2010-11-18 / Local & State

Gov.-Elect Corbett Begins Plans For Transition

By Marc Levy ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Corbett said Wednesday he would rely on established Republican advisers to help him build a new administration in Harrisburg as he makes plans to deal with a looming budget deficit, his pledge to reform government and the Marcellus Shale gas-drilling boom.

Speaking publicly in the Capitol for the first time as the state’s governor-elect, Corbett announced his top transition advisers, including one-time aides to former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge and some of Pennsylvania’s top GOP campaign fundraisers.

He took questions for 20 minutes, and stuck steadfastly to campaign promises to resolve a projected multibillion dollar budget deficit without raising taxes and to promptly unveil a government reform blueprint once in office.

“There’s a lot of priorities out there. The No. 1 priority is a balanced, responsible, reduced budget,’’ Corbett said in response to a question about dealing with a gap in money for the upkeep of the state’s roads, bridges and mass transit agencies.

He also deflected some questions about the state’s business, saying that his transition team would be taking a close look at the issue.

He said he intends to introduce a government reform plan his first week in office, as he has promised to do, and would try to bring the natural gas industry, environmentalists, local government advocates and state agency officials together to produce “reasonable’’ regulations over the drilling boom that is transforming swaths of Pennsylvania.

The Republican state attorney general will be inaugurated as governor Jan. 18. He did not reveal who he will appoint to take his place as the state’s top prosecutor, but said he has a few names in mind.

He said the day-to-day work of the attorney general’s office would continue to come to his desk, but that he would make a decision on his role in his office’s wideranging, nearly four-year corruption investigation of the Legislature after he talks to his top deputy about the status of the probe.

The co-chairs of Corbett’s transition team are Republican national committeewoman Christine Toretti; Jack Barbour, chairman of the Pittsburgh-based law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney; and Bill Sasso, chairman of the Philadephiabased law firm Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young.

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