$2.5B transportation bill passes Pa. Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A bill designed to boost state spending on Pennsylvania’s transportation systems by almost 50 percent has received resounding support from state senators, but it faces hurdles in the House.

The 45-5 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the House with senators hoping for action before lawmakers head home for the summer at the end of June.

The bill’s $2.5 billion price tag would give Pennsylvania one of the nation’s highest gas tax rates.

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai says Republicans will hold hearings on it. He says they’re concerned that the tax, fee and fine increases are too high, and he also says Republicans are worried that the bill doesn’t effectively deal with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s rising debt.

Gov. Tom Corbett backs a more modest $1.8 billion proposal.

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