Harrisburg – November 20, 2013 – The transportation funding plan that passed the Senate tonight was the ‘flawed product of a flawed process,” state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said today.

“Changes to Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage laws have been proposed and debated for years and have failed to reach a majority or even a consensus,” she said. “Leveraging this unpopular idea against the safety of Pennsylvania drivers, who make millions of trips across structurally deficient bridges every day, is pure politics and bad public policy.”

After Senate Republican leaders rebuffed an attempt to amend the House transportation plan to remove the controversial wage language, Tartaglione voted for the critical transportation improvement plan on final passage.

“There is no time to go back to the start on a transportation plan,” she said. “I believe the safety of drivers and the soundness of our economy is at risk if we don’t start rebuilding our long-neglected infrastructure.”

The $2.4 billion package increases spending to $1.7 billion by the fifth year for highway and bridge projects.  Another nearly $500 million would be targeted for mass transit and $144 million for multi-modal projects.

It is expected to create more than 60,000 jobs and create an improved infrastructure that will attract billions in private investment.

The new transportation investment is largely paid for by the removal of the cap on the Oil Company Franchise tax over a three-year period to generate $1.8 billion by FY 2017-18.  Fee and fine increases included in the bill would raise hundreds of millions more.

Tartaglione noted that she voted in favor of a similar funding plan, Senate Bill 1, that passed the Senate on an overwhelming, bipartisan vote earlier this year without the prevailing wage changes.

“It’s is good news that help is coming for commuters and public transit riders,” Tartaglione said. “But the process that produced that funding is a sign that difficult decisions will not be made in the future without partisan gamesmanship.”