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

Smart Talk: State budget update; Legal aid in civil cases; Contraception Supreme Court ruling

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 30, 2014 2:36 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, July 1, 2014:

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WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson appears on Smart Talk Tuesday with the latest news on Pennsylvania's 2014-15 fiscal year budget.

Then, we'll hear about Toward Equal Justice for All -- a recent report compiled by the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition.  The report concludes that a large number of low-income Pennsylvanians who can't afford legal representation in civil cases means they don't get justice, has a negative impact on courts' administration of justice and undermines the rule of law.

The Coalition recommends an additional $50 million be appropriated by the state for civil legal services and says it will save taxpayer money in the future.


Judge Chester Harhut, Samuel Milkes, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)

Joining us on the program are Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Samuel Milkes, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network and co-chair of the coalition and former Lackawanna County President Judge Chester Harhut.

Finally, Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations with religious objections to opt out of a requirement that they pay for insurance plans that cover certain types of contraceptives is the talk of the nation today.  

Widener School of Law Associate Professor Michael Dimino Sr. appears on Smart Talk to provide analysis of the decision.

Conestoga Wood Products of Lancaster County was one of the plaintiffs in the case.

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  • John H. img 2014-07-01 06:52

    I think that our state officials need to address consultant reform before they look at pension reform. Many consultants are given essentially a blank check.

    With these checks they are able to hire away Commonwealth Employees.

    Apparently these private companies offer better benefits then the Commonwealth. I haven't been able to figure out how a company that is attempting to make a profit and that pays better than the Commonwealth is saving the tax payer any money.

    Now our officials want to make it even more appealing for employees to leave and work for these consulting firms...I believe if the Commonwealth continues to increase the number of consultants it's replacing employees with, the tax payer will have an even bigger tax burden to bear.

  • John H. img 2014-07-01 06:55

    We currently have a state government controlled by the Republican Party, but they have done nothing to reduce their numbers, cut their wages, and perks, eliminate gifts that result in more tax and spending.

    If we are facing such a financial problem why isn't this being addressed along with Commonwealth Employee pension reform? Why isn't Governor Corbett pushing these issues?

    It seems that the governor is saying that as long as the little guy gets hurt he'll be happy, and the big guys can keep doing business as usual.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-01 08:43

    From email:

    I have been everywhere please tell me where these services are that can HELP!
    I use this Pa Law Help all the time, but it does not coverage all the areas.

  • Chris Long img 2014-07-09 08:37

    More troubling, is the percentage of people who don’t try to get justice. Some low-income people can’t afford to pay for lawyers services and thus, they don’t get access to the court system. People living on a low income say that they have enough resources and money to survive, but not enough to participate fully in society. Actually there are some financial options they should know about. People with low income could apply for Canadian payday loans to get instant financial support. It’s fast and proves to be helpful in such occasions.

  • smithann635 img 2014-07-14 05:20

    People need not only legal aid in civil cases but also financial aid. They are very poor. They can’t pay for any help. Citizens get funds online for living. Our president has to pay more attention to the economic situation in the country and give people more opportunities in development. For development they need money. If government will help people our country won’t have any financial problems.