“Now if the teachers don’t want the money, maybe we shouldn’t give the money to them,” he said. “I’ve had nobody from PennDOT tell me they don’t want the money.”
House Democrats and Republicans disagree over how much money would be generated by the privatization plan that passed the House, but it wouldn’t be enough to deal with the state’s annual multibillion-dollar transportation funding gap.
Roae and other backers of the new plan for the potential revenue say it should be a supplement for, not a replacement of, any larger transportation funding proposal.
Such a plan is expected to be introduced in the Senate this week.