In June, the State Senate passed a $2.5 billion proposal aimed at improving Pennsylvania’s transportation networks by means of a tax increase. This bill ended up stalling in the House as neither Democrats nor Republicans felt it sufficiently met their needs.
Now, with budget crunch time looming, progress may be foreseeable.
Speaking at the Pennsylvania Press Club on Monday, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R- Allegheny) said that he is hoping to schedule a vote on the bill in the near future.
Despite these plans to initiate a vote, Turzai did not suggest that he was any closer to supporting the bill he opposed this summer. According to the State Rep, this vote is instead coming at the behest of Governor Corbett.
“Look, he’s the governor,” Turzai said. “He’s the governor from our party. This is what he’s advocating for.”
In June, Corbett had urged House Republicans to pass this bill, even though it did not represent his ideal solution. With minimal time left to get his top agenda items accomplished, Corbett may be ready to make some compromises.
The Governor may also be hoping that progress on the transportation plan could lead to movement on some of his other past priorities like liquor privatization.
Last month, we asked readers which of Corbett’s three summer initiatives they thought had the best shot. Transportation funding won the vote with 41%.
With Monday being the first day of the fall session, this represents the first step forward in a process that will likely take the next couple months to fully manifest.