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Gov. Corbett: Transportation, pensions, mental health on this year's agenda

Written by Megan Lello | Jan 4, 2013 2:44 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A few days into the New Year, Governor Corbett is looking ahead to some of the top challenges facing the state.

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Photo by Photo by Scott Detrow/witf

Speaking on witf's Radio Smart Talk, the Republican says the commonwealth needs to come up with a half billion dollars this fiscal year to help combat its rising pension deficit. "In 2016-17, I think it is, our budget projections say that we're going to need to put in $4.3 billion to pensions. Well, that eats away at everything else we can possibly do."

The governor says it'll be a tight budget again.

Corbett says he's been working on a transportation proposal, which is set to be unveiled later this month, before his February 5th budget address. Critics have been calling on the governor for months to roll out a plan to fund transportation infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

He adds in the wake of the Newtown shooting, the state also needs to assess its funding for mental health treatment and research. "Pennsylvania is one of the best states in spending money on mental health treatment, and working that, and the amount of money that we spend. If we had more money there, I'd like to spend more money there, and see if we can't prevent it from that side."

Corbett says he's also going to look into why the state isn't required to report mental health records to a national criminal background database.

He adds he's receptive to an idea posed by one caller who suggested a ban of gun shows on all state-owned property. "You're the first one who's ever presented that to me. The state, I think, is open to all businesses using the Farm Show [Complex], but I'd never given that one any thought. It's a good thing to raise."

The governor touched on a myriad of other issues as well, such as education funding and the possibility of privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery.

witf's Scott Detrow recaps what the governor talked about on Radio Smart Talk:

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