By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — Minority Democrats in the Pennsylvania legislature say job creation, education and transportation funding will be their top priorities in the new session that begins in January.

Philadelphia’s Vincent Hughes, ranking Democrat on the state Senate Appropriations Committee, says job creation and transportation improvements go hand-in-hand.

“For every one billion dollars that is spent in transportation,” he says, “you create about 42,000 jobs.”

Governor Tom Corbett has indicated he’ll make his long-awaited transportation proposal early next year, but Joseph Markosek of Allegheny County, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, isn’t getting his hopes up.

“I’m very skeptical,” Markosek says. “I’m very skeptical that this governor is actually going to do something that is substantial and comprehensive.”

In the new session, Republicans will still hold a comfortable majority in the state House, but in the Senate, the GOP majority has shrunk to 27 members, versus 23 Democrats.

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