Political Power Struggle May Lead to Late State Budget
The June 30thdeadline for the state budget may be at risk as the legislature continues to struggle to find solutions pension reform and liquor privatization. According to Charles Zogby, Secretary of Budget, “The governor has cleared his calendar for July,” in preparation for a possible late budget settlement. Governor Corbett has been especially proud of passing two consecutive state budgets on time. His track record could be in jeopardy as Corbett has vowed to hold up approving the budget if all of his agenda items are not met by the legislature. The Senate has approved a transportation funding package to send over to the House but pension reform and liquor privatization are still up in the air.
Senate Democrats have openly stated that they will not support full liquor privatization. They’ve also noted that they are willing to work as far into the summer as needed; but they will not be strong-armed into accepting liquor privatization as a condition for the passage of the transportation bill. Senator Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), further expresses the position of Senate Democrats by proclaiming, “If they’re willing to go past July 1 we’re certainly willing to do that as well.” Only time and cooperation will tell if the deadline is met as Governor Corbett continues to drive towards an agenda that he deems to be achievable.
Chief Judge Compares Corbett's Lawsuit to a “Hail Mary pass”
U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Yvette Kane dismissed Governor Tom Corbett's lawsuit that sought to overturn the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State University on Thursday. Governor Corbett filed the lawsuit on behalf of the residents of Pennsylvania citing that the NCAA sanctions breach the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Corbett’s attorneys argued that the sanctions would have harsh economic consequences on the livelihoods of those dependent on the Penn State University football industry. Judge Kane sympathized with Corbett's views on the indirect economic impact, but did not believe it encroached on antitrust laws. Corbett still has an opportunity to further his claim by appealing Kane's decision to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The NCAA's sanctions included a $60 million fine, a loss of football scholarships, and four years of bowl game ineligibility.