This week in Pa. history
6 YEARS AGO Corbett favors vote distribution
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, appearing at a September 2011 news conference, told reporters he favored Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi’s
proposal to award Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes based on election results in each of the 18 congressional districts and the statewide vote.
Corbett signaled his support of the change in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.
The proposal never won approval, and Pennsylvania continues to award all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the statewide popular vote, as do 47 other states.
Under Pileggi’s system, Democrat Barack Obama would have won 12 electoral votes in 2012 and Mitt
Romney would have gotten eight — meaning everyone’s vote would have counted for something.
“The advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state,” Pileggi, a Republican, said at the time.
9 YEARS AGO Feds reject idea to toll I-80
The Federal Highway Administration, ruling in September 2008, rejected the Legislature’s plan to raise $1 billion a year to fund transportation projects by turning Interstate 80 over to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and building toll booths along its length.
The FHA questioned whether the Turnpike’s proposed payments to PennDOT reflected an “objective market valuation” of the highway. “There is simply no evidence that the lease payments are related to the actual costs of acquiring an interest in the facility,” the FHA said at the time. One opponent of the plan, Republican U.S. Rep.
John Peterson of Pennsylvania, responded to the ruling:
“The ‘closed for business’ sign has been removed from Pennsylvania.” Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell urged lawmakers to consider leasing the turnpike to a private firm, another plan that died.
12 YEARS AGO Perzel likens pay to farmworkers
House Speaker John Perzel, addressing the Republican State Committee in mid-September 2005, defended the middle-of-thenight pay raise he helped engineer for himself and his fellow lawmakers by stating immigrant farmworkers in Lancaster County were making $55,000 just milking cows.
Perzel’s raise bumped his salary to $145,553, up from $108,724.
The state Farm Bureau said the average dairyman’s wage was more like $20,500 than $55,000.
18 YEARS AGO Ridge: Tobacco payout for health
Gov. Tom Ridge had concluded five public forums in the summer of 1999 about the state’s $11.3 billion share of the settlement with big tobacco companies.
But exactly how the money would be spent was up for more debate, according to The Associated Press. “Some officials want more money for hospitals that care for the poor, others for cancer research at state universities,” Ridge said.
“Some want more anti-tobacco ads directed at children. Some want a combination, and some have different ideas altogether.”