For the final time as governor, Tom Wolf delivered his budget address.
So why not swing for the fences?
Wolf delivered a $43.7 billion spending proposal for the fiscal year that projects a surplus of $6.4 billion.
“These are days of opportunity for our commonwealth,” said Wolf. “That’s because, at long last, our fiscal house is in order. Over the past seven years, we’ve turned a $2-3 billion structural budget deficit into a $2-3 billion budget surplus. We’ve built our Rainy Day Fund to more than $2.8 billion—more than 12,000 times what it was when I took office.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, a GOP candidate for governor, described the proposal as being drafted in a “fantasy land.”
“This budget gives us the opportunity to make the critical investments that Pennsylvania needs in our schools, communities, and workforce. Now is the time to put this money into the programs that fund the future of this commonwealth,” said Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vincent Hughes said.
State Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, said the governor’s budget proposal, which represents an overall spending increase of $4.5 billion, would end up hurting Pennsylvanians financially in the future.
- $60 million increase for Pre-K counts
- $10 million increase for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program
- “Generational” investment of $1.75 billion in schools
- $200 million for Nellie Bly Tuition Program for students attending a PA State System university or community college.
- Additional investment of $125 million for institutions
Workers and Businesses
- Increasing minimum wage to $12 per hour on July 1, 2022 with annual $0.50 increased until reaching $15 in 2028
- Reducing corporate tax rate from 9.99 percent with desire to show path to 4.99%
- $30 million in funding for two new child care options for state employees
- $8 million for job training
- $35 million in grants and technical assistance to support community-led gun violence prevention efforts.
- $141 million increase to support Pennsylvania State Police