The State Legislature and Governor Tom Corbett can take a deep breath now that a state budget has been signed. While the Governor and lawmakers were able to pass a budget on time for a third straight year, some of the Governor’s core agenda issues, including pension reform, liquor reform and transportation funding, fell short. State Rep Kate Harper says, pension reform is a top priority.
“If we do nothing, taxes will rise at the local level, your real estate taxes and at the state level, because the state and the school district is one half of the employer of the teacher or someone who works at the school. We’re really facing a spike in the necessary pension contribution.”
Harper was pleased that the budget did not include new taxes. The budget passed at just under 28-point-4 billion dollars. Harper was a guest on the am-edition Monday morning with Darryl Berger.
There’s hope in Republican circles that the Governor’s three major agenda items that fell short at the end of the legislative session will see new life in the fall, but Penn Live’s John Micek says, there’s a stark reality facing Governor Corbett in trying to address liquor privatization, pension reform and transportation funding.
“If You thought it was hard to do that in June, when an election is still an abstract thing, it’s going to be close to impossible in October or November as lawmakers are heading in to petitioning and primary season, no one is going to push for taxes then.”
The one agenda item that should be of paramount importance is transportation funding, according to State Rep. Bob
“We have more brings than any other state by far in the country, thousands of them and they’re going to be continued to be closed and there will be no money to fix them.”
Godshall says PennDOT’s last increase was in 1997. Godhsall and Micek were guests Tuesday on Comment Please By Univest.
One day after passing the budget, there’s a clear divide in Harrisburg. Democratic State Rep Matt Bradford says Governor Corbett seemingly wants Bi-partisanship.
“But at the same time he’s trying to pursue this strident ideological agenda by rejecting Medicaid for 700-thousand Pennsylvanians.”
Bradford also criticized the Governor’s no-tax pledges.
Republican State Rep. Mike Vereb says the mission at hand was achieved.
“Our mission, constitutionally, is to get a budget balanced and done by June 30th and we’ve managed to do that three years so far that we’ve been in control of the House Chamber and the Governor’s office.”
Vereb and Bradford were guests Monday with Darryl Berger on Comment Please By Univest on WNPV.
Governor Tom Corbett’s three agenda items failed to gain traction at the end of the legislative session, leaving liquor privatization, pension reform and transportation funding undone.
“I’ve been a lawyer and prosecutor. You’re going have times when you get everything you want and times when you don’t get everything you want, but I would be mad if we had no ability go forward.”
Corbett is counting on movement on his three agenda items when the legislature is back in session after the summer.
”We got some great wins. We got some great historic votes that have set the foundation to come back in the fall. It gives us the summer to go out and work the votes very hard and win in the fall.”
One of the strongest advocates for liquor privatization, Bucks County State Senator Chuck Mcllhinney believes a bill can be passed in the fall. Meanwhile, longtime State Rep. Bob Godshall feels transportation funding should be the main goal, due to poor roads and unsafe bridges.