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4/29 Ups & Downs

Joe Scarnati. Senator Scarnati introduced his Marcellus impact fee proposal yesterday and picked up wall-to-wall coverage across the state. Some interest groups and legislators came out against the plan, sure. But several players, including drillers, environmental advocates and possibly the Governor, have said the proposal is a decent starting point.

Governor Corbett. The governor’s suggestion that budget-burdened state universities could tap in to on-campus Marcellus shale deposits won’t earn him any friends in the education community. Corbett’s comments were quickly panned by news outlets across the state and country, including Politico, Gawker, Early Returns and the Daily News.

PA Budget & Policy Center. The PBPC released a report this week accusing Marcellus shale drillers of skipping out on taxes. It turns out the report relied on inaccurate numbers and reportedly also bad math. Numbers are the only hope that severance tax proponents have. Republican lawmakers – let alone Governor Corbett – will not support a tax or fee unless the numbers are perfect. In a debate like this, that kind of high-profile mistake is very difficult to live down. Ask the ‘Climategate’ folks.

PA Gun enthusiasts. Last week, the PA House and Senate passed their bilsl enshrining the Castle Doctrine – a top priority of 2nd Amendment types across PA. This week, a poll came out showing Pennsylvanians support gun rights in general and the bill specifically. This weekend’s NRA convention may as well be a celebration, as the national meeting comes to Pittsburgh.

State Rep. Jesse White. Rep. White is no stranger to bad press for online shenanigans. Yesterday a jury found that White defamed a local Democratic committeeman in a post on his blog titled, “Beware the Ides of Bish.” The jury did not award damages to the plaintiff, Raymond Bish, but nonetheless it’s another bad headline for White.

2 Responses

  1. climategate was a manufactured controversy pushed by corporate shills and having no merit as a scientific controversy whatsoever.

    The more intense storms prdeicted to accompany global warming are already here. There is no question that warming is real, present and incredibly dangerous to human civilization

  2. Your Ups and Downs is inaccurate regarding the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) report. Our data came directly from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and Governor Corbett’s proposed budget, and is consistent with a public statement made by the Governor himself. A sentence in the introduction to the report explaining how drilling partnerships are structured to enable companies to reduce their effective tax rate was inconsistent with the body of the report, which when brought to our attention was immediately changed. We stand by our report, our data and our conclusions. Please read our full response at:

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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