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January 17, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

WATCHBLOG: Corbett confirms liquor privatization, transportation funding plan on their way (Audio)

HARRISBURG – The ink is barely even dry on Gov. Tom Corbett’s first major move of 2013 – the privatization of the state lottery – but the governor promised Thursday that two more major initiatives will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Unlike the lottery deal, which was executed entirely within the executive branch, the governor will need help from the legislature to tackle liquor privatization and transportation funding.

Corbett gave few details during a Thursday press conference except to confirm what was being widely speculated – that the administration is taking the lead on crafting plans to revamp Pennsylvania’s odd and arcane liquor laws and to provide potentially billions of dollars for transportation projects.

You will see something on the liquor stores and on transportation before the budget address,” Corbett said. “We’re gonna keep you busy for the next couple of weeks….they always told me ‘feed the beast, feed the beast.’”

Asked for specifics on the liquor plan or transportation funding proposal, Corbett kept mum.

“Stay tuned,” he said.

Corbett is scheduled to give his third budget address on Feb. 5.

He said the budget would “show some optimism in the future of Pennsylvania because of the tough decisions we’ve had to make for the last two years.”

Listen to Corbett’s full remarks on liquor, transportation and the budget here.

We reported on some of the developments on the liquor front Wednesday, and the Associated Press claimed Corbett’s transportation plan would generate $2 billion – mostly from a higher tax on gas stations.

Corbett disputed part of the AP report, but did not offer specifics.

Being more serious, Corbett said he was unconvinced that armed officers in schools was not necessarily a solution to the question of how to make schools safer.

“In some schools they are probably necessary, aren’t they? To be frank,” he said. “As we know there is no one simple solution.”

As he has before, Corbett turned the conversation towards mental health instead of guns – saying that “somebody going off the rails is very difficult to predict, but there are indicators out there.”

He said he has not had time to review the details of President Barack Obama’s new gun control proposals.

Contact Boehm at Eric@PAIndependent.com and follow @PAIndependent on Twitter.

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Eric Boehm is a reporter for PA Independent. He can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com or at (717) 350-0963.

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