House transportation leader hopes to have bill on floor soon

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The leader of the House transportation committee wants to see a transportation bill on the House floor by the end of next week.

Gov. Tom Corbett has identified comprehensive transportation funding as one of his top legislative priorities and proposed a plan that would raise $1.8 billion a year in new revenue.

The Senate passed a bill earlier this month that aims to raise $2.5 billion in new revenue for the state's roads, bridges and mass transit systems. While the Senate bill was approved by a wide margin, 45-5, the House is generally considered less open to such a plan because of the fee increases and possible higher gasoline costs it could entail.

"I know this is going to be a difficult lift for a lot of people. I understand that ... I'm committed, myself personally, to get this done as quick as we can, and get it done before we break in July," said Rep. Dick Hess, R-Bedford.

Representatives on Wednesday questioned Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch on proposed fee increases, mass transit funding, environmental requirements for projects and numerous other aspects of the bill.

Regarding the differences between the Senate plan and Mr. Corbett's plan, "[the governor] is willing to have a dialogue about all of this," said Mr. Schoch.

The hearing continues today.

state - Transportation


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