Corbett urges passage of a transportation funding bill during Pittsburgh visit
Gov. Tom Corbett urged the Legislature on Wednesday to pass a transportation funding bill to fix crumbling roads and bridges, and said it is “reasonable” to adjust prevailing wage law in order to get Republican votes to get the bill passed.
“I'm for whatever gets the bill done. It's that simple,” Corbett said. “Is (prevailing wage reform) something that's been put on the table by certain parties? Yes, it is. Is it unreasonable to take a level set in 1961 and move it up to $100,000 now? I don't think it's unreasonable.”
The 1961 prevailing wage law pegs those rates to projects above a $25,000 threshold. Projects above the threshold in urban areas typically are subject to higher union rates, even if they are nonunion projects. The wage rate varies by county.
Corbett, flanked by politicians and business leaders, spoke next to the Birmingham Bridge in the South Side, which is in line for a $34 million rehabilitation. A rocker bearing on the bridge failed in 2008, triggering an 8-inch drop in the bridge deck that required emergency repairs.
Brett Marcy, spokesman for House Democrats, said Democratic leaders don't believe the issues should be linked.
“The No. 1 priority should be creating additional jobs, not tearing down wages,” Marcy said. “We would argue it's reasonable to expect a fair day's wage for a day's work. We agree (transportation funding is a priority). Let's take (prevailing wage) off the table.”
Corbett said the change wouldn't affect nearly $2 billion in projects that PennDOT funds each year. He said the savings would benefit mostly local governments.
The Senate in June approved a $2.5 billion transportation bill by a 45-5 vote. The bill could increase gasoline prices 25 cents per gallon over five years, critics contend. The House has balked at approving a bill.
Corbett initially proposed raising $1.8 billion but said he's willing to increase the amount.
“Both sides have to be willing to reach a consensus. That might mean making a slight adjustment and a slight give in your position,” Corbett said.
PennDOT slapped weight restrictions on more than 1,000 deteriorating bridges across the state in August.
Bobby Kerlik is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- Pine-Richland graduate helps spark U.S. to Women’s World Club final
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- No boat races, so regatta-goers find something else to do
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Arizona prison says 700 inmates again ‘refusing to comply’