HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett did something Tuesday that he promised to do on 'Day One' if elected - he released a plan for reforming state government.
As he began his second week as governor, the Republican
governor's office issued a laundry list that reflects Corbett's
campaign promises and does not break new ground.
"I am committed to provide an open, transparent, accountable
and trustworthy government that puts our taxpayers first and gets
the commonwealth back on track," said Corbett, who has pledged to
balance the state budget that starts July 1 without raising taxes
despite a projected deficit of at least $4 billion.
Corbett's proposals include requiring state employees to submit
receipts before they can be reimbursed for food, travel and
lodging, expanding an online database of state financial
information, changing the state budget from a one-year cycle to two
years, and urging legislative leaders to reduce a legislative
surplus that currently totals nearly $190 million.
Democrats said Corbett's proposals don't go far enough.
"We're underwhelmed," said Bill Patton, a spokesman for the
House Democratic minority. "It leaves us wanting more."
Patton said Democrats do not oppose the governor's proposals,
but want more far-reaching reforms such as limits on campaign
contributions and more frequent campaign-finance reporting.
Corbett said sponsors of a constitutional amendment that would
be necessary to switch to a biennial budget - Rep. Bryan Cutler and
Sen. Mike Brubaker, both Lancaster County Republicans - introduced
their bill Tuesday.
Corbett said he will direct the General Services Department to
audit the more than 16,000 vehicles in the state fleet, which he
has said he wants to shrink by as much as 20 percent.
He said he also will appoint a panel to conduct a yearlong
review of all state boards and commissions and set expiration dates
for any that are inactive or ineffective.
With the GOP now controlling both the executive and legislative
branches, legislators in both parties are also making their case
for various reforms. At least two lawmakers are promoting proposals
to create state databases of information on state spending and
contracts, but a Corbett spokeswoman said he prefers to build on
the limited resources already in place.
"We're not going to reinvent the wheel," said the spokeswoman,
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)