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Corbett backs transportation funding compromise

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A compromise is on the table for transportation funding reform in the legislature, which Gov. Tom Corbett is throwing support behind and legislative leaders are reviewing before they return to business at 4:30 p.m.

An amendment from Rep. Nick Micozzie, the House Transportation Committee chairman, could provide between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion over five years for additional transportation funding, said Steve Chizmar, a Corbett spokesman.

“This is a bipartisan amendment,” he said about the alternative making its way through the House of Representatives.

The compromise also would phase out the Turnpike Commission’s payments to PennDOT over eight years, Chizmar said. Those payments, part of 2007’s Act 44, are a financial drain on the turnpike because it was never allowed to toll Interstate 80.

If passed, the bill could add 50,000 new jobs and retain 12,000, Chizmar said.

“We have to do this for Pennsylvania,” he said. “There isn’t just Democrats or Republicans on the bridges and in the buses or on the highways.”

The compromise is an amendment to House Bill 106, which originally would have moved two-year auto registrations forward. However, the amendment expands the bill to include transportation funding provisions as alternative legislation to Sen. John Rafferty’s $2.5 billion Senate Bill 1 and the governor’s $1.8 billion proposal.

Micozzie and key legislative staff were not immediately available for comment, because they’re in conferences this afternoon explaining the amendment to other House members, an administrative assistant said.

If the bill passes or is used to amend SB 1, the legislation would have to go back to the Senate for their reviews and votes.

 

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