Some Pennsylvania lawmakers did not want to take money out of the pocket of workers, but the failure to pass a new transportation-funding measure on Nov. 18 will hit wallets just as hard—if not harder.
By a 112-89 count, the Pennsylvania House rejected a bill that would have raised an additional $2.4 billion for roads, bridges and mass transit over five years. The final vote followed an initial one, where lawmakers posted a 103-98 rejection. Leaders tried to rally for a scaled-down version of the measure, but decided to adjourn at 11 p.m. With holiday recess looming, it is highly unlikely something will be done before the end of the year.
The failure to generate more infrastructure dollars will now have an atomic-mushroom effect on the network of Pennsylvania, as the state now may be forced to put more weight restrictions on bridges and mass transit riders could see a decline in service.
“I’m going to go back to the drawing board to figure out what the options are,” said House Speaker Sam Smith.
There has been a high activity of finger pointing following the defeat of the measure. Democrats were concerned about a part of the amended House bill that called for reducing construction worker wages for some local road and bridge projects.