Gov candidates make their case at PSATS forum

Four of the six candidates for governor say they’d rule out charging municipalities for state police protection.

Speaking at a forum before the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Democrats Dan Onorato, Jack Wagner and Joe Hoeffel, as well as Republican Sam Rohrer, said they don’t support bills that would assess fees to local governments who don’t have their own law enforcement operations.

Attorney General Tom Corbett drew murmurs from the crowd when he didn’t take a direct stance on the issue. Corbett says he wants to balance out the state police’s system of providing local coverage.

After the forum, the Republican frontrunner said it’s a complex issue.

Democrat Anthony Williams was the only candidate to say municipalities who rely on state police protection should pay a fee. A measure before the House would charge a hundred dollar-a resident fee to communities of more than 10-thousand people who don’t have their own police force.

The candidates all vowed to veto any bill imposing unfunded mandates on Pennsylvania’s municipalities. Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel’s answer summarized everyone’s stance.

All six also promised not to sign measures forcing local governments to consolidate services, though the candidates said they’d do everything possible to prod townships and boroughs to combine police forces and other services with their neighboring communities, in order to save money and resources.

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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