Transportation funding talks may be revived in Harrisburg

    With a failed transportation funding deal at their backs and one last opportunity this fall, Pennsylvania lawmakers are redrafting their wish lists for how it can be accomplished.

    State officials are looking for a tree of trust — an old school way of politicking on the issue of transportation.

    House Republicans say they’ll need more cooperation from Democrats, who refused to help the GOP majority pass a proposal because they said it didn’t include enough money for mass transit.

    Meanwhile, some Democrats say what will help the cause is to make sure it isn’t tied to something they don’t want — namely, liquor privatization.

    The two efforts still are seen as a quid pro quo, said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa. “We continue to believe that transportation needs to be decoupled from the wine and spirits conversation,” he said.

    Costa says the governor himself should sever links between liquor privatization and transportation funding by announcing the liquor bill should not be a priority for the rest of the year.

    House GOP members scoff at the notion that would ever happen.

    Liquor privatization is a top priority for the governor as well as the House Majority Leader, who oversaw a transportation deal implosion just months ago.

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