As the state Legislature debates whether and how much to raise taxes and fees to better fund highways, bridges and mass transit, two political figures -- and frequent lightning rods -- weighed in this week with predictable opinions.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell, now, among other things, an MSNBC political analyst, did a media conference call Thursday urging the Republican House to follow the lead of the Republican Senate and pass a multi-billion-dollar package raising gas prices and vehicle fees.
Rendell said a quarter of the state's bridges and nearly a quarter of its roads are in need of repair and that more mass transit money is needed not only in Philadelphia but for systems across the state.
The Democratic big-wig also noted past state administrations and past PA legislatures raised gas taxes without any voter backlash, and that the pending package would mean 50,000 new construction and related jobs to spur the state's economy.