Stop the bleeding, sell the booze … and let's see a budget
The letter of the week at the state Capitol: B.
Top Republican lawmakers last week started off by calling for a "tourniquet to stop the Bleeding" on state-run pensions.
By tourniquet, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati meant moving to a defined-contribution, or 401(k)-style, plan for new state workers and public school employees.
Currently, the State Employees' Retirement System and the Public School Employees' Retirement System have unfunded pension liabilities of more than $44 Billion.
Pension reform debates, which started late last session, are expected to dominate the 2013-14 dialogue in Harrisburg.
From there, the attention turned to Booze and Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to get the state out of the business of selling alcohol.
Privatization has really ramped up in recent weeks with the lottery and now liquor.
Coming off the booze hangover, all eyes tomorrow will be on Corbett's third Budget address as governor.
The Republican administration has said plans to address the pension situation, as well as how to fund needed transportation infrastructure projects, will coincide with the governor's budget proposal for 2013-14.
That's a lot to tackle early on in the new session, but we're also gearing up for a 2014 gubernatorial election. This is the year to get big-ticket items checked off the Bucket list.
The transportation plan, which has been the top issue for many business leaders, is expected to call for lifting a cap on the tax on gasoline wholesalers.
Bring on the debate.
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.