State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

House Transportation Committee waiting for green light from Corbett

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 2, 2011 10:15 PM

Representative Richard Geist, Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said he’s waiting for Governor Corbett’s signal on which recommendations of the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission to advance with legislation. 


As to whether the House is ready to pass legislation based on the recommendations handed down, Geist responded: “There are vehicles in place.”


There are bills already introduced in the House and the Senate that would allow public-private partnerships.


P-3s, as per the lingo in the commission’s final meeting, would allow the government to outsource building or repairs to businesses and investors, theoretically speeding up the construction process and saving tax dollars.


Cheryl Hicks, executive director of the state House Transportation Committee, said lawmakers still need to consider whether this is the path to follow. 


“It’s a piece of the puzzle,” said Hicks.  She said it’s not a comprehensive solution to the problem of transportation funding.


And it won’t be popular with everyone.  Projects taken on by a private business would ultimately still cost drivers, and in an immediate way.  “The private entity isn’t going to take over a road or a bridge and not charge a toll,” said Hicks. 


But according to Chairman Geist, none of the recommendations in the commission’s report are politically popular, which is why it’s up to Corbett to lead.  “He’s gotta get out in front,” said Geist. 

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