TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Legislative leaders will call for vote next week on transportation bill

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 6:51 p.m.
 

HARRISBURG — House and Senate Republican leaders plan a vote next week on a plan to raise an estimated $2.3 billion to fix roads and bridges and to bolster mass transit.

It's one of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's priorities, but attempts to round up enough votes in the GOP-controlled House since June fell short. The only House votes have been head counts behind closed doors.

Stephen Miskin, a House Republican spokesman, said Thursday that Speaker Sam Smith of Punxsutawney and Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Bradford Woods agree it is time to vote on the bill and move on to other issues.

Usually, leaders don't call up a bill unless they know of 102 votes for passage. Leaders of both parties and Corbett have been negotiating the issue.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County believes “it's time to bring this to a head,” said his spokesman, Erik Arneson. Even if the House lacks votes for passage, Pileggi thinks it's time to move on, Arneson said.

There's a “framework” to draft into legislation but “no handshake deal,” Miskin said.

“It's our expectation that they'll put together a plan and vote it,” said Jay Pagni, the governor's spokesman. Corbett remains hopeful that lawmakers will propose a “comprehensive, bipartisan package.”

Turzai planned votes on the matter several times since September. Corbett asked him to wait, Turzai has said.

Now, said Miskin, “If it's not this (next) week, we don't expect it to come up.”

Passage will require House Democrats' support because some House Republicans consider the funding mechanism a tax increase.

Miskin confirmed that the plan still includes lifting the cap on the state's wholesale fuel tax, which likely means passing the cost on to consumers at gasoline pumps.

Any bill considered will include language that provides for some wage-reduction on certain public projects that require union wage scales, Miskin said. Republicans have insisted that so-called prevailing wage reform be part of a transportation package.

Corbett in February proposed a $1.8 billion bill. The Senate approved a $2.5 billion plan in June.

Turzai is expected to offer an amendment for “critical needs” spending on the worst-condition bridges.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Tomlin: Possible Steelers midseason surge won’t come easy vs. Colts
  2. 7 in custody after New Kensington drug raid
  3. Hundreds mourn Pittsburgh trash collector killed by gunfire
  4. Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
  5. North Catholic High School principal steps down
  6. Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
  7. Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
  8. Leon Ford appeals traffic violation conviction to Superior Court
  9. Military commissary opening draws 400 visitors
  10. 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
  11. Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.