Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gubernatorial Candidates Discuss Tourism Issues

Shortening the school year to allow for more recreation, dedicating a funding source for tourism, privatizing the state liquor system, high speed rail, funding the film tax credit and ways to support state parks were among the topics discussed at a debate held in gubernatorial debate held at a hotel in downtown Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon.

The debate was sponsored by Visit Pittsburgh and The League of Women Voters. Four of the candidates attended: Dan Onorato, Robert Allan Mansfield, Joe Hoeffel and Jack Wagner. About a hundred people were in attendance.

The candidates were asked a series of questions that were in some way, related to the tourism industry. None of the candidates were in support of expansion of gaming in the state. However, Onorato said he was in support of gaming machines in bars. Wagner said he does not support the expansion considering all of the casinos that were supposed to have been built have not been built yet.

All agreed high-speed rail connecting Pittsburgh to Philadelphia would be an asset to Pennsylvania.

Mansfield said the state liquor system should be privatized, Onorato said this is not the time and spoke about his drink tax, Wagner said it should not be privatized, Hoeffel said the state should use its purchasing power and work out discounts.

All candidates agreed a budget should be passed on time and said if they were governor they would make it happen. Pennsylvania's budget has not been passed on time once in the last seven years.

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