Pennsylvania legislative power shifts from East to West

    For most of the Rendell Administration, Philadelphia lawmakers set the agenda in Harrisburg. Next year, Allegheny County will hold Pennsylvania’s legislative reins.The Pittsburgh area is riding high right now. Gov.-elect Tom Corbett, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and both House leaders – Republican Mike Turzai and Democrat Frank Dermody – come from Allegheny County.Political scientist Terry Madonna of Franklin and Marshall College said the power shift is good news for the region.”Historically, lawmakers have assisted their region. They have brought home economic and community development monies,” said Madonna. “They have pushed the federal funds for which the state has discretion into their areas of the state. And so typically, you would expect that leaders would bring the bacon home.”Madonna said leaders will still find a way to make that happen, even though money will be tight next year, due to a likely multibillion-dollar deficit.Gov. Ed Rendell said the idea leaders will help their home city has been “badly blown out of proportion.”He’s likely a bit sensitive to the charge, though, having been labeled by many as “the governor of Philadelphia” for the last eight years.

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