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Schwartz: Pass transportation

Published by Kate Giammarise on .

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz called on the state House today to pass a transportation funding bill -- legislation that's also a top priority of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

The $2.5-billion annual funding package passed the state Senate 45-5 in June but has stalled in the House.

"Time is getting short" to pass the bill, Ms. Schwartz said Tuesday, speaking in the Capitol newsroom to reporters.

Only 10 days -- including Tuesday -- remain this year when legislators will be in Harrisburg. Conventional wisdom around the Capitol says the bill would be even less likely to pass next year -- an election year -- due to the gas tax component of the package.

"It's time for them to figure this out," she said.

She said she would encourage House Democrats to pass the bill when she spoke to them today.

The bill has gotten caught in a tug-of-war between conservative Republicans who don't want to approve what they see as a tax increase, and Democrats who say they want the package to have adequate funding for mass transit.

The Democrats have said they won't put up a majority of the votes, however. And a number of Republicans also want the package to contain changes to the state's prevailing wage laws, which mandate union-scale wages on public projects, something some unions and Democrats oppose.

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