Democrats and Republicans postured and battled Monday in the state House of Representatives, but in the end the Democrats fell short to the GOP majority on every critical vote.
The Democrats were pushing their own budget plan, which they said would increase spending for education and expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a move that the Corbett administration has balked at due to what the governor calls a lack of information from the feds. Democrats argued that at least three independent studies show that if Pennsylvania were to opt in to Medicaid expansion, there would be health and economic benefits for the Commonwealth. Republicans argued that it was still too soon to consider the expansion, which would take effect in 2014.
Monday’s defeat of Democratic amendments clears the way for a possible vote on the Republican budget as early as today. Governor Tom Corbett reiterated Monday that he not only wants a budget by June 30th, but also a transportation funding plan, pension reform and liquor privatization.
Starting this month, we will be placing audio from the complete “Ask the Governor” programs on PAMatters.com. Now, you can listen to the entire program and/or watch video clips of specific topics. Click the play button to get started…[audio:AsktheGov06-10-13_1.mp3]
This program was recorded Monday, June 10th, 2013 and includes discussions on the following topics and more:
-The Philadelphia building collapse investigation
-The budget talks
-Liquor privatization efforts
-The return of Pennsylvania’s original copy of the Bill of Rights
-And listener & web viewer emails
Our next program is scheduled for July 3rd. Submit your question or comment today by clicking on the Ask the Governor link at the top of this page. Be sure to include at least your first name and the town where you live, and please be brief.
Governor Tom Corbett used Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bridge as a backdrop to once again call for a compromise plan to fund Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure needs and mass transit.
The governor has his blueprint which would raise about $1.8 billion per year, while Senate Republicans introduced their own plans which they say would generate $2.5 billion annually. Transportation funding is one of the major issues the governor is calling for lawmakers to resolve before breaking for the summer. He’s also pushing for pension reform, liquor privatization and an on-time state budget in the 23 days that remain before the end of the fiscal year.
The governor says 4,000 bridges in Pennsylvania have been declared structurally deficient, to go along with 10,000 miles of roadways considered to be in poor condition. There has been no significant change in the system to fund PA’s roads and bridges since the mid 1990s, when then-Governor Tom Ridge led the effort to institute a gas tax increase.
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