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Corbett must deliver 'big play'

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Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

It's halftime of Gov. Tom Corbett's four-year term, and while he's kept promises of on-time, balanced budgets and no tax hikes, he needs to deliver a “big play” — preferably several — in the second half.

That lack of a signature accomplishment for the GOP reform agenda is puzzling for a Republican governor whose party controls the House and Senate. He says long-overdue privatization of wine and spirits sales is a top second-half priority, along with funding multibillion-dollar transportation infrastructure needs.

Gov. Corbett's second-half game plan also targets skyrocketing state pension costs. Addressing that issue must include switching new hires from traditional defined-benefit plans to 401(k)-style defined-contribution plans.

But what of other necessary, fundamental reforms, such as doing away with publicly funded construction's prevailing-wage rules and “project labor agreements” that hike taxpayers' costs and deny nonunion workers jobs?

The voters who put Corbett in the governor's mansion expect a wide range of reforms to remedy Pennsylvania's nanny-state, big-government, tax-and-spend ways — expectations heightened by GOP control of the Legislature.

The clock is ticking. The governor has what he needs to dominate in the second half, but as in football, “on paper” is one thing, executing on the field another. If Pennsylvanians are to win, he must make those big plays to cross critical items off his extensive second-half “to do” list.

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