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.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Capitol Reporter's Roundtable

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Nov 30, 2017 8:00 PM
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On the Friday November 30th, 2017 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

Pennsylvania House Bill 153 has been sitting before the State's Legislature for more than a year; the bill, sponsored by Schuylkill County Representative Jerry Knowles, passed the house with great fanfare in 2016.  It has languished in committee since then.  The bill would then require a constitutional amendment on an election ballot to meet full passage.

HB 153 would reduce the size of Pennsylvania's Legislature from 203 seats to 151 - a reduction of 26% that would ideally save taxpayers $15 million a year.  The legislative budget increased by 5.2% in 2017 to $362 million.  The Commonwealth boasts the largest fulltime Legislature in the country.

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WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer

On the Friday edition of Smart Talk, WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer speaks with Mark Levy, The Associated Press' Harrisburg Correspondent and Steve Esack of the Allentown Morning Call about efforts to limit the size and budget of the state's legislature as well as the race for Pennsylvania's second-in-command.

Last week, Lieutenant Governor Michael Stack announced his intention to run for re-election in 2018.  Stack made the announcement from Philadelphia's City Hall, saying "It's not a secret this year has been difficult for my family and me, but we're emerging stronger and healthier."

The difficulties he was referring to involve alleged abuse doled out by Stack and his wife to his state police security detail.  Allegations became severe enough for Governor Wolf to launch an investigation into the Stacks' behavior and eventually strip them of the detail.  The governor and Stack have had a historically rocky relationship with one capitol source telling Philly.com "Some in the front office have hated him [Stack] from Day One." 

Stack's announcement follows those of several other Pennsylvanians vying for the lieutenant governor's seat, including Braddock mayor John Fetterman, Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos and Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.

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Steve Esack - capitol reporter, Allentown Morning Call / Mark Levy - Harrisburg correspondent, The Associated Press

 

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