Tom Corbett

Government & Politics
10:02 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Corbett Shrugs Off Possibility Lawmakers Will Sue Over Blocked Earmarks

Gov. Tom Corbett is shrugging off the possibility state lawmakers will sue him for blocking their earmarks earlier this month.

Legislative leaders say the line-item veto of seven-point-two million dollars in projects was unconstitutional.

They could try to override the veto with a two-thirds vote, or sue the administration.

Corbett said he doesn’t think a court battle is likely, though he’s not troubled by the possibility.

"Let them sue me," he said. "Last time I looked, that’s in the constitution, isn’t it?"

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Corbett Not Letting Up On Public Pension Overhaul

Gov. Tom Corbett is not giving up the ghost of a public pension overhaul proposal — saying he may still call a special session of the state Legislature to address the issue.

The measure still does not have enough support in the House and Senate, Corbett said at a roundtable discussion in Hummelstown Friday.

The governor has been making daily statements about the plan, which would reduce retirement benefits of future public workers.

Supporters say the changes would reign in long-term costs of public pensions.

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Government & Politics
4:11 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Partial Veto of Projects Could Prompt Lawsuit

Lawmakers think the governor overreached when he vetoed not just parts of the state budget, but parts of another related piece of legislation, and House and Senate leaders are weighing their options to retaliate.

The state constitution allows the governor to partially veto “appropriations.” Lawmakers have interpreted that to mean specific sections of a state budget can be struck down by the governor.

Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett did that.

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Environment & Energy
12:13 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

No New Gas Leases in State Parks and Forests Pending Court Decision

The Corbett administration has announced that no new natural gas leases will be issued under state parks and forest land while the case of PEDF v. Commonwealth progresses in court.

The decision is part of a settlement, which includes the continued funding of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The suit was brought by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation.

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Pension Reform
5:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Corbett Touts Tobash's Pension Reform Plan in Shaler Township

Governor Tom Corbett talks pension reform with Alice Beckett-Rumberger (center), of the non-profit North Allegheny Foundation, and Tara Fisher, vice president of the North Allegheny School District board.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Less than a week after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett ended the budget standoff with the state Legislature, he’s setting a new deadline for pension reform: election season.

Corbett was in Shaler Township Monday afternoon pushing an overhaul of the public pension system, which he said is necessary to help struggling school districts and stem the wave of rising property taxes.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:45 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Strong and Decisive, Corbett Takes A Stand Against the Legislature

In a press conference this morning, Tom Corbett announced he signed the budget, but line-item vetoed about $72 million.
Credit 90.5 WESA

On the eve of the state budget deadline, Governor Tom Corbett announced Thursday that he had signed the $29 billion state spending plan, but line-item vetoed $65 million in legislative spending.

The Governor is blaming budget problems on pension costs and called on the legislature to come back and enact pension reform.

Penn Live’s John Micek said he expected that Corbett’s announcement would include the line-item veto, so he was not surprised with the outcome. 

Micek was instead surprised by Corbett's demeanor.

“I wondered where this Tom Corbett was four years ago. Very strong, very decisive. You know, not taking any guff, casting the legislature as the bad guy. His approval rating has been lousy, theirs’ is worse than his. So he loses nothing by running against them and making them the bogeyman here.”

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State Government
10:57 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Corbett Signs Budget, But Cuts Off General Assembly Funds

Though Gov. Tom Corbett signed the 2014-15 state budget, he line-item vetoed $65 million in General Assembly spending and an additional $7.2 million in legislative designated spending.

He said he did this because the lawmakers sent him a budget that was filled with discretionary spending but refused to deal with the unsustainable public pension system.

Instead, he said the Assembly increased its $320 million budget by two percent – which he said would cost taxpayers an additional $5 million.

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Government & Politics
7:48 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Corbett Faces Tough Challenge in Budget Decision

Gov. Tom Corbett has yet to sign the $29.1 billion budget passed by state lawmakers last week. He said he would not sign a budget that does not include a pension overhaul.

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Government & Politics
7:55 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Pension Overhaul Spiked As Corbett Stalls

State lawmakers unceremoniously sidelined a public pension overhaul bill Tuesday, disarming House Republicans in their efforts to advance a priority topping Gov. Tom Corbett’s legislative wish list.

Midway through floor debate on the measure, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R- Bucks) asked to send the pensions proposal to his committee for further study over the summer.

“There are too many unanswered questions about the proposal and about the amendment that we have before us,” said DiGirolamo.

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Government & Politics
7:51 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Corbett Withholds Signature On Budget For Pension Overhaul

Gov. Tom Corbett is holding off on signing the $29.1 billion commonwealth budget approved by state lawmakers Monday evening.

The announcement came just after the final vote on the spending plan, which includes no new taxes but leans heavily on one-time revenue sources and hopeful revenue forecasts.

In a written statement, the governor took issue not with anything in the spending plan, but with the Legislature’s failure to pass another one of his top priorities: changes to public pension benefits for future state and school employees.

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Government & Politics
11:23 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Nothing But Questions As the June Budget Deadline Nears

State lawmakers are heading into the final stretch of June, and for the first time in four years, a budget agreement doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

Gov. Tom Corbett, who ran for office promising timely state budgets, has said he’ll forgive a late spending plan in return for passage of two other legislative priorities: an overhaul of public pensions and changes to how alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania.

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Jerry Sandusky
10:45 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Kane Report: Politics Had No Role in Sandusky Probe

A report released Monday detailing the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation.

The report, commissioned by Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane and written by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, by a former federal prosecutor blamed a three-year time lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about the former Penn State coach and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.

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Government & Politics
4:47 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Corbett Shrugs Off June 30 Budget Deadline

Gov. Tom Corbett says he’ll make do with a late budget this year and possibly renege on his no-taxes campaign pledge.  

“Given the difficulty of this budget, I have allowed — I have informed — the legislators, we need to get this done and we need to get it done right, rather than quickly,” said Corbett at a news conference Tuesday. “So, if we are not able to finish by June 30, we are not able to finish by June 30.”

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Election 2014
11:40 am
Wed May 28, 2014

RMU Poll Shows Corbett Losing Favor With Key Demographic

Gov. Tom Corbett is losing favor with a key demographic, those 50 and older, that helped him get elected in 2010.

An online survey conducted by Robert Morris University shows 30.8 percent of the 508 registered PA voters who were questioned said that they favored the governor. The poll was conducted from May 6th-13th—before the May 20th primary election.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon May 26, 2014

NJ, PA Face Similar Pressures To Defer Pension Payments

New Jersey and Pennsylvania are caught between a rock and a hard place: The budget shortfalls that make deferring pension fund contributions so tempting, and the credit downgrades that await them if they skip more scheduled payments on ballooning pension debt.

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Government & Politics
3:08 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Pennsylvania Won't Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Case

Pennsylvania's governor says he won't appeal a court decision that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

Gov. Tom Corbett's decision Wednesday means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's 1996 law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.

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Election 2014
12:13 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Corbett Set For Fight To Retain Governorship

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaks to supporters in Pittsburgh Tuesday night.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Corbett took the stage at his primary election night headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh Tuesday night to chants of “four more years!” from supporters.

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Election 2014
9:26 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Wolf Wins Four-Way Democratic Primary For Governor

Pennsylvania Democrats have chosen millionaire businessman Tom Wolf to take on Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the fall.
Credit Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

Tom Wolf, the man in the Jeep from York County, has won the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the November general election.

Wolf took roughly 58 percent of the Democratic vote, with none of his opponents cresting the 20 percent mark.

To a few hundred supporters at Santander Stadium in York, Wolf said he’s running against the established record of the Corbett administration, which he said has made funding decisions that “hollow out” the commonwealth’s schools.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Western PA No Longer Requires Gasoline Switch In Summer Months

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill last week that eliminates requirements for what’s called “summer gas.”

Seven counties in Western Pennsylvania require that a different kind of gasoline be sold during the summer. It evaporates less readily, releasing less of the pollutants that contribute to smog.

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Environment & Energy
3:29 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Construction Commences On Marcellus Shale Power Plant

Gov. Tom Corbett, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford), Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford) and other state and local officials partake in the groundbreaking of the new power plant.
Credit Pennsylvania Commonwealth Media Services / 90.5 WESA

Construction for the first power plant deliberately located on the Marcellus Shale formation began Thursday.

“Panda Power Funds Liberty Energy Center is the first power plant in Pennsylvania specifically developed to harness potential Marcellus Shale gas formation,” Gov. Tom Corbett said at the groundbreaking.

The 829-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant will be located in Asylum Township in Bradford County.

Corbett said the facility is creating approximately 560 jobs: 500 to construct it, about 27 to operate it and 45 indirect jobs to support it.

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Medicaid expansion
4:14 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Frankel Urges State To Adopt Medicaid Expansion

Healthcare advocates, along with State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), unveiled an online ticker today, which tracks the amount of money they claim Pennsylvania is losing by rejecting Medicaid expansion.

As of today, the state has missed out on more than $640 million since the start of 2014, according to the ticker.

“It’s hard to turn your back against this when it addresses so many important issues facing the state at this time,” Frankel said.

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Southern Beltway
2:10 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Groundbreaking for New Section of Southern Beltway

Ground was broken  Monday on Phase 2 of the Southern Beltway (I-576) that will  eventually connect Pittsburgh International Airport to  the Mon Fayette Expressway.

This phase, totaling $550 million  includes construction of a 13-mile highway linking Route 22 with I-79 near McDonald and begins with the building of two bridges costing $14 million.

The project was made possible by Act 89, the $2.3 billion transportation funding plan, signed into law last November by Governor Tom Corbett who was present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

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Medical Marijuana
7:34 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Corbett Now Supports Some Medical Marijuana; House GOP Leaders Balk

Gov. Tom Corbett has reversed his opposition to legalizing a certain kind of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The governor said Thursday he’ll support a proposal to make it available to people suffering from debilitating seizures.

Spokesman Jay Pagni said Corbett shared his decision first with parents and families advocating for medical marijuana in a private meeting Thursday in Harrisburg. A notice was sent simultaneously to other families who have been advocating for legalization, Pagni said.

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Government & Politics
4:23 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Corbett Backs Marijuana Extract To Treat Children

Gov. Tom Corbett is changing his position on medical marijuana and is backing the legalization of a marijuana extract to treat severe seizures in children.

Corbett's office confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the Republican governor is meeting with several parents to tell them about his decision.

Corbett had been under pressure from parents who believe the oil extract, called cannabidiol, can save the lives of their seizure-wracked children. Democrats running to challenge Corbett in the fall election also favor the legalization of medical marijuana.

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Government & Politics
11:02 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Supporters Of Medical Marijuana Threaten Sit-In Outside Corbett's Office

Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana say they’ll stage a sit-in outside Gov. Tom Corbett’s office unless they get a meeting they’ve requested with him.

Parents and grandparents of sick children voiced their hopes that the governor might be persuaded to support legalization with an in-person meeting. With Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), who is running for Congress, they’re demanding a response this week, or the sit-in is a go.

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