Pa. assembly leaders meet, but no deal on highways
HARRISBURG — The likelihood of a deal on transportation funding remained unclear after a lengthy negotiation Wednesday by most of Pennsylvania's highest-ranking legislative leaders ended inconclusively.
The closed-door, 2½-hour meeting in the Capitol focused on a set of about a dozen issues their staffs had produced, and afterward the participants gave few details but said they felt encouraged.
“Nothing's finalized but we certainly made a lot of progress,” said Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson. “Everybody's still talking.”
Participants said unresolved issues include where they will find the money, how the spending might be phased in and whether they will limit wage requirements for public works projects.
The lack of an agreement makes it unlikely that a bill to fix roads and bridges and support mass transit systems gets considered when lawmakers reconvene next week.
“It's not the end of the world if it doesn't,” said House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny.
Transportation funding is the biggest issue before the General Assembly, and Gov. Tom Corbett has been pushing for a deal. The state Senate passed a $2.5 billion-a-year plan June 5, but the proposal stalled in the House before lawmakers broke for their post-budget summer break.
Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni said the governor remains confident a deal will get done.
“We're under the impression and expect that it will happen this fall session,” Pagni said.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, who hosted the meeting, said he felt House leaders were “in the range” of the size of the Senate-passed bill, including about $500 million for mass transit. He declined to say which elements did get resolved.
“I don't want to get into particulars ... when the issues are interrelated,” Pileggi said.
Pileggi said legislative aides will continue to work on the issue but the leaders do not expect to meet before Tuesday, when both chambers plan floor sessions.
A spokesman for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, offered no immediate comment about the lack of an agreement following the meeting on Wednesday. Turzai, who alone among the six highest-ranking members did not participate in the meeting, has said he supports a much smaller-scale transportation funding bill.
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.
- Statewide program planned to train first responders on hazards of natural gas vehicles
- GOP endorses 3 for Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- LCB follows Wolf’s lead, votes to prohibit all gifts
- York police encourage minority, female recruits
- Pennsylvania’s teacher pension system scores D plus, National Council on Teacher Quality says
- Officials dissent on whether offices can prohibit, charge to photograph public record documents
- Yuengling beer banned from Wolf’s inaugural bash
- State court blocks release of emails between Freeh investigators, AG’s office
- Web headline
- Philly to host exhibit
- State senator seeks coverage numbers from 5 insurers