Pa. Senate readies $2.5B transportation bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A bill designed to boost state spending on Pennsylvania's transportation systems by almost 50 percent a year is prepared for a final Senate vote.

A successful Wednesday vote would send the bill to the House where Republican leaders are skeptical of the $2.5 billion price tag.

Gov. Tom Corbett is backing a more modest $1.8 billion proposal. Both plans rely primarily on increasing a wholesale gas tax.

On Tuesday, senators amended the bill to allow the transfer of $450 million a year to mass transit agencies from a vehicle sales tax in 2021 if another money source isn't found to replace expiring payments from the Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls.

They also amended it to set aside $60 million to help mass transit agencies convert fleet vehicles to compressed natural gas fuel.