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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

Gov. Wolf and Sen. Scarnati discuss budget on Smart Talk

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 5, 2015 9:59 AM
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Photo by Joanne Cassaro/WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, August 5, 2015:

Wednesday marks the 36th day of Pennsylvania's 2015-16 fiscal year without a budget in place.  Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republicans in the State House and Senate appear to be far apart in budget negotiations.

A $30.1 billion spending plan was passed in the Republican-controlled legislature in late June.  It included no new taxes but also didn't have the increase in education spending the governor called for, property tax relief, or a severance tax on natural gas drillers.  Wolf said that budget was "simply not balanced." Wolf promptly vetoed the proposal along with Republican plans to privatize liquor stores and make changes to public pensions.  

Gov. Wolf and Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati appear separately on Wednesday's Smart Talk to explain why the two sides haven't been able to come up with an agreement and what it will take to reach one.

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Many have observed that this budget stalemate is unlike previous ones because state workers are getting paid and social service agencies and schools haven't felt the full impact of not receiving money from the state yet.  Those observers say as a result, there doesn't seem to be as much urgency to get a budget deal done. When will that time come and is the situation as dire as it appears to the public?

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Questions that we'll pose to Gov. Wolf and Sen. Scarnati Wednesday.

If you have a question or comment for Gov. Wolf or Sen. Scarnati, please post it below.

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Jim Foster img 2015-08-05 08:33

    A comment and a question for both of them.

    Comment - Yes, Gov. Wolf received a mandate, because he beat a Republican incumbent in a mostly Republican year. But, the Republican Legislature also got a mandate, since both houses increased their GOP majorities.

    Questions - Don't you think the electorate is ready for both sides to stop throwing talking points at each other and actually reach a deal? What will YOU do to start the process?

  • margei img 2015-08-05 09:05

    Good info :)

  • mamabear img 2015-08-05 09:30

    Please ask the Gov why he thinks it's ok to launch at $3.5 m aid campaign to try and convince Pennsylvanians his plan is a good one. If massive tax increases were his mandate and his plan is so good, why the slick commercials?

  • Scott LaMar img 2015-08-05 11:00

    Thomas writes...
    Despite your success in business, YOU and all the other politicians look completely inept at running anything. I am beyond disappointed in all of the elected officials. None of you are leaders, you are simply politicians.

  • Scott LaMar img 2015-08-05 11:03

    Brent ask...
    Tourism industries in 54 Pennsylvania counties are competing at a huge disadvantage. We are fighting for Equitable Tourism Funding for these 54 Pennsylvania counties. Will our State Senators to vote on House Bill 794 this fall?

  • Scott LaMar img 2015-08-05 11:03

    Donald says...
    This legislator is the reason that people lose their faith in government. The Republicans are in the pockets of the natural gas companies because they have paid so much for their campaigns. Pennsylvania elected a non incumbent governor because we wanted a change.

    Pennsylvanians want property tax reductions. The Republicans know that taxes on earning might hit rich people more than working folks so they are opposed to them. Any poiltician that would rather give us this kind of baloney rather than try to compromise should not be in government

  • Azhar img 2015-10-10 09:46

    Very helpful info. thanks for share.
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