Democrat Dan Onorato says he will push for a severance tax on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale if he is elected governor, but he will not over-tax the gas companies. “As governor I’m going to have a competitive severance tax. We’re going to use the money to fund all of the cuts that were made in the Department of Environmental Protection to watch our water and watch the environment. We’re going to do an impact fund, which will set money aside for roads, water lines and sewer lines for local government for the wear and tear. Tom Corbett’s position is no tax, no regulation, no oversight, because he’s taken a million dollars from the gas companies, and as far as I’m concerned he’s bought and sold.”
Tom Corbett is his Republican opponent. Onorato says all other states that have gas and oil impose a severance tax, and with no tax on drilling, taxpayer dollars will pay for fixing any problems. He says he will also push for a 20 percent cut in the cost of running the legislature, either by shrinking the size of the house and senate or making lawmakers’ jobs part-time instead of full-time. He says they get perks that are unheard of in private business.
“Right now if you serve five years you get healthcare for life and a pension. That’s crazy! That’s why people argue for a part-time legislature because then it’s a true citizen legislature. You don’t go up there for a career. You go to do the people’s business. You have people from different walks of life going to Harrisburg having a say on the budget and getting input from people in different areas of the state and different backgrounds, and that’s why you want a citizen legislature.”
Onorato says states that are larger than Pennsylvania have part-time legislatures, and they work just fine at a lower cost. He appeared Tuesday on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest, and he and Corbett face off at the polls on November 2.