Former Gov. Corbett Is Collecting a State Pension

Former Gov. Tom Corbett

What? Me worry?

Former Gov. Tom Corbett, once a leading critic of the state’s pension system, is now receiving a state pension.

TribLive reports:

Former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, a vocal advocate for pension reform, is collecting a $38,765 state pension, retirement system records show.

He withdrew a $118,378 lump-sum payment based on his contributions with 4 percent interest earned, records reflect.

Corbett’s pension is based on a final average salary of $186,204, an amount that reflects annual cost-of-living raises Corbett declined as salary. He kept his salary at $174,914 for four years.

Corbett’s pension is based on his time as governor and attorney general. Former Gov. Ed Rendell receives an annual pension of $22,358 and withdrew a lump-sum payment of $96,420; Former Gov. Tom Ridge receives $11,961 a year and withdrew a lump sum of $45,023.

Report: Pa. Gas Taxes Highest in the Nation

The good news? Gas is pretty cheap these days — as low as $2.02 a gallon in the Philadelphia area, according to one website.

The not-quite-as-thrilling news? The gas isn’t quite as cheap as it could be: Pennsylvania now has the highest gas taxes in the country.

“Pennsylvania has passed New York and California by earning the dubious distinction of having the highest gasoline taxes in the nation, ” Greg Laskoski writes at “Combined with the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, Pennsylvania’s state tax of 50.5 cpg. brings the combined tax to 68.9 cents per gallon.  Californians pay 63.7 cents per gal., New Yorkers pay 63.4 cents per gal., according to the American Petroleum Institute.”

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Wednesday’s City Reads

Albuquerque | Shutterstock

Albuquerque | Shutterstock

National Reads: “In Albuquerque, protests against police shootings and charges against officers”

The national debate around police-involved shootings has largely centered on two places: Ferguson, Mo. and New York. But cities and towns across the country, including Philadelphia, are grappling with the issue.

The Washington Post takes a look one such place: Albuquerque, where “police shot and killed 27 people between 2010 and 2014.”

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What Is Tom Corbett’s Legacy?

What? Me worry?

After four years, time to weigh Tom Corbett’s accomplishments.

With the year winding down, and Gov. Tom Corbett due to leave office shortly after 2015 begins, news organizations are taking stock of his legacy, weighing the good and the bad. The Associated Press has one such appraisal out now.

Weighing in Corbett’s favor:

Corbett championed the business community. He cut business taxes every year, reducing payments by hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and signed various top-priority bills for business groups. The natural gas industry applauded Corbett for blocking a severance tax sought by many lawmakers, and Corbett often credited his stances as the kernel for Pennsylvaynia’s economic recovery and its growing energy sector.

On the other hand, there were the school budget cuts — which probably doomed him politically — and all the other cuts:

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Pennsylvania Sued Over Health Care Changes

Earlier this week, Community Legal Services filed suit against the state of Pennsylvania over changes to health care beginning next year.

Under the changes coming next year, Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program is being renamed from HealthChoices to Healthy Pennsylvania. Instead of expanding traditional Medicaid coverage as recommended in Obama’s health care law, Pennsylvania instead decided to expand on its own — accepting only some money from Medicaid.

All Pennsylvanians in Healthy PA are being moved into three tiers of coverage. In the suit — Mendez v. Mackereth — against the state’s Department of Public Welfare, CLS argues two of the three new health care options under Healthy PA “contain very significant, potentially health-altering cuts.”

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AG Kane Won’t Defend Pa. Gun Law That Allows NRA Suits

Attorney General Kathleen Kane gestures to Gov. Tom Corbett while speaking at a news conference in Harrisburg in June.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane gestures to Gov. Tom Corbett while speaking at a June news conference about healthcare.

Kathleen Kane has decided not to defend a recently passed gun law that allows lawsuits against municipalities that enact gun laws harsher than state laws.

“The attorney general determined it would be more efficient and in the best interest of the commonwealth for the Office of General Counsel to handle this matter,” Kane spokeswoman Renee Martin said. She is leaving it up to Gov. Tom Corbett’s staff. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is sworn in as governor on January 20th.

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Does Gov. Corbett Have One Big Bill Left in Him?

Pennsylvania Republicans continue to hold out the possibility of a “lame duck” session to pass GOP-favored legislation before Democrat Tom Wolf becomes governor in January. That’s two weeks after the newly elected members of the Legislature — and their larger GOP majorities in both chambers — take office, giving the GOP a chance to pass legislation relatively unimpeded.

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Lawsuit: School Funding in Pennsylvania is Unconstitutional


Seventeen years ago, the city and School District of Philadelphia filed suit against Pennsylvania, accusing it of failing to provide sufficient education funding in violation of the state Constitution, which obligates the state legislature to “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education.”

It didn’t work. Commonwealth Court rejected the suit, and the state Supreme Court in 1999 refused to hear an appeal.

Now school funding advocates are looking for a rematch. A potentially momentous lawsuit was filed in Commonwealth Court this morning, claiming that the state has “adopted an irrational and inequitable school financing arrangement that drastically underfunds school districts across the Commonwealth and discriminates against children on the basis of the taxable property and household incomes in their districts.”

One of many striking elements of this suit is that the School District of Philadelphia — which would be among the greatest beneficiaries of a successful lawsuit — is not among the plaintiffs.

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Corbett’s Self-Inflicted Loss Is Lesson For Wolf, Republicans

The GOP tidal wave was massive, with Republicans winning from coast-to-coast. Preeminent among them was a man who, after achieving a stunning 10-point victory in America’s sixth-largest state, instantly became a leading contender for vice-president — and perhaps one day something even higher.

It was 2010, and Tom Corbett had just become governor of the critically important swing state of Pennsylvania. With near-record Republican majorities in the legislature, he had it all, poised to usher in a new era of prosperity and help the Keystone State regain its former glory.

Four short years later, Corbett was humiliated by being the only Republican incumbent in the country to fall, and the first governor in modern Pennsylvania history to lose re-election. Even more unfathomable, he lost in the biggest GOP landslide since Herbert Hoover was President.

Now, two words say it all: “Tom who?”

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