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

Crime victim Constitutional proposal/Affordable or free college plan

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 30, 2018 3:54 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, January 30, 2018:

Should Pennsylvania's Constitution be amended to provide more protections for crime victims and also keep them better informed about their cases?

Currently, the U.S. Constitution and every state constitution provides legal rights for individuals accused of a crime and those convicted of a crime. Yet, the U.S. Constitution and some state constitutions do not extend legal rights to victims of crime. Pennsylvania is one of those states without a Victims' Rights Amendment to its Constitution.

It's called Marsy's Law for All and was named after Marsalee Nicholas, a California co-ed murdered by an ex-boyfriend.  Only a week later, her family members walked into a grocery store and were confronted by the accused murderer. They were not told that he had been released on bail.

Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm is a supporter of a Marsy's Law in the state.  She's appear on Tuesday's Smart Talk, along with Christi Lane, a woman who witnessed the murders of her mother and grandmother 25 years ago.

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Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm

Also, The Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center proposed a plan last week that would make college and universities more affordable and maybe even free in some cases. The Pennsylvania Promise proposal attracted a lot of attention because it would effectively eliminate tuition for qualified students with family incomes of $110,000 a year or less. 

Mark Price, a labor economist with the Keystone Research Center, joins us on Smart Talk to discuss details and how Pennsylvania would fund the $1 billion proposal.  Some suggestions include a severance tax on Marcellus shale and raising corporate and income taxes on higher earners. 

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Mark Price, a labor economist with the Keystone Research Center / Daniel Le - PA Student Power Network Member

emails

on victims rights:

My mom's house was robbed and everything of value she owned was stolen. They caught the guy and when she asked him where all of her belongings were a judge said that he did not have to tell her. It destroyed her to lose all of her family heirlooms not to mention she became very afraid of being in the house alone. We don't think this is fair that she was unable to retrieve her belongings because the judge protected the thief. It was in the paper in Harrisburg

- I could barely tolerate yet  another discussion over the sexual harassment issue. At age 62, I  can attest to never experiencing such a national obsession, with a minor social issue. Of course, I realize the existence of this pestilence, and I certainly support efforts to eliminate it from social and business life. However, consider the challenges previous generations confronted, and then realize how pathetic this preponderance of unrelenting focus on this has become. We have far greater concerns to spend our time considering. Freakin'  MOVE ON!  I hide from no person or organization, and am proud to state I am William T. Phillipy IV from Carlisle, PA. Now please consider my words and time spent addressing this ridiculous circumstance.

on tuition:

Why is imposing a significant tax increase on the state population a better option and perpetuating those high tuition costs over capping the amount of student loans which would bring down tuition over time?     - GK

- So what happens to the kids in PA that graduated from State schools and now have tens of thousands of dollars in debt? Will there be any assistance for them?  - Gail

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