Fiscal Talks, Shale Bills to Dominate Legislative Session
As the Pennsylvania General Assembly settles into a new legislative session, lawmakers must tackle a host of issues while dealing with a substantial revenue shortfall.
For House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, the major issue of early 2012 is the state budget, which will probably take heavy cuts in light of a 4% revenue shortfall.
"I think we're going to have to think outside the box," said Turzai. "People do not want to increase taxes. That would be, I think, a mistake during a recession. I think we're going to need to look at privatizing assets like the Liquor Control. I think we're going to need to look at the lottery fund."
Turzai says he'd also like to reduce Pennsylvania's debt and draft some job-creation policies to stimulate the economy.
He says the House is continuing to work with the Senate on comprehensive Marcellus Shale legislation, which would include quote appropriate regulations and an impact fee.
Turzai says he's eager to pursue his effort to privatize the liquor control board, a measure he says will provide both immediate and long-term revenues.