HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Thursday outlined a massive $4.5 billion dollars plan to restore the state’s infrastructure. The only hitch is that it relies on the state implementing a severance tax which the legislature has refused to approve over the past two years.

Wolf says the initiative, called “Restore Pennsylvania” would invest $4.5 billion dollars over the next four years in “significant, high-impact” projects throughout the Commonwealth.

“Over the past four years my administration has worked hard to improve our infrastructure and build strong, stable communities across the commonwealth,” the Governor said Thursday morning. “We’ve made progress, but we still have more work to do.”

The plan includes funding to provide:

– High Speed Internet Access statewide, something rural communities have been clammoring for.

– Investments in Storm Preparedness and Disaster Recovery, including flood control measures and a disaster relief trust fund to help individuals who suffer losses but don’t qualify for federal assistance.

– More money to help counties and communities build the infrastructure, like roads and utlities, needed to attract new business and to encourage them to use more Pennsylvania natural gas.

– More money for demolition of blighted buildings and redevelopmet of those properties. Also more money for cleaning up former industrial sites for redevelopment.

– More money for Transportation projects, especiall repaving and surface upgrades as well as additional money for public transportation.

Regarding the severance tax, Wolf says “It is far past time that Pennsylvanians stop allowing our commonwealth to be the only state losing out on the opportunity to reinvest in our communities.” 

While many Democratic lawmakers immediately endorsed the plan, Republican legislators have balked at the idea of imposing a severance tax on coal, oil and natural gas.