Pa. governor forms new commission to come up with transpo funding solutions

Panel will contain 36 transportation “all-stars”, but state Democrats doubtful it will work

News Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 25, 2011
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Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett says he’s determined to once and for all find funding solutions for the road, bridge and transit needs in his state. However, state Democrats believe Corbett’s strategy takes most of the tools off the table.

Corbett announced the formation of a panel—the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission—to come up with a list of possibilities. The 36-member commission will be made up of state and local government officials along with leaders in engineering, trucking, construction, banking, railroads, commerce and aviation.

“Pennsylvanians expect and deserve to have a transportation system that improves not just their safety but their overall quality of life,” said Corbett. “The time has come to put a financial plan in place that not only addresses our transportation needs but also takes into account our nation’s energy objectives and realities.”

However, Rep. Mike McGeehan, the ranking Democrat on the state’s Transportation Committee, said Corbett’s refusal to raise taxes or fees would make it difficult for the commission to come up with anything worthwhile.

“That certainly puts us in a bind,” he said. “Beyond the parameters of increasing the gas tax or raising some other revenues, this commission isn’t going to get anywhere.”

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