News

PA Senate takes up $2.3 billion transportation bill

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 20, 2013 1:24 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- The state Senate is taking up a major transportation spending proposal a day after the House voted to support it. 

The Senate began debate today in a bid to pass it within hours and set it up for a final House vote this week.  

The proposal is supported by Governor Corbett and proponents say Pennsylvania's transportation infrastructure is in dire need of improvements. It would raise gasoline taxes and motorist fees to spend $2.3 billion a year more on roads, bridges and mass transit systems, roughly 40 percent of what the Department of Transportation spends now.  

In the House, conservatives objected that it would be the second-largest tax increase in Pennsylvania history.

Senate Democrats hope to strip a provision inserted by House Speaker Sam Smith to force down workers' wages on some highway projects.

This story was updated at 2:25 p.m. on 11/20/13

 

(Harrisburg) -- The  state Senate is scheduled to take up a major transportation spending proposal a day after the House voted to support it.  

The Senate session started today and senators broke into party caucuses to discuss the matter privately.  

The proposal is supported by Governor Corbett and would raise gasoline taxes and numerous motorist fees for the first time since the 1990s to spend $2.3 billion a year on roads, bridges and mass transit systems.

That's roughly 40 percent of what the Department of Transportation spends now.  

In the House, conservatives objected that it would be the second-largest tax increase in Pennsylvania history. Also, Senate Democrats hope to strip a provision inserted by House Speaker Sam Smith to force down workers' wages on some highway projects.
 

This story was updated at 1:00 p.m. on 11/20/13

 

(Harrisburg) -- The state Senate is scheduled to take up a major transportation spending proposal a day after the House signaled that it'd support it.

The Senate session opens late this morning.

The proposal is supported by Governor Corbett and would raise gasoline taxes and numerous motorist fees to spend $2.3 billion a year extra on roads, bridges and mass transit systems. That's nearly half of what the state spends now. In the House, the bill passed despite objections from conservatives that it'd be the second-largest tax increase in Pennsylvania history.

About $1.7 billion annually would go toward highway and bridge construction, while mass transit agencies would get nearly $500 million. Meanwhile, tens of millions of dollars more would go toward discretionary accounts controlled by lawmakers and the transportation secretary.

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