Pa. Senate Passes $2.5B transportation Bill

Wed June 05, 2013 - Northeast Edition

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A bill designed to boost state spending on Pennsylvania’s transportation systems by almost 50 percent has received resounding support from state senators.

The 45-5 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the House, where Republican leaders are skeptical of the $2.5 billion price tag.

Gov. Tom Corbett backs a more modest $1.8 billion proposal. Both plans rely primarily on increasing a wholesale gas tax by 28.5 cents a gallon and would give Pennsylvania among the nation’s highest fuel tax rates.

Proponents say the money is badly needed, and that taxes haven’t been raised in many years.

A Transportation Department spokesman says the agency can’t provide a list of which projects would be completed with the money. Currently, about 20 percent of the state-maintained bridges and highways are in need of repair.