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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.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: State Budget Update

Written by Smart Talk Staff | Jul 7, 2015 9:20 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, July 7, 2015 featuring Guest Host Dr. G Terry Madonna:

A new state budget should be in place by July 1.   However the Democratic administration of Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican leaders in the Senate and House appear far apart in several key areas.

A little over a month after being inaugurated, Gov. Wolf outlined a spending plan that totaled $33.8 billion.  It included property tax relief and a reduced corporate net income tax but called for a new tax on natural gas drillers and higher sales and income taxes.  To fulfill a promise he made during his successful campaign for office, the governor wanted a significant increase in money for Pennsylvania's public schools.

From the beginning of the process, Republicans, who have majorities in both chambers of the legislature said their priorities were a solution to a $50 billion unfunded public pension debt and privatizing the state's liquor stores.

Last month, the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved a $30 billion budget that didn't include the tax increases and education funding Gov. Wolf ask for.

On Tuesday's Smart Talk F and M College pollster and political analyst Dr. G. Terry Madonna fills in for the vacationing Scott Lamar.  Terry will be joined by two of the state's leading reporters will recap the current standoff in the state Capitol between the Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Wolf. Then two top legislators from different political parties, the Democratic leader in the senate Jay Costa from Allegheny county, and Republican state Rep Bryan Cutler from Lancaster county,  the Majority Whip in the House, will discuss the key issues that divide lawmakers and the governor--the budget, pensions, liquor privatization, and more.

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Guest Host Franklin and Marshall pollster and political analyst Dr. G. Terry Madonna

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Scranton Time's Robert Swift and WITF's Mary Wilson

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  • Carolyn J Fetrow img 2015-07-07 09:49

    Have lawmakers considered how much revenue they lose because of PA residents going out of state to buy wine and spirits?