Saturday, February 2, 2013

PA Governor Corbett at a Crossroads

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett-R will make his third budget address to the state legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 5.  He is expected to promote plans to privatize the state liquor store system, to further keep the state's budget balanced without raising taxes on the wealthy or Marcellus shale drilling.  He also may announce whether or not Pennsylvania will participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (you can see where all the state's stand on this in the map below).  This is all going on as he is suing the NCAA for sanctioning Penn State for it's role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal while at the same time being investigated by the current PA Attorney General for his own role in covering up the scandal while he was PA Attorney General.

Where the States Stand
Via: The Advisory Board Company 

To top it off he is engaging in hardball negotiations with the 14 state owned university's (including my Alma Mater IUP) faculty union (APSCUF) over their contract.  APSCUF voted to authorize a strike in December there is a discussion from the Rick Smith Show.  The website Raging Chicken Press has good coverage of this and other state issues.  

In Pennsylvania's 330 year history, no Governor has ever been voted out of office.  True PA Govs were only allowed to serve two terms since the 1960's but you get the point.   A new Quinnipiac poll suggests Corbett has a good chance at becoming the first with such a distinction with him having a 36% approval versus a 42% disapproval rating.  There is time for him to turn things around between now and November 2014 and the opposition will need to be organized.  He will have wealthy backers.  


APSCUF and the state have reached a tentative agreement on a contract which will be voted on by the membership. 
He also announced in his budget address that he will not support the expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania so my state is now colored solid red in the map above along with midwestern and southern states.  Even right wing governors like Arizona's Jan Brewer and Ohio's John Kasich were persuaded to expand Medicaid for their residents.  There will be a demonstration in Harrisburg next Tuesday to protest this decision.  He has apparently now crossed the Rubicon which means a point of no return.

**Related Posts**

States as Laboratories and Lavatories of Democracy

The Pennsylvania Medicaid Budgetary Squeeze

Strengthening Medicaid Huddle

Marcellus Shale Fracking

The Supreme Pennsylvania Medicaid Decision