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: Wolf uses line item to get state money flowing

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 30, 2015 7:49 AM
State capitol dome from behind 600 x 340.jpg


What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, December 30, 2015:

Six months without a state budget came to a head Tuesday when Gov. Tom Wolf announced

Just two days short of six months without a state budget, an angry Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that he is utilizing his line item veto power and will not approve a $30 billion spending plan passed last week by Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

The governor used harsh language and said Republicans left Harrisburg last week without doing their jobs.

Wolf further criticized Republicans for backing away from what was described as the framework of a budget compromise last November. $23.3 billion will be released to Pennsylvania's schools and social service organizations.

Republicans countered that they enacted a budget that holds the line on spending and taxes.

On a special edition of Smart Talk, we'll discuss the governor's actions, what happens next, and how it impacts the state.

You'll hear from:

Rep. Madeleine Dean, of Montgomery County, a Democratic member of the House Appropriations Committee. 

Rep. Seth Grove of York County, Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Jay Himes, Executive Director, PA Association of School Business Officials.

John Callahan, Sr. Director of Government Affairs PSBA.

Steve Esack, Capitol reporter for the Allentown Morning Call.

Chris Comisac, reporter with the online news service Capitolwire.

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Bob Nunn img 2015-12-30 09:32

    It is my understanding that last years budget had increases and use one time funds to cover it. Even without any increase this year where did the GOP expect to get the money this year.

  • Bob Nunn img 2015-12-30 09:43

    If the state doesn't need a tax hike, why did they increase the gas tax?

  • Jim Foster img 2015-12-31 11:37

    I'm sorry I was away, so I didn't get to listen to this program live or call in. In my humble opinion, the budget standoff is due to one primary factor, gerrymandering. Consider that, in PA, the split of registered voters between the parties is roughly even. Statewide elections are typically about even, with the office of Governor switching between the parties roughly half the time, and our US Senators split between Dem and GOP. But, why is our state House and Senate overwhelmingly Republican, with many of these very right wing. These legislators have no incentive to compromise. If they were to do so, they would risk a primary challenge from an even more right wing opponent. Why is our US House delegation 5 Dem and 13 GOP? Only one reason, gerrymandered legislative districts. In he end, we voters get the legislators we deserve. If you like the way things are, with entrenched right wing (and some left wing) legislators who have no incentive to compromise, do nothing. If, like me, you are sick and tired of extremists on the left and right who do not represent you, join the movement for legislative district reform. Two organizations that are doing great work in this area are Common Cause Pennsylvania and the League of Women Voters.

  • Alex Bryan img 2016-01-04 01:56

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