Gov. Rendell will formally kick off a special session of the General Assembly to address transportation funding issues brought about by the federal government's disapproval of the 2006 plan to toll I-80.
The Senate and House will sit in joint session on May 4 at 1:00 to hear the Governor's address.
Of course there are at least at dozen other major issues areas where the same litany of cuts and potential needs could be laid out end to end, including major cuts to environmental programs in the face of specific multi-billion dollar federal mandates.
For example, just the costs of wastewater plants and farmers to comply with Chesapeake Bay nutrient reductions has been estimated to be over $2 billion.
Total statewide drinking water and wastewater unmet needs for upgrades are estimated by the Governor's Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force to be over $18.2 billion-- $11 billion for drinking water systems and $7.2 billion for wastewater infrastructure.
The estimated cost of fixing combined sewer system overloads in just Allegheny County is estimated to be over $3 billion, some estimates as high as $21 billion.
The state's very successful Growing Greener Program will end this year shrinking the funds available for watershed restoration, mine reclamation, farmland preservation, recreation and water and wastewater projects from $50 million a year to just $15 million, according to the Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. There is no replacement for the program in sight.
Over the last 8 years over $1.3 billion was taken away from environmental programs to balance the budget or to fund programs that could not get funding on their own.
Next to these numbers, the figures of over $3 billion needed for highway, bridge and transit improvements seems relatively small, especially when all 12 million Pennsylvanians depend on clean water for a healthy existence and the cost of not meeting federal clean water mandates will be to effectively stop development in two-thirds of the state.