The General Assembly adjourned for summer recess with unfinished business that will carry over to the fall session. House and Senate leaders failed to reach a deal on liquor privatization and transportation funding. Of these items, the one of most dire consequences was the inability to act on public pension reform. Continue reading
Last week, Governor Corbett and Republican legislators went three for three in passing and signing an on-time state budget into law. What had proven to be impossible under the Rendell Administration has become the new norm.
The approved $28.3 billion budget represents the highest spending levels by state government, exceeding the years when federal stimulus dollars supplemented state expenditures. The 2013-14 fiscal year still spends less than the 2010-11 fiscal year when adjusting for inflation. This much-needed fiscal restraint comes after decades of a Harrisburg spending spree.
After a failed attempt during the prior session to privatize Pennsylvania’s state wine and liquor stores, Governor Corbett has unveiled his own plan to move government out of the booze business. Pennsylvania is one of only two remaining states to maintain a government monopoly over wholesale and retail sales of both wine and spirits. The Governor’s plan will transform this prohibition-era system into one of greater consumer choice and convenience while also providing a critical investment opportunity for public education.
I would like to commend the 38 state house members that presented a unified voice in opposition to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision.
Even without this expansion, Medicaid costs are unsustainable. Over the last decade, program spending increased more than 80 percent, nearly twice as much as personal income. Medicaid now consumes 30 percent of Pennsylvania’s total state operating budget and is projected to grow for years to come. Continue reading
During the past legislative session, Governor Corbett and Republican lawmakers repudiated the tax and spend policies of the previous administration which in turn, chartered a new course towards fiscal responsibility. Expanding upon the successes of the last two years, a group of State House members have introduced legislation to end the commonwealth’s compulsory unionism. Right-to-work labor reform is critical to giving workers choice as to whether or not they wish to join a union while providing a much needed boost for the state’s economy.