Republican Tom Corbett, who takes the oath as 46th governor of Pennsylvania at noon today, has started off his day with a Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, a historic church across the street from the Capitol in Harrisburg.
Corbett, 61, of Pittsburgh, takes office with the state's budget deficit topping $4 billion. His spokesman told the Tribune-Review that Corbett will deliver an address that is "realistic about the challenges facing the state" but still offers encouragement and hope.
The day's festivities, still being held outside despite icy and snowy winter weather, continue at 10:20 a.m. in the Senate chambers with the swearing in of Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley of Bucks County.
Anti-Marcellus Shale drilling protestors - including at least one bus load from Philadelphia - are scheduled to begin their rally at 10:30 a.m. in the Memorial Grove park behind the Capitol. Protestors concerned about the environmental effects of gas drilling want a moratorium on drilling in state parks. Corbett has vowed to lift the moratorium.