Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Corbett budget analysis

Written by Megan Lello, witf Reporter and Producer | Feb 5, 2013 4:06 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, February 6:

Governor Corbett has announced his $28.4 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.  As many expected, the plan addresses issues like pension reform, transportation infrastructure, and public education. The Governor is calling for a modified retirement plan for new state employees. He also wants to get rid of the cap on the wholesale price of gasoline, to help make up the state’s $3.5 billion transportation funding gap. He’s proposing a nearly two percent increase for basic education in Pennsylvania. And, just like last year, there’s no tax increase included in the plan.


On Radio Smart Talk, we’ll break down Governor Corbett’s budget proposal for the 2013, 2014 fiscal year. We’ll be joined by witf’s Capitol Bureau Chief, Mary Wilson, and Dr. G. Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin and Marshall College Poll and professor of Public Affairs at F&M. We’ll also hear from some representatives from industries affected by the proposed budget.

Listen to the program:


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-06 09:22

    Email from Tim,

    In the past several years, there have been several proposals to raise money for road and bridge repairs: tolling roads, license and registration fees, and gas tax increases. None of the proposals has received support from a majority of PA voters. Does Terry believe the governor's proposal to lift the cap on the oil franchise tax will get majority support?

  • Craig img 2013-02-06 09:34

    Regarding the pension reform, although a .5% reduction across the board looks fair on the surface it is less than equitable. For employees to have their "pension multiplier" reduced from 2.5 to 2 represents a 20% decrease while for legislators to have their multiplier reduced from 3 to 2.5 represents only a 16.6% decrease. This furthers the gap between legislators and employees. If they want us to think they're serious, the legislators should not be treated preferentially.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-06 09:36

    Email from Jim, New Bloomfield:

    I'm listening to your discussion about Gov. Corbett's proposed budget, particularly Terry Madonna's comments about public empolyee pensions. Terry mentioned that in 2001 the legislature changed the multiplier, which is true, but he neglected to mention that employees who opted in on this also had to increase the amount they contributed to the pension fund. It's significant to mention this, as the general public should know that this wasn't an outright "handout" to employees.

    Thank you; this is a good program

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-06 09:59

    Email from Dave in Red Lion;

    I'm fine with an increase in the gas tax,increase in the drivers license fee.How about a reclassification on SUVs over a certain weight as trucks,as well as full size vans,increase in motor vehicular fines.But please don't increase the vehicle registration fee,I'm single with five cars and a motorcycle,the sole operator,I'll be paying a unfair increase while singularly using the infrastructure.