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Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Hints At Possible New Corbett Funding Plan

(Gov. Tom Corbett.  File photo: AP)

(Gov. Tom Corbett. File photo: AP)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania’s transportation secretary is raising the possibility that Governor Tom Corbett may not make his much-anticipated proposal on transportation funding that was expected this fall.

Gov. Corbett has said transportation funding is a priority, and last month a panel he had created (see related story) recommended lifting a cap on wholesale gasoline prices and raising vehicle fees (another related story).

Barry Schoch, Corbett’s transportation secretary, says he still expects the governor will reveal which ideas he favors this fall, but Schoch also says the rapidly changing economic situation could delay that announcement.

“Again, you can look at what’s happened since when we released our report until today — it’s been pretty dramatic,” he told reporters.  “I mean, I think the stock market’s down a couple thousand points, things are tilted toward possible double-dip recession. These things weigh on you if you have to make these decisions. They weigh on me — I’m as concerned about the possible economic effect of these fee increases on the commonwealth as anyone else is.”

And Schoch says the governor is considering funding transportation through means other than what was recommended in the commission report; Schoch says it might involve money from natural gas drilling (see related story).

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo

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