Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dems Say Plan Could Generate 30,000 Jobs

State Senate Democrats are introducing a package of new bills they say could spur the Pennsylvania's economy.
The Democrats say their economic plan would create nearly 30-thousand new jobs, by consolidating Pennsylvania's job training programs so they're all under one agency, and expanding tax credits to small businesses.
Minority Leader Jay Costa says he thinks the package can become law, even though Democrats are in the minority.

"When it comes to matters, I think one of my colleagues says this is about jobs. It's not about Democrats and Republicans. When they're good ideas, I think they're good ideas to everyone. And I think that's what we've put together here: a series of good ideas to allow us to work closely with them. We've provided the governor and some other folks copies of this. We will be sharing it with our Republican colleagues."

Caucus leaders want to use unspent state grant money to generate more private investment in new projects, like infrastructure repairs.
Senator Vince Hughes of Philadelphia says the recent gas explosion in Allentown is the latest sign the state's roads, bridges and pipe lines need to be fixed.

"In many respects they're miles and miles and miles of steel-cast systems running beneath our cities and towns and communities, driving out natural gas. And they're old, and they're breaking down, and unfortunately they're causing tragic accidents."

The Democrats also want to close tax loopholes and adjust corporate tax rates, to provide additional funding for the initiative.
Many of their proposals have failed in previous sessions, but the Democrats and the Corbett Administration agree on a few points, like privatizing more state-owned resources to fund infrastructure repairs.

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