Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, October 3:
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges with close to 4,800 (according to the PA Dept. of Transportation) and also has thousands of miles of roads that are rated as poor. Everyone agrees the state's transportation infrastrucure is in dire need of repairs and upgrades. The problem is how to pay for it, especially at a time when the state is facing many fiscal challenges.
A study conducted several years ago found the state had a $1.7 billion annual shortfall in funding for transportation needs. Last year, Gov. Tom Corbett's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission recommended proposals that would generate $2.5 billion each year. So far, neither Gov. Corbett or lawmakers have adopted those plans or offered alternative funding sources.
Auditor General Jack Wagner says we can't wait any longer and is calling on the governor and legislature to make transportation funding a top of the list priority.
Wagner will appear on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk to discuss transportation funding as well as money problems with the Pennsylvania Turnpike and municipal pensions.
In your opinion, how should Pennsylvania pay for its transportation needs?
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