Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Democrats Look at GOP Change

As Tom Corbett prepares to take office as Pennsylvania Governor, there is speculation about how Democrats and Republicans will get along in the new administration. State Representative Dan Frankel, democrat from Squirrel Hill, thinks there ought to be collaboration on some of the key issues facing the Commonwealth. He says that would include the difficult budget situation. Frankel, who is the Democratic Caucus Chairman, says there are important concerns to be voiced as they go into the process of taking a closer look at spending priorities.

Republican leadership has indicated they want to privatize Pennsylvania’s state store system as a way to get some much needed revenue. Frankel says it seems to be premature to decide what the cost benefit is with the sale of the wine and liquor stores. He says it needs to be studied. Frankel says GOP Representative Mike Turzai of Pittsburgh's North Hills, one of the advocates of privatization, believes it could generate up to $4 billion dollars. But Frankel doesn’t know if that is an accurate number. He says there needs to be more analysis to make the case for selling off the state stores. Frankel says advancing such a proposal in the past has been met with strong opposition from those concerned about labor issues and expanding minors access to alcohol.

When asked whether “compromise” will be the theme for 2011 in Harrisburg Frankel says the Republican party is in a position to drive an agenda. But he says that will only happen as long as they have a unified block. Frankel says the Democrats certainly want some of their ideas to be considered.

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