Governor Ed Rendell will call a special legislative session in the coming months to address transportation funding for Pennsylvania.
Both the governor and House Republicans say they’ll consider any and all suggestions to plug the 450-million dollar budget gap caused by the federal rejection of a plan to toll I-80 tolling. Rendell says people are wrong to celebrate the Federal Highway Administration’s rejection of Pennsylvania’s plan to toll the interstate, and use revenue to fund transportation projects across the commonwealth.
Rendell says government needs to invest in infrastructure – and that means raising revenue.
"People understand if they buy a 2,000 dollar used car off a used car lot, they’re likely to get a vehicle that doesn’t work nearly as well as buying a 20-thousand dollar new car. And yet in government they want the best schools and the best roads and the best transit systems, etc. But they seem to not want to pay for it, and you get what you pay for in this world."
House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin says the GOP will push for public-private partnerships as one way of raising money and saving tax dollars.
He says that concept goes beyond leasing out roadways.
"Maintenance. It could be, in a sense leasing facilities, or allowing facilities to be managed. There’s a number of different alternatives. In Arizona state parks are managed by a private company."
Other ideas include a new gas tax, tolling other roadways, or taxing oil companies.
Miskin says House Republicans are welcoming the special session. He says transportation funding has been ignored for too many years.
Rendell says if lawmakers don’t find new funding sources, highways won’t be repaired, and mass transit service in cities will be scaled back.