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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 

Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.

2020Talks - August 12, 2020 

California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

Thousands Converge on Capitol for "Responsible Budget" Rally

May 3, 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The steps of the State Capitol in Harrisburg will be packed today with union members and others who say that despite an estimated $4 billion deficit, Pennsylvania needs to make investments in key programs in its next state budget.

Mike Crossey is vice president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), representing almost 200,000 public school employees. He says Governor Tom Corbett can't use the budget axe alone to balance the books.

"A 'cuts-only' budget is not a responsible way to set the budget for the state of Pennsylvania."

Crossey says PSEA has a number of revenue-raising options in mind that could help spare budget cuts. They include a tax on companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, boosting taxes on big corporations doing business in the state, and taxing cigars and chewing tobacco, among other things.

Crossey says the revenues raised through the taxes they're talking about add up. He says there are huge numbers of dollars lying just under the surface in Pennsylvania.

"If we tax the extraction of this natural gas, just at the same level as, say, West Virginia and Texas - which are two other big states that play in this natural gas area - this would bring in 200 million dollars, in the first year."

Crossey thinks another target should be corporations that pay no income tax. In many cases, he says, while they operate in Pennsylvania, they're incorporated just over the border, in the tax-haven state of Delaware.

"Here in Pennsylvania, a family making in the mid-thirty-thousands, pays more taxes than 80-some-percent of the corporations."

PSEA says Governor Corbett has proposed cutting $1.2 billion from the K-through-12 public school budget.

The Rally for a Responsible Budget is from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tueday, May 3, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA