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Governor Tom Wolf, today February 5, 2019 addressed a joint session of the Pennsylvania Legislature to deliver his 5th budget proposal.
“Today, I present a comprehensive plan to help grow our economy by continuing to invest in our workforce,” said Governor Wolf. “This plan calls on contributions from the business community, labor unions, educators, research institutions, students, parents, and adult workers. And it increases opportunity for every Pennsylvanian at every stage of life – from birth to retirement.
“The people of our commonwealth have proven that, despite the challenges we face, Pennsylvania remains a place worthy of its history – a place where people can find good work, strong communities, and opportunity for their kids. And, here in Harrisburg, we’ve proven that despite our differences, we remain capable of doing what Washington just cannot seem able to do: tackle big challenges, put aside petty partisanship, and serve the public interest.”
A core component of the governor’s plan is the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center, which brings together agency heads and public and private sector experts in a unique approach to finding solutions that connect skilled workers with good jobs that employers need today and in the future.
The governor’s budget expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative, launched last year as a groundbreaking approach to workforce development.
Republican Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne responds to Governor’s address
The Governor delivered his 2019 Budget Address today. Thanks in part to strong fiscal discipline by the General Assembly during tough financial years which has contributed to improvements in the state’s economy, revenue projections show the Commonwealth finishing the current fiscal year ahead of projected estimates for the first time in a decade.
While this is certainly good news, with mandated costs continuing to rise year-over-year, it is important that we remain cautious when setting spending levels for this year’s budget and continue to prioritize our limited discretionary revenue on programs and services which are vital to the people of the Commonwealth and have shown proven results.
We look forward to delving further into the Governor’s budget proposal as we look for a budget solution that works for all Pennsylvanians.
PA CHAMBER APPLAUDS GOVERNOR’S FOCUS ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, WARNS AGAINST POLICIES THAT WILL HURT STATE’S COMPETITIVENESS
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in regard to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2019-20 budget address:
“We commend the governor for using his budget address to shine a spotlight on the need for the private sector and government to work together to ensure Pennsylvania’s workforce is equipped to meet the needs of the state’s evolving jobs market. On behalf of the Commonwealth’s broad-based business community, I am honored to co-chair the governor’s new workforce initiative – which aims to bring together the various elements of state government that oversee workforce development programs with the private sector to identify ways to help close the jobs skills gap, fill the many open positions that already exist throughout the state and make us more competitive on a national and global scale.
“We are, however, concerned with some components of the governor’s proposal – including an aggressive mandated increase to entry level wages to eventually $15 an hour across the Commonwealth. Countless independent studies have shown that these policies lead to negative impacts on employment, including job loss. A Congressional Budget Office report found that an increase to $10.10 an hour would result in the loss of 500,000 to 1 million jobs nationwide and a state-specific report from the PA Independent Fiscal Office reached comparable conclusions. Going to $15 per hour will only exacerbate these impacts and those mostly likely to be harmed are the very low-income, lesser-skilled workers whom advocates claim they want to help. We instead call on lawmakers and the governor to develop modern, smart policies that will help struggling Pennsylvanians without hurting employers and risking jobs.”
“Additionally, we are disappointed by the administration’s continued call for an additional tax on the state’s natural gas industry. Access to affordable energy is one of the Commonwealth’s strongest competitive advantages. And yet, despite the fact that the impact tax – which distributes money among all 67 Pennsylvania counties – is on track to bring in record high collections for 2018, this industry is once again being targeted for additional taxation. We are at risk of losing our competitive edge in the critical energy arena if state elected officials continue to look at higher energy taxes as a way to generate more revenue for government spending.”
Governor Wolf’s 2019-20 Budget Address
Today I delivered my 2019-20 budget address. This year, my focus is on building the strongest workforce in the nation. I’m proud to share my plan to increase opportunity for every Pennsylvanian at every stage of life – from birth to retirement. Throughout history, Pennsylvania has boldly led the nation in advancement and innovation. I ask the General Assembly to join me in seizing the opportunity to do it again.Posted by Governor Tom Wolf on Tuesday, February 5, 2019