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Budget Update: All Options on the Table, No End in Sight

Governor-Tom-CorbettWe’re pretty much in the same place today that we were yesterday.

In a press conference today, Governor Corbett repeated that he is looking over the budget and keeping “all options on the table”.

The Governor wants the legislature to act on pension reform yet his reluctance to issue an explicit veto threat has left the commonwealth in a sort of limbo.

He spent a significant portion of his statement on the 164 school districts who apparently said pension costs forced them to request increases in property taxes.

Corbett also made clear that he was upset to see the principal pension reform bill punted back to a committee.

“It was disappointing to see members use a procedural maneuver to disguise the fact that they cannot stand up to the special interests that are out there,” he said during his press conference.

When explicitly asked, the Gov. identified public sector unions as the special interest he was talking about. He also addressed the question of why a Republican Governor and Republican legislature can’t agree by insinuating that certain members of the GOP were susceptible to those special interests.

Yet he seemed to suggest its not his responsibility to win the votes of these lawmakers.

“I would note that there are some Republicans in Pennsylvania who aren’t voting with their leadership, and that — the leadership is going to have to work on,” he said.

28 Responses

  1. Veteran & Patriot-

    These types of mining operations should not even be permitted in residential areas, let alone on farms. The Fracking method is the problem. It is unsafe, wasteful of water and polluting.

    These drilling operations cross through (and contaminate/endanger) the natural aquifers that are common to whole communities. While the wells go down below the property, the effect at the point of fracturing extends over a wider area than the property, as do the pumped in water and chemicals.

    Anything below or near the depth of the aquifer should not belong solely to individual property owners, and should be considered a state resource. These shale formations are like a big resource that spans miles underground and affects the whole community. So, while landowners are entitled to some share, the bulk of it should belong to the state.

    If the state wants to build a highway through your property, they reimburse you for the land/house, and kick you out. If they discover oil/gold/diamonds 5 years later before the road reached the property, they don’t call you up and send you a check for the mineral wealth.

    We are already seeing reports from other parts of the country that the fracturing process creates new fissures in the shale OUTSIDE the drill site/well that cause methane to travel up to aquifers and contaminated them. This is happening here too, but the oil/gas companies are pretending it’s a “natural” phenomenon when the well itself isn’t leaking.

    Until we can stop the practice of Fracking, we should be taxing it at a hefty rate, because we are going to need that money for long-term cleanup (or reparations to rebuild/relocate) contaminated communities.

    If we can’t find a safer alternative, we should halt the process completely and look elsewhere or wait for new/safe techniques.

  2. David Diano,

    Chesapeake should be held accountable if they are cheating the landowners and I have no doubt that they will be. I take issue however with your comment regarding “the taking of a natural resource from our Commonwealth”. That gas belongs not to the Commonwealth but to the individuals or entities who own the mineral rights for that respective property. “We” only own the rights to that which is pumped on State Land or wherever else the Commonwealth holds mineral property rights. Wishful thinking does not make it so. It’s very funny that no one who actually owns the rights of land being drilled believes that gas belongs to “all of us”, only the folks looking to take from others to give to themselves or their friends.

  3. Chris-
    Corbett’s about to have a very long vacation starting in Jan 2015.

  4. this needs to happen. Its a shame that representatives in the senate and house are too concerned with union influence on their own careers to pass this bill. This is something that cannot be ignored and if reform isnt acheived our state will be in a lot of trouble

  5. davis daino, I don’t know what you mean. what is a spelling unchcdker? and what do this hav to do with the fact that corbett is gonna use sumer vacatione to keep the policy about 8 years of same party for guvenor ? you should stop hating the gtuvenor

  6. Chris-
    Do you have a spelling UN-checker that misspells correctly typed words?

  7. guvenor Corbett is gonna increase money for road and hiway fixing and he alredy has spended more state money to fix roads than all of the other guvenors combined.

  8. No one can doubt that the warmongering cliques of ordinary Pennsylvanians want to stifle Acting Governor Brabender; to destroy our people. They hate our Fuerher and they hate our people – cronies, consultants, lobbyists and special interests. They hate our people because our people are corrupt, cowardly, lazy, sycophantic and useless. They will not succeed (because the other side serves the same group of cronies, consultants, lobbyists and special interests).

  9. In a recent poll about 97% of voters think I’m living in my mommy’s basement because I’m a deadbeat welfare queen

  10. Hey, PAINDY1 here, I know you can’t wait to read about everything I have to say. I have secret inside information you know. At least I’m pretty sure I do. Mom’s basement doesn’t get great reception and the dial-up internet is a little slow, but all in all I think I’m on top of all the breaking news. I also love John Barbender, he’s the greatest!!

  11. Not one Republican and, certainly, not one Democrat has proposed cutting spending!

  12. In the recent F&M poll about 19% of voters thought Corbett would be re-elected. What percentage of PAGOP lawmakers think Corbett/Brabender will be re-elected? 5% or even less?

  13. From Acting Governor Brabender to PAGOP Chairman Gleason: “Please shut up! I control the statements in this Administration!”

    GOP chair: Corbett won’t ‘do nothing’ on pensions
    July 02, 2014 13:47 EDT
    By MARC LEVY Associated Press
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state Republican Party chairman says Gov. Tom Corbett won’t sign budget legislation without trying to force action on legislation to overhaul Pennsylvania’s two major public pension systems.
    Rob Gleason said Wednesday that he spoke face-to-face with the Republican governor for an hour and he’s convinced Corbett’s “not going to just sit there and do nothing.”

  14. Veteran & Patriot –

    The landowners are being cheated by the oil/gas companies with illegal and false fees taken from their entitled royalties. There’s a $5 billion class action suit against Chesapeake for this.

    Also, these companies are extracting a natural resource from the ground of our Commonwealth. So, it’s legitimately taxable and is a separate/unique category. It’s not like they can go to another state to get the gas.

    We tax the slot machines 55%, and the casinos are still here.

  15. PA Legislature should expand the CRIZ now for both Cities and Pilot Zone. All too often Harrisburg drafts legislation that is ‘wired” for a particular community. It has now been suggested that the Pilot Zone has been fixed to allow an award to benefit a favorite son in the Senate. That is just plain wrong. Expand the City and Pilot Zone CRIZs NOW.

  16. Dave,

    You must be confused because the Oil & Gas Companies already pay ALL of the same taxes every other company in PA does. That means, yes, they pay the 9.99% Net Income Tax, they pay the 6% and in Pit & Philly 7% Sales Tax, they pay the Capital Stock & Franchise Tax and their employees all pay their state income and sales taxes as well. In addition they pay the Impact fee which generates $225 Million a year and goes back to the communities where drilling takes place to compensate them. The landowners who are selling their gas pay income taxes on their royalties and sales taxes on what they buy. The states you folks like to point out like Texas who have a severance or extraction tax don’t have the net income, Capital Stock & Franchise Tax or Impact Fees. If you want to start taxing individual business’s separately why don’t we start with cabinet makers?

  17. governor Corbett is gonna sign the budget soon because he know it past the house and senate and is important to keep Penn. running is a smooth and good manner and he don’t want nobody to not get paid who works in state government or who gets state work. the house and senate again past the budget on time but the past governor randell didn’t do that, and that is gonna help Corbett get a win in the election by a big margin.

  18. “all options on the table” ?
    REALLY??? How about taxing oil/gas industry?

    “they cannot stand up to the special interests that are out there”
    HELLO…. The oil/gas industry is a special interest that Corbett won’t stand up to.

  19. Duane Milne keeps collecting two taxpayer salaries to set himself up to collect two taxpayer pensions. Meanwhile he buys support from the unions to get their votes, but then turns around and leaves the citizens without representation.

  20. Veto it and lay off all state employees until a budget that addresses pension reform passes.

    Also make sure everyone knows back pay will be line item vetoedwhen the budget eventually passes.

  21. Special Interest accusations?? From MISTER Special Interest himself? The guy who takes MILLIONS from Big Oil, and does EVERYTHING the Koch Brothers and ALEC tell him to do?? LOLolol… This clown does not even recognize how ludicrous he sounds when he spouts garbage like that. Just resign now, Tommie! How about we give you a severance for leaving early?

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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