Saturday, May 18, 2013
Medicaid expansion continues to hang over Gov. Tom Corbett and budget-making lawmakers.
Saturday, May 18
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly say Gov. Tom Corbett has delayed long enough on a decision about expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania. And if the governor won’t make a decision, they are ready to force his hand. “If Gov. Corbett is unwilling to do the right thing, my colleagues in the Senate must send a clear message that this is unacceptable. It’s time for a vote on Medicaid expansion,” said state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, on Tuesday. Hughes has filed a resolution to force the state Senate to vote on Medicaid expansion. If a majority of senators support the resolution, a proposal to force the state to accept the expansion would be busted out of committee and brought …
Sunday, May 12, 2013
If lawmakers accomplish nothing on Pennsylvania's pension crisis by June 30 when the state budget deadline hits, the issue will be larger and more difficult to grapple with next year.
Sunday, May 12
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG — There is little disagreement that Pennsylvania’s $47 billion-and-growing public pension debt represents a serious threat to the financial future of the state, its school districts and taxpayers. But there is little in the way of agreement when it comes to how that debt can, or should, be addressed. Gov. Tom Corbett and some allied lawmakers seized the bully pulpit recently in what appeared to be an effort to spark some movement on the public pension issue that mostly has been dead in the water since Corbett pitched a package of reforms in February. Corbett has pegged his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14 on supposed savings from overhauling the state’s public pension system to save $175 …
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Biotech Industry Organization praises Gov. Tom Corbett for strengthening biotech and public health in Pennsylvania.
Gov. Tom Corbett was honored this week by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) with its 2013 BIO Governor of the Year Award in recognition of his leadership and commitment to strengthening the biotechnology and public health sectors within Pennsylvania. Corbett received the award at the 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago, Ill. Related story: Corbett was in the Lehigh Valley last month to announce $299,000 for high-tech job training. The life sciences industry directly employs 80,000 Pennsylvanians and helps sustain another 500,000 indirect jobs in commonwealth. The governor's office says this year’s proposed budget continues to strengthen these industries by increasing the Research and Development tax credit, increasing…
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Gov. Tom Corbett wants the state Senate to pass a liquor privatization bill before the end of June.
Tuesday, April 23
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent CAMP HILL, Pa.— Gov. Tom Corbett said Friday he wants the state Senate to pass a liquor privatization bill before the end of June and reaffirmed that he wants the proceeds from the sale of the state-owned wine and spirit stores to go to school districts. Related story: Pa.'s Prohibition Era May Finally End Addressing a crowd of conservative activists at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in this suburb of Harrisburg, Corbett asked if there were any state Senators in the crowd and delivered a straightforward request. “We’re asking the Senate to act,” Corbett said. “Get something to my desk by June 30.” The state House passed a liquor privatization bill in March, without the support of a single Democratic …
Monday, April 1, 2013
An apparent April Fool's joke puts Sen. Pat Toomey in the running. What do you think about a GOP primary gubernatorial challenge?
Editor's note: This story has been edited to clarify an apparent April Fool's Day posting. In an apparent April Fool's joke, PoliticsPa reported that U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Zionsville, Lehigh County, told a group of conservative activists Saturday that he is considering a primary challenge to fellow Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Toomey's office said the PoliticsPa post is an April Fool's joke and that the video posted there is actually several years old. Toomey tweeted: "To paraphrase LBJ, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for governor…" and linked to the post. Nonetheless, some see Corbett as vulnerable as he prepares to run for his second term. Corbett's approval rating was at the lowest point of his two…
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Pennsylvania Democrats run the risk of putting up a 'nobody' candidate who lacks statewide name recognition against Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014.
Tuesday, March 12
By G. Terry Madonna & Michael L.Young “You don’t beat somebody with nobody.” That familiar old maxim expresses a very modern political truth. Well-known candidates tend to win elections running against unknown candidates. The well-known candidate may be unpopular, may be flawed or even worse. But having high name identification among voters becomes a huge advantage that often predicts winning or losing. The importance of name identification is something state Democrats ought to remember even as they salivate publicly at the prospects of taking on embattled gubernatorial incumbent Tom Corbett in 2014; they should do so because at the moment Democrats are offering a field of gubernatorial candidates, none of whom is widely known across …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Gov. Tom Corbett joins local and regional officials to break ground on the new Cetronia Ambulance Corps Joint Operations Facility.
Gov. Tom Corbett helped break ground Thursday for a new Cetronia Joint Operations Facility near the Lehigh County Sports Fields in South Whitehall. The 68,000-square-foot facility -- formally known as the Cetronia Ambulance and Lehigh County Joint Operations and Medico-Legal Forensics Center -- will house Cetronia Ambulance’s fleet, a regional education center and the Lehigh County coroner's office. The communications center at Broadway and Parkway roads will bear the name of John E. Walson, the former head of Service Electric whose family donated $275,000 toward the project. Corbett said advocating for strong public services is an integral part of government. "This project gets at the very core functions of government as I see them, …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Pennsylvania’s newest attorney general Kathleen Kane said the administration’s contract to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery is unconstitutional and not statutorily authorized.
Tuesday, February 19
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the governor’s contract with Camelot Global Services to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery. Kane said the contract “contravenes the Pennsylvania Constitution and is not statutorily authorized.” Related Op-Ed: A Bad Gamble: Pa. Lottery Privatization Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration entered the contract — a professional management agreement — with Camelot in January. The Office of the Attorney General is required by state law to review contracts for “form and legality.” In this case, the Camelot PMA failed to meet that test, according to a letter from Kane’s office to the administration sent early Thursday. State officials in the Department …
Sunday, February 17, 2013
An extension filed through Friday will allow Corbett more time to consider options.
Gov. Tom Corbett's chance to accept a bid from a British firm to manage the Pennyslvania lottery was about to run out. Had it not extended its offer, the firm's $3.5-billion bid would have expired Saturday at 5 p.m. According to 6ABC, a "top budget aide to Gov. Tom Corbett" has announced the extension. The extra time is designed to allow Corbett's office more time to consider options. The changes come on the heels of last week's announcement by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane who rejected Corbett' initial plan. "It is our duty to defend and protect the Constitution of our Commonwealth and that is what our office has done by declining this contract," Kane said on Friday. "She said the contract infringes on the Legislature's …
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Could privatizing the lottery mean fewer people will play?
Pennsylvanians do not want their lottery to be privatized, as Gov. Tom Corbett is proposing, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College Poll. The poll found that 47 percent of those polled strongly opposed the privatization with 17 somewhat opposing it. Only 7 percent were strongly in favor with 11 percent being somewhat in favor of the move. Most people polled, 75 percent, said they would play the lottery about the same amount as they do now if it were privatized, but a not insignificant number of people, 19 said they would play less frequently. The Franklin & Marshall College Poll interviewed 622 Pennsylvania voters between January 29 and February 3. The margin of error is reported as plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. A recent …