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Rendell: Withhold Donations Until House Acts on Transportation Bill

June 20, 2013

Region's Business


Former Governor Ed Rendell wants 300 of the top businesses in the region to get tough with the House politicians who are delaying the passage of the transportation bill.


Speaking at the World Class Greater Philadelphia Infrastructure GPS event Thursday, June 20, Mr. Rendell suggested an ultimatum to get the city the transportation budget it needs.


“We will get 300 top businesses…in Philadelphia. We’ll all sign a letter to Sam Smith…Mike Turzai…and say, ‘Pass the bill. We care about this, and this is not one of many issues we care about, this is our priority request. If you don’t pass the bill, forget our addresses. Do not send us in the next five years, one request for campaign funds,’” he said.

In a 45-5 decision, the state Senate passed the $2.5 billion transportation funding bill that goes higher than the $1.8 billion proposal from Governor Tom Corbett. The governor has said he would support the beefed-up bill.


Mr. Rendell stressed the importance of improvements to infrastructure and transportation by drawing comparisons to other countries. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country a D+ in terms of infrastructure, Mr. Rendell said, and only three out of 20 categories improved over the last five years: rail, roads and bridges.


“What common denominator do those three have in the last several years?” Mr. Rendell asked those in attendance. “The stimulus. All of those three sectors were the beneficiary of increased stimulus spending. Don’t minimize the stimulus spending.”


The Infrastructure GPS report is the third strategy of World Glass Greater Philadelphia’s agenda, which also includes a focus on education and talent, and business growth. The event featured Mr. Rendell as the keynote speaker and included a panel discussion on advancing an agenda for improving infrastructure.


Stay tuned for more coverage of the event.


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