By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked to Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Wednesday about school funding, the transportation bill and gasoline taxes.

“This has always been a main focus for us…we have placed a priority on investing in our most precious commodity our children. This governor has always placed a priority on education,” Cawley said about Governor Tom Corbett’s budget speech, which outlined a plan to increase education funding by over $400 million.

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“The money we are spending is not being driven into the bureaucracy; it’s not being driven into salary and benefits. It is being guided directly to the classroom to get to the student through a block grant program,” Cawley explained.

Regarding the latest transportation bill that went into effect on January 1st, Giordano pointed out that Pennsylvanian’s would be forced to pay some of the highest gas taxes in the nation.

“The cost of the median gallon is now five cents lower across the state than it was on December 31st. So, if this was an oppressive tax, we should be paying a great deal more, not less,” Cawley said.

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Cawley also stated at a 12 cent per gallon tax will be phased out over the next five years.

When asked to explain why Pennsylvania’s transportation budget was so large, Cawley replied, “The commonwealth owns more road miles than New York, New Jersey and all of New England combined. We own over 45,000 roads and tens of thousands of bridges. The average age of a bridge in this state is 51 years old. It is a matter of public safety as much as anything else that we needed to make an investment in order to make sure those roads and bridges are safe.”

To hear the full interview, click here.

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