The chairman of the state House Transportation Committee says a solution to the transportation funding crisis won't come until fall."We have a plethora of ideas in front of us," said Rep. Joseph Markosek, D-Monroeville, in a news release this afternoon. "But the devil is in the details, and it will take time to craft bills and determine if they are acceptable to members. This important work will take a few months."
The committee held seven public hearings around the state this year to solicit ideas for raising the $3.5 billion that a state commission says is needed to keep bridges, highways and transit systems from further crumbling. Among the ideas -- raising gasoline taxes, registration fees and license fees, tolls on interstates and public-private partnerships.
Before the Legislature reconvenes in September, the Port Authority will have to begin preparing for massive service cuts and layoffs in the even the lawmakers don't find $47 million to fill the authority's projected budget gap for 2010-11. Those cuts would take effect in January.