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

STFriday: a party in NYC and a compromise on Capitol Hill

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Dec 13, 2013 8:01 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday:

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The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City

Politicos from Erie to Exton are on their way to Manhattan for the 115th annual Pennsylvania Society gathering.

The weekend is chock-full of fundraisers, receptions and other soirees. Most are invitation only.

The highlight is the Pennsylvania Society's annual dinner, featuring an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden, a PA native.

witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson will be making the trip. We'll also talk with Ceisler Media founder and PoliticsPA.com owner Larry Ceisler, a Pennsylvania Society Veteran, who throws his own party every year.

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Sen. Joe Scarnati (left) and Ken Rudin

In legislative business, the state Senate has voted to study gambling in the commonwealth -- with an eye on how online gaming could affect casino revenues and employment. Mary met up with Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) to discuss the state of the industry and its impact on the state budget.

Also, Political Junkie Ken Rudin weighs in on the bipartisan budget deal in Washington D.C. that could avert a government shutdown for at least the next two years.

We wrap up today's show with a conversation with the co-founder of the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market. Organizers call it the oldest, authentic Christkindl Market in the United States, and it's underway through Saturday in Union County.

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The Mifflinburg Christkindl Market entrance at 4th & Market.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-13 09:28

    E-mail from Kevin Tarr:

    Why do you say overall revenue collections are off? The Dec 2 report has the important accounts are above or even.

    http://www.pa.gov/Pages/NewsDetails.aspx?agency=Revenue&item=15044

  • Mary Wilson img 2013-12-13 09:30

    Hi Kevin,

    We're using the Independent Fiscal Office's November report showing an estimated $839 million shortfall in the 2014-2015 budget.

    You can find the report here: http://www.ifo.state.pa.us/download.cfm?file=/resources/PDF/Five-Year-Economic-and-Budget-Outlook-Nov-2013.pdf

    -Mary Wilson

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-13 09:34

    E-mail from unnamed listener:

    "Why do we make things so difficult, why not just have a pot for property tax reduction, where the gambling revenue that goes into that gets divided between the 501 school districts EQUALLY, EQUALLY, not some mathmatical formula that no one can figure out and is delivering ZERO relief for the majority of us Pennsylvanias, I live in Susquehanna twp, 15 minutes from Hollywood and I have seen practically NOTHING!"