Costa lays out Democrats’ Senate priorities

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State Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, says the priorities for Democrats in the state senate are increasing education spending, creating jobs and economic development—all of which he noted, Gov. Tom Corbett has failed to do.

Not surprisingly, those priorities are precisely aligned with those of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf. And Costa admitted to the New Pittsburgh Courier editorial board, that when state senate and house Democrats return after their summer vacations, it will be all-Tom-Wolf-all-the-time.

“Wolf will win because of Corbett’s missteps,” said Costa. “A looming $1.2 billion deficit; 20,000 lost teacher jobs; he killed Adult Basic (senior healthcare option); he supported Voter ID, and on his watch—with a Republican house and senate—Pennsylvania went from seventh in job creation to 48th.”

Costa said Democratic senators in Harrisburg are poised to increase taxes on natural gas producers in an effort to replace some of the lost revenue. Their planned tax, just as Wolf proposed, would replace the current impact fee with a 5 percent severance tax. Costa estimated it would raise almost $500 million more than the impact fee, which brought in $225 million in 2013.

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