York County state representatives vote against transportation proposal

Most of the York County state representatives voted against a major transportation amendment Monday night. 

State Reps. Keith Gillespie, R-Hellam Township; Seth Grove, R-Dover Township; Mike Regan, R-Carroll Township; Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township; Will Tallman, R-Reading Township, Adams County; and Kevin Schreiber, D-York, all voted against the legislation, which failed with a 98 to 103 vote.

State Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, voted for the amendment the first time, but against it when it came up for reconsideration. It failed 89 to 112 on reconsideration. Miller said that it was clear the measure didn’t have enough support to pass the second time.

Here’s the description from The Associated Press:

The Pennsylvania state House delivered a body blow Monday to hopes for a major transportation spending proposal in a test vote that raised doubts about whether any roads bill will pass this year.
The House voted 98-103 against a proposal to raise gasoline taxes and a host of motorists’ fees to spend billions on roads, bridges and mass transit systems.

The divided Republican majority produced just 59 votes and was only able to persuade 39 Democrats to join them—many from cities heavily served by mass transit. A reconsideration vote lost by an even wider margin.

After the jump, Miller explains his first vote in favor of it:

Miller: He said York County doesn’t have the same bridge needs as other parts of the state, but it has other problems

“We have a lot of unmet traffic needs in York County,” Miller said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I’m driving up 83 right now. And it’s very crowded.”

Miller said Rabbittransit, York County’s public transportation system, doesn’t have the money to replace aging buses.

He said the prevailing wage proposal in the legislation didn’t go far enough — he said he would support a full repeal of prevailing wage. But he said the change — to make prevailing wage kick in at the $100,000 mark, instead of the $25,000 mark — would have helped small boroughs and townships save money.

“There were a lot of good reasons to vote for it,” Miller said.

Miller defended the proposal to raise gasoline taxes, which other lawmakers criticized.

“Unless people are willing to drive less, expect less in the quality of the roads, we’re going to have to find a way to raise more revenue,” Miller said.

What’s next?

Miller said he couldn’t support a proposal without any prevailing wage changes.

“If the best we could get is the Turzai amendment, I would probably support that,” he said, referring to a proposal from House Majority Leader Mike Turzai  of Allegheny County that would generate about $1 billion a year, according to The Associated Press.

 

 

About Ed Mahon

County government and politics reporter at York Daily Record/Sunday News.
This entry was posted in 2013-14 legislative session. Bookmark the permalink.

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