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Pa. Lawmakers Push Back Vote On Transportation Bill Until At Least Next Month

Tolls on the PA Turnpike

Tolls on the PA Turnpike

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - The speaker of the state house now says a vote on legislation to raise new funds for roads, bridges and mass transit won’t happen until next month at the earliest.

Members and staffers in house Republican leadership – including Dave Thomas, chief counsel to the speaker and a key negotiator on the transportation bill – had signaled that this week was critical. He says the issue would come to a head, or it was time to move on to other issues.

“It was a critical week,” he said. “And I think the end result is ideal for where would like to be.”

Thomas says if a vote in the house this week had been necessary to keep the issue alive, house leaders were prepared for that. But he says the delay is the result of progress in negotiations, which have now expanded to include the senate.

“Given that we were so close on this bill, it made more sense to get together with the senate and try to get one bill.”

But that means the issue hangs on until at least mid-November, when lawmakers return after this week’s session.