Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget rebuilds the middle class in Pennsylvania by prioritizing jobs that pay, schools that teach and government that works. Pennsylvania can have a bright future but we must move away from the failed status quo embraced by Republican leaders.
Pennsylvania is a place that is full of opportunity and it’s time to stop bowing down to special interests and Harrisburg insiders if we want to reach our commonwealth’s great potential. That is why Wolf’s budget fixes the deficit without gimmicks, cuts taxes to create jobs with good middle-class wages, makes gas companies pay their fair share so we can makes historic investments in education to prepare our kids for the jobs of tomorrow and provide property tax relief to middle-class homeowners and seniors. We need to think differently and do things differently to move Pennsylvania forward.
Wolf understands the challenges that service providers, school districts and others are facing due to the budget impasse. The governor is doing everything he can to mitigate the effects of the impasse and he is working hard to reach a final budget agreement. The governor has proposed historic reforms to our liquor system, including privatizing the wholesale and retail operations, as well as our pension system where he proposed a plan that includes a 401(k) component and saves $10 billion more than the plan Republicans proposed. The governor has also tried to meet Republicans halfway by making significant concessions on a severance tax on natural gas — Pennsylvania remains the only gas-producing state in the country without a severance tax and the governor knows that is unacceptable.
We need these reforms and we need to invest in our future. Wolf’s no-gimmicks budget will get Pennsylvania back on track. In order to achieve this goal, we need Republican leaders to come to the table to offer a real plan without using the same old smoke and mirrors budgeting that has led to five credit downgrades for the commonwealth, left schools without the necessary funding they need to give our children the education they deserve, and resulted in a lack of funding for important human service organizations that ensure our most vulnerable citizens.
After Wolf offered these compromises on Republicans’ top priorities, he was offered absolutely nothing in return.
Wolf does not want to be part of the first generation of Pennsylvanians who have to tell our children that they have to go somewhere else to achieve success. No one does.
But now we need to come together do big things to rebuild Pennsylvania’s middle class and get Pennsylvania back on track. Maintaining the status quo that has plagued Harrisburg for so long is not an option.