Marc Levy at the AP reports on Twitter that House Republicans’ favored Micozzi version of transportation funding narrowly failed.
59 Republicans voted Yes and 51 voted No on Micozzi, while 39 Democrats voted Yes and 52 voted No. 1 member did not vote.
The bill had a $2.3 billion topline number similar to SB1, but with prevailing wage laws triggered at $100,000 instead of $25,000. As reality-based readers know, most projects of interest cost in the millions, so this is basically a worthless debate.
After Micozzi went down, Mike Turzai brought up a little-discussed Turzai number that sucked, and even some House Republicans rebelled at the suckitude, so Turzai pulled it before it could get a vote.
So now people are talking about an alternative amendment from Democratic Rep. Mike Hanna that is basically the same as Micozzi, except without the prevailing wage changes that led a bunch of Democrats to defect. (Play along at hashtag #HannaTime).
In an ideal world I’m all about #HannaTime, but let me be the first to say I don’t think it’s going to work, and that party cartel dynamics (the “majority of the majority” principle) will lead Mike Turzai to choose let transportation funding fail rather than hold a vote on the Democratic plan. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t see it happening.
And if I’m right, and we don’t get another vote on Micozzi afterward, I’m going off-message and blaming the Democrats who voted No on Micozzi.
The nutty anti-tax people were never gettable. They’re all scared of getting primaried by Governor Norquist for raising taxes.
Democrats though, actually had to weigh the trade-off between union wages on mythical $25,000-$99,999 transportation projects, against the toll that transit service cuts and deferred road maintenance would take on our economy, and they picked the weaker claim. That’s way worse. 11,000 more cars flooding the Schuylkill every morning after the Norristown and Cynwyd regional rail lines get mothballed between now and 2015! Fuck you dudes, for real.
When #HannaTime doesn’t pass this week, and we find out which Democrats killed transportation funding over prevailing wage, I’ll be recommending a batch of safe seaters for primaries next year.
The tea people are crazy and, with some luck, we’ll pick off as many as we can next year, but Democrats should know better than to tank a must-pass bill for their constituents over something this insignificant.