Is Transportation Funding Becoming a PA Campaign Issue?

Allyson Schwartz challenges the GOP to pass a bill, already.

NewsWorks writes that Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic hopeful for governor, is out trying to raise support for a statewide comprehesive transportation bill in Harrisburg. “Republicans have opposed the roughly $2 billion plan and its anticipated effect on motorists through potentially higher gas prices and increased license and registration fees,” the site reports. “Republican leaders have insisted it can only pass among their members if it includes changes to the state’s prevailing wage law to bring down union pay on smaller public works projects.”

While the haggling goes on, Philadelphia Weekly reports that SEPTA is ready to implement its “doomsday budget.” “There are only 10 legislative days left in Harrisburg to pass the massive transportation funding bill in 2013 (Nov. 13, 18, 19, 20; Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18), and the General Assembly doesn’t seem any closer now than they did earlier this fall or, hell, last spring,” PW said on Tuesday. ” Rural and Tea Party Republicans are largely against the bill for rural and Tea Party reasons: It would (as usual) fund urban transit with state money, and it would likely lift the cap on taxing wholesale gasoline. Opponents have said the latter would equate to a tax increase. Those for the bill—like Governor Tom Corbett, on the side of sanity for once—have said no, lifting the cap is more of a ‘fee’ than a ‘tax.'”

All of which means that while driving in Philly is for suckers, the alternative can always get worse.