State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Auditor General calls for action on transportation funding

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 20, 2012 8:09 AM

Auditor General Jack Wagner crisscrossed the state this year, getting media coverage along the way as he pointed out visibly deteriorating bridges badly in need of repair.

In case anyone missed that tour, this week Wagner says he’s sending a DVD to industry and labor groups, in the hopes they’ll help lobby lawmakers to pass transportation funding legislation this fall.

"The General Assembly is coming back into session next week and it is our hope that this issue will be moved up in terms of its priority in the fall session," Wagner said. "There is no public safety issue here in Pennsylvania that?s more important than addressing our infrastructure problems."

The 7-minute DVD plays like an audition reel for Infrastructure Idol, in which Wagner tries out a favorite line, "You are ten times more likely to pass a structurally deficient bridge than you are to pass a McDonald’s."

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Last summer, a governor-appointed panel came up with a variety of legislative recommendations for finding additional funding to fix up the state's roads, bridges, and transit systems.

The suggestions aren't so politically simple, though -- one of them would result in a higher tax on gasoline.  And Gov. Corbett isn’t pressing for a transportation bill in the Legislature’s limited fall session.  

To that, Wagner says: “opinions can change.”

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