Corbett and predecessors plea for transportation funding
HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett and his three most recent predecessors joined Saturday in an appeal to Pennsylvania lawmakers to end their deadlock over transportation funding and prove that "unlike Washington, Pennsylvania can work together to get things done."
Former Govs. Tom Ridge, Mark Schweiker, and Ed Rendell - the only Democrat in the group - said the state can no longer put off action on a comprehensive bill that provides billions of dollars to improve state highways, bridges, and mass transit.
"Not only do we currently lack the resources to expand our network, we're running out of money to fix what's already broken," they said in a statement.
Corbett, who is campaigning for a second term, has made transportation funding his top priority, and the Senate approved a $2.5 billion funding plan in June that relies largely on increasing gas taxes and motorist fees.
Talks have dragged on for months in the House, but competing plans were taking shape Friday and a House vote appeared likely as early as this week.
The House GOP majority's leading proposal, sponsored by the Transportation Committee chairman, would boost taxes and fees to eventually generate at least $2.3 billion a year.
Democrats have embraced a similar plan but exclude a GOP provision to exempt more local transportation projects from state wage requirements.