A largely Republican cadre of business leaders and political power-brokers will have Gov. Corbett's ear as he develops policies about whether to sell the state's liquor stores, roads, bridges, and other assets to private industry.
Corbett named his 23-member Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation on Thursday.
"This panel will further evaluate potential privatization, public-private partnerships, or managed-competition opportunities with the ultimate goal of streamlining government and saving taxpayers' dollars," Corbett said in a statement.
The composition of the committee and Corbett's comments Thursday indicate he might have made up his mind about privatization, at least conceptually.
"Privatization has been successful in government for many years," he said. "From snow removal services to social services, private job-creators have been doing work that government bodies simply could not do without an increased cost to taxpayers and a drop in efficiencies."
Panel members include Jonathan Newman, a former chairman of the Liquor Control Board who now favors privatizing alcohol sales; school-choice proponent Joseph P. Watkins of Philadelphia; and Robert B. Asher of Montgomery County, a Republican national committeeman.
The group's chairman is Western Pennsylvania lawyer John A. Barbour, who has served as counsel to the Pittsburgh Steelers and was cochairman of the governor's transition team.
Others on the panel include former Republican U.S. Reps. Robert S. Walker of Lititz and Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods; Matthew Brouillette, president of the pro-privatization Commonwealth Foundation; Allegheny County Republican Party Chairman James C. Roddey; and Grove City College president Richard G. Jewell, a former finance chairman of the Allegheny County GOP.
Dennis Yablonsky, head of the Allegheny Conference and former secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is among the few Democrats on the panel.
The members are unpaid volunteers.