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LVEDC’s Don Cunningham Discusses Pennsylvania Budget on PBS39’s FOCUS

By Colin McEvoy on November 25, 2015

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham (center) appeared in a panel discussion about the state budget on PBS39's FOCUS.

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham (center) appeared in a panel discussion about the state budget on PBS39’s FOCUS.

The president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) appeared on PBS39’s FOCUS last week as part of a discussion about the Pennsylvania budget situation.

Don Cunningham joined a panel that included Northampton County Executive John Brown; Michael Walker, president and CEO of Community Services for Children; and Alan Jennings, executive director of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley.

Cunningham shared his thoughts about the deeply-divided Pennsylvania government, the political mechanics that go into state budget discussions, and the proposal to raise the state’s sales tax to 6.25 percent, which would become the second-largest in the country.

He also shared a historical perspective, having experienced similar budget impasses from his time as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services in 2003, and as Lehigh County executive in 2009.

“This shouldn’t occur, but it typically occurs when you have deeply divided government,” Cunningham said. “In Pennsylvania you have a deeply-controlled Republican general assembly, and a Democratic governor who’s new, both standing firm on their own believes and not being able to find a compromise in a reasonable amount of time.”

The full episode of PBS39’s FOCUS can be viewed below. The discussion with Cunningham begins at the 12:48 mark:

FOCUS is a local magazine program that showcases the people, places, and issues of the Greater Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. Hosted by Laura McHugh, the show received four Emmy Award nominations from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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