- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

A look at Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s record over his four-year tenure:



Corbett inherited a $28.1 billion budget balanced with $4.2 billion in one-time items identified by his office, including $2.6 billion in federal recession aid, when he took office in 2011. He balanced four budgets without raising broad-based taxes. His current $29 billion budget includes $2.5 billion in one-time items.



He signed bills to limit school boards’ authority to raise property taxes and double a tax credit that helps subsidize tuition at private and parochial schools. He also supported budget-balancing reductions in funding to public schools and universities amid the disappearance of federal recession aid.



Corbett eliminated adultBasic, a subsidized health insurance program for about 40,000 low-income adults. He instituted twice-yearly eligibility checks for Medicaid recipients that critics blamed for tens of thousands of people losing Medicaid coverage because of caseworkers’ errors. Corbett sought federal approval to make changes in the federal Medicaid expansion authorized by the 2010 health care law, delaying it in Pennsylvania for a year. Coverage is scheduled to expand Jan. 1.



He signed a landmark transportation funding bill boosting fuel taxes and motorist fees by an estimated $2.3 billion a year to ramp up the state’s road and bridge reconstruction spending by about 40 percent.



Corbett signed a package of bills that expanded the 20-year-old playbook for how caseworkers and investigators can handle reports of child abuse and who must report cases of suspected child abuse. The bills were largely a response to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.



Corbett was unable to persuade the House and Senate to agree on a plan to end state control of the wholesale and retail sale of wine and liquor, one of his signature initiatives.



Corbett unsuccessfully sought passage of legislation to pare pension benefits for future state and school employees to save money over the long term. Lawmakers also ignored his call to further delay payments into the pension funds in a bid to provide near-term budget relief to school districts.



Corbett’s administration helped negotiate deals to keep three Philadelphia-area refineries from shutting down. He signed legislation adapting Pennsylvania’s drilling regulations to the Marcellus Shale exploration, including an impact fee on wells that he initially resisted. Courts later struck down rules he had sought to restrict the ability of municipalities to dictate the location of drilling activity.



Corbett’s budgets cut business taxes every year, reducing companies’ payments by hundreds of millions of dollars annually. He signed legislation limiting the liability of companies sued in civil liability cases. And he signed legislation authorizing one of the state’s biggest bond issuances ever to repay billions in unemployment compensation debt at a lower interest rate.



Corbett signed legislation to toughen Pennsylvania’s voter identification law, making it one of the nation’s toughest, but courts blocked it from taking effect and ultimately struck it down as unconstitutional. Corbett did not appeal.



Corbett defended Pennsylvania’s law banning recognition of same-sex marriage against a federal court challenge. Corbett opposes same-sex marriage, but he decided not to appeal a judge’s May 2014 decision striking down the law because Corbett did not believe the state would prevail.



Corbett signed legislation to allow member organizations like the National Rifle Association to sue municipalities over local gun control ordinances that exceed the reach of state firearms laws. He also signed legislation to expand the allowable use of lethal force in self-defense.



Corbett signed legislation to toughen building and staffing regulations at abortion clinics. He also signed legislation prohibiting insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in the marketplace created under the 2010 federal health care law.

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