Wrangling over state transportation bill moves to November |

Wrangling over state transportation bill moves to November

Negotiations over how to raise and spend more than $2 billion on roads, bridges and transit have been pushed to mid-November, legislative leaders said on Tuesday.

House Republicans portrayed this week as make-or-break in considering the bill Republican Gov. Tom Corbett regards as a top priority.

Stumbling blocks have included the amount of money allocated for mass transit, a GOP effort to reduce the mandatory wage rate paid on public construction projects, and lifting the state’s cap on wholesale gas taxes that would increase prices at the pump.

What’s different now is that House Speaker Sam Smith says negotiations will be bicameral and include Senate Republicans and Democrats. To date, only the two parties in the House considered the bill behind closed doors. The Senate approved a $2.5 billion transportation bill in June.

“The four leaders (House and Senate) intend to come up with a bill supported by both chambers,” Smith spokesman Stephen Miskin said.

House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, still “feels optimistic, given the complexity of ongoing discussions and he believes it is better to not rush the process,” his spokesman, Bill Patton, said.

Bob Latham, vice president of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, said the new approach lends hope to the idea it will be done “in a deliberative way.”

Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.