One side effect of the federal government shutdown is the chorus of GOP governors trying to distance themselves from Beltway Republicans.

The impasse "is an example of the dysfunction in D.C.," The Washington Post quoted Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), as saying last week. "As governors, we have outsourced the Republican brand to D.C., and it's time to stop that."

The Post didn't mention Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, other than noting he's a vulnerable GOP governor expected to benefit from the RGA's support if he runs for re-election next year.

But let's hope Corbett and the Republicans controlling the state House and Senate also are taking note of the damage being done to their party in Washington.

Perhaps they'll even try to differentiate themselves by showing they can actually do the jobs for which they were elected.

They can start by finally passing a bill to boost funding for Pennsylvania's crumbling transportation infrastructure.

It was, after all, one of Corbett's top priorities when he unveiled his 2013-14 budget plan in February.

Many Republicans acknowledge our roads and bridges are becoming dangerous after years of neglect, but even with firm control of state government they couldn't agree on a plan earlier this year to finally address the situation.

Corbett proposed a $1.8 billion plan; the Senate's version chipped in another $400 million -- and the House balked at both.


When the budget finally passed, transportation funding was left on the side of the road.

Not long after, the state's Department of Transportation announced new weight restrictions on about 1,000 bridges statewide, 21 of which were state and locally owned bridges in York. The county has 36 structurally deficient bridges.

State Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, a member of the Transportation Committee, said new legislation is in the works to present to the full House, possibly as early as next week.

To be fair, Republicans have said since spring, when the first attempt failed, that they believed a transportation bill would pass in the fall. The timing of this renewed push probably has nothing to do with the government shutdown.

Still, it's an opportunity to show their federal counterparts how it's done.

Corbett has said he's eager to sign a plan.

His spokesman, Steve Chizmar, said the governor is working with the Legislature to develop a plan that "makes sense for all of Pa." and addresses what's among the worst transportation infrastructures in the country.

"He's committed to signing whatever legislation provides that solution," Chizmar said.

Why, that doesn't sound like Washington, at all.

That sounds ... rational.