Senate Dems unveil transportation funding plan

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jun 6, 2012 5:38 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A partisan group of state lawmakers is touting a proposal to fund repairs to the commonwealth's roads and bridges. State Senate Democrats unveiled their two-point-eight billion dollar "Infrastructure Investment Plan" this week. It aims to use federal bonds to generate one billion dollars in short-term funding. A further one-point-five billion dollars in proposed tax credits to spur development would be paid for by alread-earmarked Marcellus Shale tax revenues and local contributions for mass transit projects. Senator John Yudichak of Luzerne County says transportation should be a top priority for lawmakers. "It's our responsibility to make the decisions that keep the public safe and sets the stage for economic growth. There's no issue where that comes together as well as it does on the transportation issue," he says. A commission appointed by Governor Corbett issued funding recommendations in August, including things like removing the cap on wholesale gasoline and implementing higher prices for vehicle registration and inspections, as well as driver's licenses. The panel estimated its recommendations could bring PennDOT two-and-a-half billion dollars in additional revenue. Some lawmakers have voiced frustrations over a perceived delay in implementing a transportation funding plan.

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