Corbett visits Washington County Fair

August 15, 2013
Gov. Tom Corbett, left, shares a laugh Thursday with state Sen. Tim Solobay and Lisa Cessna, director of the Washington County Planning Commission, at the Washington County Fair. Corbett was there to present a check for $21,558 to organizers of the fair. - Aaron Kendeall / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Gov. Tom Corbett met the crowd gathered at the Washington County Fair’s livestock competition Thursday in order to promote the $3 million allocated in his latest budget to the statewide agricultural fair system.

“It’s important for people not in agriculture to come out and see the culture …” Corbett said, “and all the hard work they’re doing in Washington County and all the other counties in the state.”

Surrounded by reporters, other elected officials and staff members, Corbett presented a check for $21,558 to county fair officials that represented the county’s share of this year’s allocated funds. Against the backdrop of restless lambs and heifers, the governor addressed the crowd and touted the importance of fairs like the one in Washington County.

“I think over the years I’ve been to all the fairs in the state.”

After a short address to the crowd gathered at the main show ring, Corbett talked to reporters. He gave an update on issues facing his administration, including a controversy that unraveled earlier this week revolving around vacations houses he and former Department of Environmental Protection secretary Michael Krancer purchased, allegedly without proper reporting.

“We thought the disclosure had to be done this year and not last year,” Corbett said. “We’re not trying to hide anything. Hilton Head is somewhere we’ve been staying for years now … My wife finally twisted my arm into getting a place.”

The Corbetts purchased a condominium in Hilton Head, S.C., for about $265,000. Krancer bought a house for about $1 million in Stowe, Vt. According to StateImpact, a public radio program based in Philadelphia, neither properly disclosed the purchases on documents required for state officials.

When asked about the state’s stance on same-sex marriages that are being performed in some parts of the commonwealth, Corbett said his administration would continue to fight for the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Until elected officials change it, that’s the law,” Corbett said. “We can’t pick and choose what laws we want to follow.”

Corbett said a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a key element of the national Defense of Marriage Act had no bearing on Pennsylvania law.

“I continue to say that the entity that makes the determination as to whether a state law is unconstitutional is the state supreme court,” Corbett said.

Corbett also brought up the importance of reducing the state’s $47 million pension shortfall.

“Until we resolve the pension issue, 62 cents of every new dollar of revenue is going to pension,” Corbett said. “In order to provide funding to programs such as the county fairs, we have to resolve this issue. Importantly now, but also importantly as the years go by because this is a growing demand on the budget of Pennsylvania, as it is on many of the municipalities in Pennsylvania.”



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