By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Tom Wolf was sworn in this afternoon as Pennsylvania’s 47th governor, replacing Tom Corbett, whom he defeated handily in last November’s election.
The Chester Children’s Chorus serenaded Wolf just before he was sworn in.
Wolf, a Democrat, after then thanking the many people who helped get him elected, launched into his inaugural address by thanking Pennsylvanians who, in his words, “took a chance” by voting for “a different kind of leader.”
He affirmed that he will be an unconventional governor, speculating that he may be the first Pennsylvania governor who managed a hardware store and operated a forklift.
Wolf said the three themes that will motivate his administration are jobs that pay, schools that teach, and government that works.
During his inaugural address, the governor heard from protesters opposed to natural gas fracking. Wolf spoke of Pennsylvania’s vast natural resources:
“To fulfill our potential, we must take full and absolutely responsible advantage of these resources,” he said. “Now, to the protesters here today, I say help me develop these opportunities in a way that is clean, safe, and sustainable.”
Moments after his inauguration, Tom Wolf, in his first official acts as governor, signed two executive orders. One would ban gifts for people in the executive branch of state government. The other he says would reform the process of awarding legal contracts by the state. He says more than 500 lawyers work directly for the Commonwealth.
“It been a practice in the past to be very casual, I think… I think overly casual… about granting legal work that’s paid for, where the Commonwealth is the client, for work that in some people’s estimation those 500 attorneys don’t have the capacity to do, and so it’s outsourced,” Wolf explained.
Wolf says sometimes that leads to questions about the grounds on which those contracts are awarded, and he wants to make the process more fair and transparent.