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PoliticsPA’s Ups and Downs: 3/11

Gov. Corbett. Just about every constituency is feeling the pinch, but budget hawks panned the Governor’s budget, but at the end of the day he delivered on a host of campaign promises. Corbett made clear that budget cuts were on the agenda, and in a sense they passed with his election.
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Joe Preston. The population is his house district (PA-24) shrunk more than any in PA (down 17%).
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Bob Casey. Sen. Casey had a good week: he carried the mantle as the de facto leader of PA’s Democratic Party campaigning in the SD 11 race and he received a lot of positive press for proposing anti-bullying legislation. And his St. Patty’s Day party tonight in Philly is the place to be.
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Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection. The week started with a NY Times story saying Pa. water might be tainted because of fracking. The DEP came out and said the water was safe. Now, environmentalists and journalists are seriously questioning that data. The DEP can’t win and these are the types of battles the agency can expect going forward as the Marcellus issue continues to simmer.

Marcellus shale industry. There were many cuts in this week’s budget, but these guys escaped totally unscathed. The DEP is jumping on their sword in the press, and the Corbett administration has begun to roll back regulations.
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Tim Holden. Rumors have picked up steam this week that PA’s senior Democrat will have Scranton added to his district during this year’s redistricting process. It seems Republicans have finally given up on beating the wily Schuylkill sheriff and will use his district to make Reps. Barletta and Marino more secure.
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Every school board in PA. Contract negotiations are never fun, but Corbett’s proposal instructs school boards across the state to renegotiate existing teacher contracts to add a one year wage freeze. Good luck with that…

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