A Transportation Funding Bill will likely get another go around in the fall. The latest proposal to eliminate the cap on the State’s wholesale gas tax and raise other revenue couldn’t get passed prior to the budget approval on June 30th. Some of the money would help fund the Septa, and Montco Republican State Rep. Mike Vereb says that’s not real popular everywhere in Pennsylvania.
“We see Septa as an absolute necessity and necessary part of our economy and necessary part of our infrastructure, but folks across this state look at Septa as part of the welfare system, it’s awful.”
Fellow local State Rep. Kate Harper says the Transportation Funding Vote will not get easier in the fall.
“The closer we get to an election year and 2014 is an election year that my colleagues won’t have, quite frankly to do what we need to do.”
Harper says he’s committed to getting more money to repair
Highways and bridges and fund public transit. Montco state Rep. Matt Bradford blames the Governor for the transportation problems.
“He’s chasing tea party votes, before you know it he goes out and slashes mass transit by nearly a half. Our R-5 our Septa Regional Rail Line , desperately need capital improvements.”
State Rep. Bob Godshall has classified transportation funding as a top priority for lawmakers in the fall. He says the road and bridges throughout the state are falling apart.
Montgomery County officials are staking steps to cut their energy consumption. Commissioner Chairman, Josh Shapiro says, they’re looking to cut it in half.
“Making our buildings much more energy efficient, looking at ways to use our power more economically and carefully. In doing so, you have the short term dollar savings, but then you’ve got the long term positive impact on your budget and on the environment.”
Shaprio says, a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption will save taxpayers more than a million dollars.
The civil and political unrest that continues to plague Egypt is mainly economic and the inability of past leaders to address the economy, according to Dr. Tom Kolsky, Professor of Political Science and History at Montgomery County Community College. Kolsky says, Hosni Mubarak, the third of three military leaders, continued the peace with Israel and was a good friend to the United States.
“But has not been able to solve many of the basic problems of Egypt, including how to deal economic problems, unemployment or underemployment, and of course, how to deal with the Islamic question.”
Kolsky adds, many of Egypt’s educated are working jobs below their skill level, which he says, has led to more strife in the country and a rush by many to join the Muslim Brotherhood. Kolsky was a guest on Comment Please By Univest Tuesday afternoon.
Another fiscal cliff is looming this fall, according to Republican Senator, Pat Toomey. Toomey says, Democrats continue to refuse to do traditional appropriations bills.
“That creates a dilemma of how do you continue to funs the government. What we’ve done is recent years is a terribly bad policy, which is, you roll out this thousand page, literally trillion dollar bill that continues everything the way it is today. No scrutiny, no amendments, no modifications. No conditions on what the administration can do, it’s terrible,”
During a recent WNPV interview, Toomey said he also expects another fight over the debt limit this fall.