Editorials, Lawmakers Press On State Highway Funds

Traffic on U.S. Route 422, near Sanatoga

HARRISBURG PA — Pennsylvania lawmakers are waiting impatiently for Gov. Tom Corbett to take a stance on transportation funding initiatives, The Pennsylvania Independent online news service reported Friday (Sept. 30, 2011).

A special Transportation Commission named by Corbett submitted a plan to the governor in August (2011) outlining $2.5 billion in new, annually recurring revenues for transportation projects. Lawmakers and newspaper editorial writers are ramping up pressure on Corbett to say whether he will take steps to increase funding for Pennsylvania infrastructure.

Leaders in the General Assembly believe the time is right to address the issue. So far, the administration has been silent.

“I expect that we’ll get an answer out of the governor in the next couple of weeks,” state Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch told The Independent. “He’s a very thoughtful man, and he is very carefully evaluating the options we gave him.”

One suggestion state Senate Transportation Chairman John Rafferty said he is confident the governor won’t have approved: tolling on U.S. Route 422.

Rafferty, who represents Lower Pottsgrove, Limerick and Pottstown constituents, told The Independent he wanted to “put to bed” the notion that tolls could be applied to existing non-tolled highways, even though lawmakers claim all options in the commission report remain on the table.

There is no proposal in the Legislature or in front of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to toll 422, Rafferty said.

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