Tom Corbett

Liquor Privatization
6:58 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Corbett Warns Senate: Finish Liquor by July

The liquor privatization bill that passed the state House is complex.

It has been years in the making. Its bouquet contains elements of many differing retail interests.

But unlike a fine wine, Gov. Tom Corbett isn’t asking the state Senate to let it breathe or drink it in slowly.

The governor’s message here is: Get it down quickly.

At a press conference near Reading on Wednesday, he turned to the lone state senator in the room with a warning:

Read more
12:03 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Corbett Meets With Sebelius: No Decision Made on Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Tom Corbett met with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday night to discuss, among other things, potential Medicaid expansion in the state. 

Expanding Medicaid, the federal-state medical assistance program, would cover thousands more people in Pennsylvania. Part of the Affordable Care Act, governors have the option to decide if they will expand coverage in their states.

Corbett has said he won't because he doesn't think the state can sustain the costs of the program over time. 

Read more
Medicaid Expansion
3:13 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Capitol's Health Care Hawks Waiting for Corbett-Sebelius Meeting

All eyes will be on the governor in the days following his April 2 tete-a-tete with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Ever since Gov. Corbett said he would go straight to the source to answer some of his remaining questions about a Medicaid expansion, the pressure mounting over the issue has subsided.

Even state Senate Democrats, the Legislature’s loudest champions of expanding Medicaid, are easing off their criticism of the governor’s reluctance to add hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to the government-run health insurance program.

Read more
Affordable Care Act
3:30 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Backers of Medicaid Expansion Want Corbett to 'Stop Fooling Around'

Labor and healthcare advocacy groups are using this April Fool's Day to make a point: that Gov. Tom Corbett's decision to forego a federally funded expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania is, well, foolish.

Members of three groups — Working America, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and the Consumer Health Coalition — plan to deliver 9,000 petitions to Corbett's office urging the administration to lower eligibility requirements for the federal program.

Read more
Environment & Energy
3:30 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Controversial Head of DEP Leaving Agency to Work on Behalf of Energy Industry

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer will leave his post on April 15 to work for his former employer, the Philadelphia law firm, Blank Rome.
Credit Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, Michael Krancer, announced recently he will be leaving the agency on April 15 to return to Blank Rome, an influential Philadelphia law firm where he worked during the 1990′s.

Read more
1:40 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Corbett Boosts Money to Fight Domestic Violence

Gov. Tom Corbett is defending his proposal to increase state spending to combat domestic violence by 10 percent.

At a news conference Friday at the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Corbett said the $1.3 million increase would support an array of valuable services ranging from shelters for battered women to counseling and legal services.

Corbett said domestic violence often occurs behind behind closed doors or involves people who know each other, but that "we all agree that it's not acceptable."

Read more
State Pensions
3:42 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Corbett Administration Expects State Pension Proposals to Withstand Court Challenge

The Corbett administration says proposed changes to state pensions will ultimately withstand a court challenge because they can be proven to serve the public good.

One piece of the governor’s plan would reduce future unearned benefits of current state and school district employees.

Public sector unions have promised a court battle if the change is signed into law, saying it would be struck down for breaching the state’s contract with workers.

Read more
6:00 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Duquesne Prof: PA Supreme Court All Talk, No Action on Vacancy Pick

One legal observer says the state Supreme Court is all talk, no action when it comes to making its own pick to replace the suspended justice who plans to resign in May.

The interim judge will fill the seat of suspended Justice Joan Orie Melvin, who’s resigning in May as she awaits sentencing for campaign corruption.

The high court’s chief justice suggests his colleagues might make their own choice for a replacement, preempting an appointment by the governor to fill the vacancy.

Read more
Property Assessments
4:11 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Effort to Modernize Property Reassessment Process Waiting for Corbett’s Signature

A bill that would be the first step in standardizing property reassessments in Pennsylvania passed with unanimous support in both chambers and now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature.

“This is a step that really modernizes the way data is collected — the way contracts are given out, the way the state interacts with counties when the county decides that it is time to reassess,” said Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-North Strabane)

Read more
5:53 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Deal Reached with Amtrak To Keep The Pennsylvanian Rolling

Amtrak service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg might not be derailed after all.

The Corbett administration announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached with Amtrak on a new funding plan that will maintain rail passenger service between Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

Under the revised agreement with Amtrak, Pennsylvania will provide $3.8 million a year to maintain the service featuring one train a day in each direction between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The through service continues to and from Philadelphia and New York City.

Read more
11:20 am
Fri March 15, 2013

More GOP Senators Break With Corbett on Medicaid

A third Republican state senator is breaking with conservatives and Gov. Tom Corbett to support an expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reports Sen. Lloyd Smucker told a town hall meeting Wednesday that the federal dollars accompanying the expansion would ease the burden on Lancaster General and other hospitals that treat the uninsured.

Read more
Election 2013
10:08 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Poll Shows Corbett Losing to Potential Democratic Challengers

A new statewide poll measuring how Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett would fare against several possible Democratic challengers in 2014 finds Corbett might need all the time he can get between now and the general election.  That vote is more than a year and a half away.

If the gubernatorial election were tomorrow, a Quinnipiac University poll predicts Corbett would lose by nine points to former Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak.

Read more
State Health Centers
7:54 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Corbett Proposal: Close State Health Centers, Save Millions

As part of Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed 2013-2014 budget, about half of the state’s sixty health centers will be shuttering, consolidating or morphing. Lay-offs of personnel are also part of the proposal; which state officials say is an effort to modernize Pennsylvania’s public health services and save money.

Michael Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health says this move would be a way to deliver services to people who can’t get to the health centers.

Read more
State Liquor Stores
7:53 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Ferlo: Modernize, Don't Privatize Liquor Sales in PA

Just a day after the House Republican leader introduced another attempt to privatize liquor stores in Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh area lawmaker has unveiled legislation to modernize, but not eliminate, the state store system in the commonwealth.

"If we want to preserve and protect a great system that needs to improve, we really should be focusing in on various modernization efforts," said State Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny).

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Medicaid Expansion & Women in PA

When it comes to Medicaid Expansion, what's the potential impact on lower-income women?
Credit Ben Ostrowsky / Flickr

As more Republican governor's adopt the Medicaid Expansion, Governor Corbett is under more pressure to adopt the program. We'll discuss the impact of the Medicaid Expansion program on Pennsylvania women and low-income families with Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health Policy and Reproductive Rights for the National Women's Law Center.

Lottery Deal
12:00 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Contracts Show State Could Pay $1.2 Million for Lottery Consultants

A deal to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery has hit a snag, but contracts with the two private firms advising the commonwealth on the plan means the state has some bills to pay.

The state could be on the hook for something on the order of $1.2 million dollars for work by its consultants on a deal to turn over the operations of the lottery to British firm Camelot Global Services.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the contract, but if the deal had gone through, payment to the two advisors could have been much higher – total pay was capped at $30 million.

Read more
Penn State scandal
11:09 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Corbett Defends Antitrust Suit vs. NCAA

Gov. Tom Corbett argued in a court document filed late Monday that the NCAA has been trying to use his pending antitrust lawsuit against it over the Penn State penalties in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal to combat what he describes as a groundswell of public criticism.

Corbett said the judge should not grant the NCAA's request to dismiss the case, saying college sports' governing body made a factual error when it said the penalties were voted on by the university's trustees.

Read more
12:22 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Where Is All The PA Lottery Money Going?

This unidentified man looks over his lottery ticket to see if he is due a prize.
Credit David Bennett

When Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane ruled that Gov. Tom Corbett’s contract for private management of the state lottery was illegal, proponents of privatization shot back that Kane’s decision meant a loss of an additional $50 million for senior services.

Advocates said that having a private company running the lottery would increase receipts and eliminate growing waiting lists for senior services, which, by law, are supported by a percentage of lottery funds.

Read more
Budget Reaction
10:53 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Teplitz: "Watchdog" Agencies Could Be "Neutered" By Corbett's Budget

A Dauphin County State Senator is worried the commonwealth's “watchdog” agencies won’t be able to perform their duties if Governor Tom Corbett’s new $28.5 billion budget passes.

The Governor has called for level funding for the Auditor General ($40,777,000) and Attorney General ($78,121,000), and a $16,607,000 (1.5 percent) cut to the Treasurer’s office. The State Ethics Commission would also see level funding, and The Office of Open Records would get a small spending increase.

Read more
Penn State Fines
9:47 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Corbett Signs Bill to Keep NCAA Fines Against Penn State in PA

Gov. Corbett has signed legislation that would require all proceeds from the 60 million dollars in NCAA fines paid by Penn State to be used exclusively in Pennsylvania.

Penn State agreed to pay the fines levied by the NCAA as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. 

Read more