Every day Pennsylvania waits to solve its transportation crisis, the bill rises by $1 million, and hardworking Pennsylvanians across the state should find that unacceptable.
Gov. Tom Corbett has failed the people of Pennsylvania by ignoring his hand-picked Transportation Funding Advisory Commission’s report for more than a year. His lack of leadership on this issue means even fewer bridges will be repaired in the future, putting our economy and Pennsylvanians’ safety at risk.
The commonwealth faces a massive crisis with regard to fixing our crumbling roads, bridges and public-transit systems, and yet we’re still waiting for Corbett to propose a comprehensive plan to fix our ailing transportation network.
Despite having created a commission to study the transportation issue and develop recommendations in a 70-page report, the governor has put forth no plan based on those recommendations.
The upcoming fall legislative session, which begins Sept. 24, is the perfect time to enact a transportation plan.
We need Corbett and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Pittsburgh, to stand up and lead. We need them to put forth a reliable and comprehensive transportation-funding plan that will create thousands of jobs for Pennsylvania workers, provide stability and reliability to our businesses and boost our overall economy.
Corbett’s inaction and his lack of leadership on this issue are nothing short of irresponsible.
Meanwhile, paving and highway construction businesses such as Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. are laying off employees due to the lack of a permanent state funding plan.
It is worth noting that this is not a partisan issue. There is broad, bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to find a comprehensive solution to the state’s pressing transportation needs. House Transportation Committee Chairman Rick Geist, R-Altoona, has been an outspoken proponent of finding a solution to the transportation-funding problem.
In December, I introduced legislation (HB 2099) that includes virtually all of the TFAC recommendations. My bill essentially mirrors a bill in the Senate (SB 4), introduced by Appropriations Committee Republican Chairman Jake Corman in November.
We can see what this governor can’t — that this crisis must be fixed and must be a priority.
We in the General Assembly understand that Pennsylvania’s residents, motorists, businesses and taxpayers deserve a safe, modern and reliable transportation system — from our roads and bridges to mass transit.
As majority leader, Turzai controls the House voting schedule and he could bring a plan before us to vote if he was truly committed to improving the state’s infrastructure.
It’s long past time for Corbett and Turzai to stop sitting on their hands while our roads and bridges are reduced to rubble and our transit systems are forced to make painful service cuts that disproportionately hurt seniors and our most vulnerable citizens.
It’s long past time for this governor to stop being a spectator in our transportation crisis.
It’s time for him to get in the game and call the plays. The people of Pennsylvania are tired of Corbett’s excuses. They want him to do what he was elected to do —lead.
Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven represents the 76th Legislative District in Clinton and Centre counties. He can be reached at his main constituent service office, 29 Bellefonte Ave., Lock Haven or at (570) 748-5480.