House and senate transportation bills will differ

LEWISBURG – The biggest transportation project in the state is the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway.  So says State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23, Williamsport) who voted in favor of a $2.5 billion transportation bill.

“This is a jobs bill.  It is anticipated we will produce about 50,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and the number one project is the CSVT.  In addition, there is about $100 million worth of additional roadwork that will occur in my district.  This is a pretty good vote for me because I think it really returns something to this area.”

The state house has submitted many options for a transportation plan, but no formal vote has been taken.  State Representative Fred Keller (R-85, Middleburg) says it is something they will work on in the fall legislative session, though the outcome will likely vary from the senate version of the bill.

“It is on the priority of the majority leader, so I think we will see something, but exactly what it will look like, we don’t know.  I will be honest with you; it is not going to be $2.5 million.  We knew from the beginning it was going to be a struggle to get a tax increase out of the house.  Will the governor’s plan happen? I am hopeful it will.  Maybe somewhere in the middle of that, maybe a compromise.”

The $550 million CSVT project would add 13 additional miles of roadway, while building the thruway.  Both Yaw and Keller were speakers Friday at the Joint Legislative Forum of the Greater Susquehanna Valley and the Central Pennsylvania Chambers of Commerce.  The fall session gets underway in Harrisburg Monday and key topics, besides transportation, include privatization of state liquor stores and pension reform. (Sara Bartlett)

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