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Transportation Votes: Here’s Who Switched

Rep. Helm
Rep. Helm

The Pa. House narrowly voted down a $2.3 billion transportation funding bill late Monday evening, 98 to 103.

Republicans favored the bill, 59 to 51. Democrats were primarily opposed, 39 to 52.

After a few minutes of chaotic parliamentary wrangling on the House floor, the chamber had a re-vote on the same bill (an amendment from Republican Rep, Nick Micozzie of Delaware County).

Supporters thought the close tally could persuade on-the-fence lawmakers to come on board. They were wrong.

The second vote was an even bigger defeat: 89 to 112. That time, Republicans opposed the measure 49 to 61 and Democrats opposed it 40 to 51.

So, who moved away from the bill? Mostly mainstream Republicans from central Pa.:

State Reps. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin), Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna), Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), Kurt Masser (R-Columbia), Ron Miller (R-York), Duane Milne (R-Chester), Dan Moul (R-Adams), John Payne (R-Dauphin), Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) and Curtis Sonney (R-Erie) changed their Yeas to Nays.

Only one Democrat shifted his vote: Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) changed his Nay to a Yea.

Who supported the bill? It’s geographic. Republicans and Democrats from southeastern Pa., where many more people rely on public transit, were much more likely to vote yea both times.

Republican critics cited their opposition to tax increases included in the legislation, while Democratic opponents said they would not support Micozzie’s proposed changes to the state’s prevailing wage laws (something many unions oppose).

House Republican leaders declined to bring up for a vote an amendment from Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton) that would have provided the $2.3 billion in funding without the changes opposed by unions.

8 Responses

  1. Brittany Foster has added value to Keegan Gibson’s reporting. I haven’t seen anyone link to actual votes and to name names. I think the base is beginning to see who are selling out to Democratic unions and who are the Forgotten Taxpayer’s Friends.

    Two very professional straight reporting of salient facts. Good to see real journalism.

  2. The hysterical hyperbole that bridges are collapsing is belied by the every day real world, empirical experience.

    Tom Corbett joins with Ed Rendell and the Philadelphia Building Trades unions to impose huge new tax based on phony claim of bridges falling down. Bipartisanship; another word for one party state. The Forgotten Taxpayer is afraid and angry.

    Tom Corbett seems to be attempting to use the Arlen Specter Arlen Specter strategy of allying with Philadelphia unions. At least, they had the good sense to do it covertly and not wave a red flag in face of RedState Right to Work base.

  3. Glad enough legislatures noticed, PennDOT is still building thousands of Bridges to Nowhere and stranding thousands of motorists without a paddle on roads all across the state.
    Obviously, as long as PennDOT continues handing out unaccountable contracts and performing substandard construction projects, all of Pennsylvania will be suffering.
    The legislature’s most pressing priority is public school education funding and The Property Tax Independence Act remains the solution!!

  4. Gotta love Miskin, Smith, and all the bunch trying to blame House Ds because the Rs couldn’t get enough of their own caucus to vote for their own bill – a bill that they wrote without Democratic input and only started negotiations in the fourth quarter – the only change on the D side was to support the amendment and yet all the other changes were Republican defectors. Profiles in courage, indeed.

  5. These incompetent bums, this is outrageous. Mike Turzai the knuckle dragging tea bagger just had to get in his union bashing thereby ensuring the transportation bills defeat. Word is that Senator Kim Ward promised the Western PA Tea Party she would strong arm her neighbor Turzai into putting the screws on labor so that the bill would go down and no money would be spent on road construction. Thanks Sen Ward and Rep Turzai – We don’t want passable roads and bridges in PA!

  6. Hope the union leaders explain to all their members who can’t get work next season that they voted against money to fix highways. Dumb.
    Hope all the Tea Party members are reminded of their votes whenever a bridge collapses and people are killed. Irresponsible.

  7. The interesting thing is who are the three “profiles in courage” who swapped their vote from Yes to No on first consideration?

    Remember it was at 101 Yes but then went to 98 for final tally.

    Duane Milne was definitely one of them. Very courageous as he was quoted in the papers as being 100% for the big tax increase. Was it because his union supporters got to him? Or something else?

    Who were the others?

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

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