Walker gets committee as Corbett's DCED chief

March 1, 2011 8:05:12 AM PST
C. Alan Walker has won a Senate panel's endorsement in his nomination to head the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

The former coal industry executive and statewide business advocate was unanimously backed Tuesday by the economic-development committee following an hour-long hearing.

It's the first in a series of hearings on Gov. Tom Corbett's Cabinet nominations that must be confirmed by the full Senate.

One subject that didn't come up was the Legislature's "walking-around money," tens of millions of dollars a year in special grants that legislative leaders dole out - mainly through the department's programs - for lawmakers' pet projects back home.

Corbett has vowed to stop the practice. Walker told reporters that how that is done is up to the governor.