Cawley Hails Job Creation: Lt. Governor Boasts Of Corbett Administration’s Accomplishments

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

If there was any doubt Gov. Tom Corbett intends to seek re-election it was dispelled Thursday when his right hand man outlined for business leaders a host of accomplishments during the administration’s 27 months in office, and listed as many promises for the remainder of the term.

Speaking to a packed house of business leaders and government officials from Bedford, Cambria and surrounding counties, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley ticked off the Corbett administration’s accomplishments in looking out for businesses — the people who create the jobs.

“We promised we were going to reform the way the state was conducting its business,” said Cawley, a former Bucks County commissioner.

Little more than two months after Corbett introduced his 2013-2014 $28.4 million budget, which increases state spending by 2.4 percent and keeps taxes unchanged, fiscal discipline has been restored to Harrisburg, Cawley said.

It also is proof that state leaders are not spending money that future generations will have to repay, and job creators are being allowed to do what they do best, hire people, he said.

Since taking office, the adminstration has eliminated the $4.2 billion deficit it faced when taking office and has paved the way to create 10,000 private sector jobs, Cawley told the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce.

Along the way, Corbett’s policies have saved the unemployment compensation system and three oil refineries in the southeastern corner of the state, Cawley said.

“We feel very strongly we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.

With the list of Democratic challengers who would like to replace Corbett already becoming crowded more than a year before the primary race, the GOP is taking a keen look at some of the high-profile issues that remain unresolved.

Transportation will see a marked improvement and create an economic bump if Corbett’s revenue enhancement proposal to generate $1.8 billion makes its way through the House and the Senate, Cawley said.

The additional money would immediately create jobs and begin to provide a world-class infrastructure allowing Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges to enter the 21st century, he said.

At the same time, the administration continues to look for ways to make better use of existing revenue, including a reduction in staff vehicles.

PennDOT announced Thursday efforts to better manage staff vehicle usage have resulted in a

30 percent reduction in staff-assigned vehicles for a savings of $4 million on mileage reimbursements.

PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said that in 2003, PennDOT had a fleet of 2,100 passenger vehicles. That number has been reduced to 1,500.

Cawley also used the forum to lobby for support of Corbett’s attempts to privatize the liquor stores, eliminating what he termed as an 80-year monopoly.

The plan provides for penalties and fines much higher than those in place now, and provides significantly more money to state police for liquor law enforcement and more money for treatment programs.

The looming pension crisis will be dealt with by the adminstration, Cawley said, adding Corbett will not “kick the can down the road.”

While next year’s governor’s election was not mentioned, more than a half dozen Democratic candidates hoping to capture their party’s nomination already have lined up.

Included in the list is John Hanger, former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection; state Treasurer Rob McCord; congresswoman Allyson Schwartz; former congressman Joe Sestak; and Tom Wolf, former revenue secretary.

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