The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 19, 2013

State House Democrats push vote on highways plan

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s House Democrats say they’re working to persuade the chamber’s Republican majority to allow a vote on a Democratic-written transportation plan.

The comments by Minority Leader Frank Dermody and Whip Michael Hanna on Tuesday came 13 hours after a Republican plan backed by Speaker Sam Smith and Gov. Tom Corbett narrowly failed.

Smith wouldn’t allow a vote on the Democrats’ plan, and the vote heightens doubts that a transportation measure can pass before 2015.

Dermody says the GOP bill failed because of opposition to a provision to roll back wage requirements on some transportation projects.

The proposals would increase gasoline taxes and motorists’ fees to raise billions of dollars for roads, bridges and mass transit systems. The divided Republican majority produced just 59 votes as conservatives criticized the tax increase.


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