Compromise, Already Leaders in Both Parties Are Hurting Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), August 27, 2015 | Go to article overview

Compromise, Already Leaders in Both Parties Are Hurting Pennsylvania


With the Republican-controlled Legislature's latest attempt to enact a budget now fizzled, would the leaders in Harrisburg please stop playing politics and pass a spending plan?

It is clear that neither side is going to win a complete victory in the duel between Republican and Democratic priorities. The issues are well-known: Republicans want to change state employee pension plans and cut costs and benefits; Democrats don't. Democrats want to impose a tax on Marcellus Shale drilling to provide more money for education; Republicans don't. Republicans want to privatize state liquor stores; Democrats don't. And on down the line.

Legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Wolf have had some discussions, and there has been some movement. For instance, Mr. Wolf has said he altered his Marcellus tax plan so it doesn't contain the same wallop as initially proposed, but Republicans still are fighting any new well tax. On Tuesday, the governor said he had not ruled out accepting a plan to end defined-benefit pensions for most future state and school workers in exchange for more dollars toward education, but he still has questions for Republicans about how much money that might save. …

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