Written by Igor Volsky
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is facing an uphill fight for re-election as he battles negative job approval ratings and a slow economic recovery. The state’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 percent, but the “number of people working in Pennsylvania tumbled by about 14,000 in March, following a drop of 6,000 in February.” Private employment has remained flat for 13 months, “growing by a mere 1,000 jobs” and landing the state “49th in the nation for job creation during March.”
During an appearance on a local radio show this week, Corbett sought to explain away Pennsylvania’s less than stellar performance, arguing that the state gained 111,000 private sector jobs since he took office and is “doing better than other states.” But then he grew defensive and complained that “a lot” of businesses are still having trouble filling their ranks because too many Pennsylvanians use illegal drugs:
CORBETT: The other area is, there are many employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them. And that’s a concern for me because we’re having a serious problem with that.
A Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll released on Monday found Corbett trailing potental Democratic opponents by at least nine points.
Earlier this month, a state senator introduced a bill requiring drug testing of all recipients and applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Pennsylvania. The state is currently “conducing a pilot program in 19 counties of testing only those convicted of felony drug offenses.” Since January of 2012, just two people have failed.
This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.