Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett defends record: ‘We kept the promises that we made’

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    Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett talks with Dave Heller at WHYY studios. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett talks with Dave Heller at WHYY studios. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Now, less than one month out from the midterm elections, the third of three scheduled debates between Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and rival Democrat Tom Wolf is in the rearview mirror, as are yesterday’s appearances in our region with marquee stumpers Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    It seems like a good time for NewsWorks Tonight Host Dave Heller to sit down with Gov. Corbett for a look at his first term record.

    “We kept the promises that we made,” said Corbett, “that we’d bring fiscal discipline, limited government, and free enterprise to Pennsylvanians.”

    The governor went on to tout some accomplishments of special significance to those in the Philadelphia region.

    “Soon after I became governor, Sunoco decided it was going to close its refinery, and Conoco decided it was going to close its refinery,” he said. “Working in a bipartisan way with the legislature, with the mayor’s office here, Congressman Brady, and with the White House, we were able not only to keep those refineries open, but now to actually see them growing.”

    On education, Corbett said getting pensions under control is key.

    “I have always defended the teachers because they paid their pension premiums, they paid what they were supposed to do,” he said. “But school districts and the legislature and municipalities in the past did not completely pay into it. Under my administration, we have fully funded the pensions every year.”

    Asked whether the schools receive enough funding from the state, Corbett said the Philadelphia School District receives 53 percent of its funds from Harrisburg — more than any other district in the state — but admitted it’s tough to know how much is enough.

    “We need to come up with a fair funding formula,” he said. “But the perception of fair funding is sort of like art. It’s in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the eye of the person who’s going to be receiving that funding.”

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