House passes transit bill despite prevailing wage changes

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A chaotic 24 hours that included three separate votes to pass a transportation bill in the state House finally ended last night with a 104-95 vote to approve a gas-tax increase that will help fund mass transit, bridge and highway projects.

The bill passed along with a hotly contested change to the state's prevailing wage law, which I explained in a story in this week's City Paper (on newsstands now!)

In fact, on Monday night, two unsuccessful votes in the House made it look like the bill might be doomed as long as the House Republican prevailing wage proposal was attached.

But the prevailing wage change, which would cut workers' wages on small construction projects, meant plenty of local Democrats voted against the bill including Frank Dermody, Dan Miller, Anthony DeLuca, Dom Costa and Paul Costa. Plenty of Republicans voted against it too, including Daryl Metcalfe and Mike Turzai. The Trib has an info-graphic roundup of how Western Pennsylvania legislators voted.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty is now urging the state Senate to back an amendment that would strip the prevailing wage piece of the House bill, a sign that the prevailing wage debate may not quietly fade.

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