Monday: Groundhog day for budget

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Corbett groundhog daySo much going on today . . . but enough about the Steelers' new offensive coordinator.

Gov. Tom Corbett's budget address is at 11:30 a.m. You can watch live here at the state website. It could be another long cold winter for education and human services funding.

At least the long-delayed Marcellus Shale impact fee/zoning oversight bill is moving. It's two votes away from Corbett's desk. (Laura Olson/Pipeline)

Speaking of state duties, county controller Chelsa Wagner is still battling county exec Rich Fitzgerald over control of the little yellow stickers on scales and gas pumps. Rather than let the exec take the duty over, she says the responsibility should be returned to the state. (Len Barcousky has the story, and Wagner writes an op-ed in today's PG.)

Waynesburg Democrat Bill DeWeese is vowing to run again for his state House seat, despite his conviction on five public corruption felonies yesterday. He gets to stay in office through his sentencing April 24th . . .

Which was a big day already, sharing the calendar with the state's primary and perhaps the cavalcade of GOP presidential candidates and hangers-on. Except state Republicans may seek to push the primary back if Democrats get their way via the re-reapportionment and have the election on decade-old lines. If so, there goes any chance of Pa being a presidential player this spring. From my story:

"Presidential primary movement is common. Presidential primary movement in the midst of the primary calendar is not," Josh Putnam, a visiting assistant political science professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, wrote in an email.

Pennsylvania usually holds its primaries the third week of May but moves them to late April in presidential years. Mr. Putnam, who runs the primary and delegate-tracking website Frontloading HQ, said the state was poised to have a say this year in a GOP nominee, possibly by pushing frontrunner Mitt Romney past the 1,144 delegates needed to lock up the party's nomination.

"To move back beyond that date, then, would mean Pennsylvania would be pushed out of the window of decisiveness in this race," he said.

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