Governor Corbett

Erik Arneson will become the new executive director of the Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records Gov. Tom Corbett announced Friday.

Arneson will replace Terry Mutcher, the office’s first director who is stepping down to join the law firm Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia where she will head a government transparency practice.

In 2006, Arneson joined the staff of Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R- Delaware County) as communications and policy director. There, he helped develop the Right-to-Know Law and the office of Office of Open Records.

PA Gun Legislation in Limbo

Jan 7, 2015
Keary O. / Flickr

Last November, Governor Corbett signed into law Act 192, which allows Pennsylvania gun enthusiasts and groups to sue communities that have "lost and stolen" ordinances -- local laws requiring gun owners to notify police when a firearm goes missing. The law has supporters and critics. Post-Gazette reporter Chris Potter joins us to look at both sides of the issue.

Drivers who flee the scene of a vehicular homicide now face a stiffer sentence after Gov. Tom Corbett signed legislation last Monday that raised the sentence to a minimum of three years in jail.

“Kevin’s Law” is to honor a 5-year-old boy, from Wilkes-Barre, who was killed 18 months ago by a driver who drove away after the accident. Authorities finally caught the man who killed the boy, but he was sentenced to less than a year because of a loophole. Kevin Miller’s parents advocated for change.

Explaining Governor Corbett's Budget Battle

Jul 2, 2014
Capitol Media Service

Budgets often lead to some of the most contentious battles within government, and the approval for the Pennsylvania’s $29.1 billion budget is shaping up to follow suit.

The budget was approved by lawmakers on Monday night, hours before the end of Pennsylvania’s fiscal year, but Governor Tom Corbett refused to sign the budget sent to him.

He said he would withhold his signature until the General Assembly made a decision regarding pension cuts, adding that the budget “does not address all the difficult choices that still need to be made.”

A blueprint for what Pennsylvania officials hope will be a smooth transition for Highmark Insurance customers currently using UPMC doctors has been agreed to by both non profit organizations but the details have yet to be reached. 

“This as really been a bipartisan approach,” said Highmark CEO David Holmberg who just two weeks ago did not think such a deal was possible.  “This has been about everybody putting their swords down and doing the right things.”

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a report Monday regarding Tom Corbett's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation when he was Attorney General. Patriot News opinions editor John Micek talked about how the findings of Kane's office could impact Governor Corbett's chances of re-election.

The Attorney General’s report found no evidence of Corbett mishandling the investigation due to political influence. Micek said even though the report was issued well before voting begins, for Corbett's re-election campaign, the report may hurt his chances in the polls.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is defending his use of campaign ads that focus on his would-be Democratic opponents, despite the fact that the primary has not yet been held.  

“If you look at the (Democratic) debates that have been going on and you look at the ads that are going on, they are running ads against me,” said Corbett, who calls his ads education pieces.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is hoping a newly formed working group will be able to turn the tide of heroin overdose deaths in the Commonwealth. 

Corbett is calling for the working group, which will be chaired by Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis, to put a report on his desk by September.

“Yes I know that’s an aggressive time frame and I know that’s across the summer,” Corbett said.  “We don’t have the time to wait.”

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

How are the candidates for governor planning to take on the issues in the commonwealth’s African American community?

That’s what a coalition of African American organizations want to find out during its forum April 22nd.

The coalition invited the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates - Robert McCord and Kathleen McGinty accepted, but Thomas Wolf and Allyson Schwartz were unable to clear their schedules.

Corbett Joins Opposition Against National Guard Cuts

Mar 10, 2014

Potential budget cuts to the Army National Guard have received opposition from 50 governors across the country, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

A letter signed by the governors asking President Obama to reconsider the cuts was delivered to the White House on Feb. 28. In the letter, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin wrote that the cuts “suggest a pre-2001 strategic reserve construct,” which would take funding back to levels it was it before the September 11 attacks. 

PA Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up

Dec 15, 2013

As the national debate continues over an increase to the federal minimum wage, politicians on both sides of the aisle are speaking out about Pennsylvania’s version of the pay floor.

Currently, state law sets the minimum hourly wage at $7.25, which in line with the national law. Washington D.C. and 19 states have a higher minimum. 

A room full of politicians, entrepreneurs and robots - this was the scene Thursday at the Innovation Works AlphaLab as Governor Tom Corbett announced the launch of Innovate in PA.

With the program, the commonwealth will auction $100 million in deferred tax credits to insurance companies.

These companies will then use the credits to raise funds that will go towards start up technology-related businesses - the Ben Franklin Technology Development Partners, three Life Sciences Greenhouses and the Venture Capital Investment program.

90.5 WESA

Governor Tom Corbett’s medicaid expansion plan sounds like “a step in the right direction” according to Erin Ninehouser, the Education and Outreach Director for Pennsylvania Health Access Network, but she does have some reservations.

Tim Camerato / 90.5 WESA

Thousands of marchers took to the streets for the annual Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh Monday. This year an estimated 85,000 participants in 191 groups were expected to down Grant Street and onto Boulevard of the Allies.

Local politicians and community leaders participated in the parade, including U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Jack Shea, president of the Allegheny County Labor Council, and Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh Diocese.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s plans to shut down 26 of the state’s 60 public health centers has been put on hold after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted a temporary injunction Wednesday.

The state’s Department of Health said closing almost half of Pennsylvania’s health centers that provide services such as immunizations and disease testing would save $3.4 million.

But the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Pennsylvania argued doing so would cut 26 nursing jobs, and the state couldn’t close the centers without state legislature approval. 

Tim Lambert / WITF

In the wake of Governor Corbett’s budget signing and the Supreme Court’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, John Micek Opinions Editor of the Harrisburg Patriot-News explains the many pressing issues at the state level. 

90.5 WESA

Following a “bad weekend” with the collapse of his agenda, Governor Tom Corbett signed a nearly $29 billion state budget Sunday night.  Controversial issues including liquor privatization and allocations for transportation funding remain in the Legislature until the fall, prompting a close examination of these pressing topics and the motivations behind both parties in both the House and Senate.

Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed a bill that gives 911 systems across the state a one-year warning that they will no longer be able to turn to the state for all the funding they want. 

House Bill 583, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester), provides for a one-year transition period to a system that will base disbursements on funds that have actually been collected through the 911 surcharge rather than simply fully funding all requests. 

Essential Pittsburgh has convened a political panel to disucss the  impact of recent state and regional political developments. Up for discussion this week: Governor Corbett asks for, and receives, the resignation of DCNR Chief Richard Allan, former Governor Ed Rendell jumps into the fray on the transportation plan before the House, and control of Allegheny County's Port Authority board could be at risk as a bill moves through the state Senate.