The Pennsylvania House on June 28 approved a $700 million transportation funding package which is funded in part by plans to toll I-80 and issue publicly financed bonds.
The bill now goes to the state Senate. Of the $700 million in the bill, some $450 million would go to highways, while $250 million would be used for public transportation. The bill would require a higher local match for transportation projects, but would give local governments leeway to enact a variety of local taxes to raise the funds.
Governor Ed Rendell had proposed a plan to raise some $1.7 billion for transportation through leasing the Pennsylvania turnpike to a public-private partnership and by imposing new taxes on oil profits. Rendell agreed to drop that plan if the legislature came up with its own $1 billion funding package. The House bill falls somewhat short of that goal, but observers are describing it as a starting point for negotiations with the Senate.