This week in Pa. his­tory

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - CAPITOL WATCH -

6 YEARS AGO Cor­bett fa­vors vote dis­tri­bu­tion

Repub­li­can Gov. Tom Cor­bett, ap­pear­ing at a September 2011 news con­fer­ence, told re­por ters 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 sup­por t 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 ever yone’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 trans­por tation 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 salar y to $145,553, up from $108,724.

The state Farm Bureau said the av­er­age dair yman’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.”

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