By Laura Bonawits, Contributing Writer
With budget cuts in the works in Harrisburg, state senate Democrats are putting job creation at the top of their agenda.
Senate Democrats introduced “PA Works” last Wednesday, a six-part initiative aimed at stimulating tens of thousands of jobs while reducing state expenditures and keeping the interest of businesses in mind. It was created to “avoid new spending where possible and to increase efficiency and eliminate redundancy in state government,” according to a press release on Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa’s (D-Allegheny) website.
“We know that there is a move afoot to make significant cuts as we approach a daunting budget shortfall. We understand the reality we face,” Costa said. “We will also continue to remind our colleagues of the role job growth plays in our recovery. It is imperative that we continue to look at the big picture and make wise investments in our future to speed our economic recovery in Pennsylvania.”
The six components the plan centers on include putting small businesses first; identifying what works and fixing what doesn’t; going clean and green; creating jobs, investments and savings; business tax fairness; and infrastructure investment.
PA Works will reportedly create more than 28,000 jobs and generate over $2 billion in new private investment. It will rely solely on existing funds, including over $500 million in unspent funds from the Commonwealth Finance Authority, according to a story on GoLackawnna.
“Every corner of Pennsylvania, from Erie to North Philadelphia, is experiencing the effects of the poor economy,” State Senator Shirley Kitchen said in a press release. “People want to work. Businesses want to thrive. Our ‘PA Works’ initiative takes bold, new steps to ensure that Pennsylvania not only recovers but thrives.”
Senate Democrats believe all decisions the next few months should be made with job creation and retention as a priority. Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus will be busy within the next few weeks introducing multiple pieces of legislation that cover the six parts of the initiative, according to the release.