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State, local chambers urge lawmaker support of transportation bills

By - Last modified: June 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, along with nearly three dozen local chambers of commerce — including several in the midstate — sent letters today to state lawmakers, urging them to support transportation funding reform making its way through the General Assembly.

The letter to the state House of Representatives members urges them to support Sen. John Rafferty’s Senate Bill 1, which would raise $2.5 billion through increased fees, traffic fines and the uncapping of the Oil Company Franchise Tax. The chambers also urged support for Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal of raising $1.8 billion through similar measures.

“The needs of the state’s transportation system greatly exceed the funding available to meet these needs,” the letter states. “With that in mind, we believe that Governor Corbett and Senator Rafferty have put forth plans that would reduce the aforementioned gap in transportation funding and help to improve our transportation system so that it is modernized, efficient, safe and reliable.”

The chambers have made the point in the bill that the issue of transportation funding reform affects all Pennsylvanians as an issue of efficient commerce, and urged passage of a multimodal transportation funding solution.

These Central Pennsylvania chamber executives signed the letter:

• Tom Baldrige, president and CEO, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry

• David Black, president and CEO, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC

• Michelle Crowley, president and CEO, Greater Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce

• George Book, president and CEO, West Shore Chamber of Commerce

The state House Transportation Committee is holding hearings this week on S.B. 1, which the Senate passed earlier in the month. To watch today’s committee hearing, go to the House Republicans’ website. The hearing began at 10 a.m.

Jim T. Ryan

Jim T. Ryan

Jim T. Ryan covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jimr@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JimTRyanCPBJ.

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