General Assembly should do the right thing

Published Oct 9, 2013 at 6:04 am (Updated Oct 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm)

In his latest unfortunate off the cuff remark, State House Republican Leader Mike Turzai said regarding legislation to increase transportation funding by $2.5 billion a year, “nobody’s asking for fees, fines and surcharges to be increased.” He is incorrect.

Citizens and organizations representing both major political parties have pleaded with the General Assembly to do the right thing, to provide for road and bridge maintenance and repair, and for stability for public transit systems that take people to work, grocery shopping, appointments with their health care providers, and to entertainment and recreation facilities.

As the Department of Transportation imposes weight limits on 1,000 structurally deficient bridges, an action which will serve to thrust inconvenience and increased costs on all of us, a reasonable person would recognize that properly funding transportation needs is not a luxury. It is not something that can be put off even when the economy is lackluster and people are struggling.

Governor Corbett was initially reluctant to accept the conclusions and remedies offered by his blue-ribbon commission that studied the matter. But, to his great credit, he has signed on to legislation to address this critical issue. Would that Turzai would have such an epiphany as well.

Members of the General Assembly will demonstrate whose side they are on when transportation funding legislation is voted upon in the near future. Responsible Pennsylvanians will be watching and will hold them accountable for their votes. Will my State Representative, John Maher, do the right thing, acting in the public interest?

Oren Spiegler

Upper St. Clair

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