Today, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a slew of bills finalizing the state budget for the upcoming year.
The $34 billion deal is an increase from over $1 billion from the previous year’s budget and just about $150 million less than what he asked for in his February budget address.
The plan includes increases in basic education funding and doesn’t raise taxes, but upsets some members of his own party for not increasing the state’s minimum wage and specifically eliminating the general assistance program, which led to heated debates in the state Senate this week.
In a statement, Wolf touted the “more than $300 million for education” increase and other Democratic backed plans, but “lamented” that the state will not raise the minimum wage from its current rate and elimination of the general assistance program. He pointed to the budget as a bipartisan deal.
“In divided government you have to advocate aggressively, you have to negotiate hard, and you also have to do what’s best for all of the people you serve,” Wolf said in a statement. “You have to do everything you can to promote the most forward-looking agenda you can conceive, and to prevent regressive policies from becoming law. You have to fight for every inch to help all of the people.”
The budget also includes $250 million into the state’s rainy day fund.