HARRISBURG -- Governor Tom Wolf proposed his spending plan for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Tuesday in Harrisburg.
It's an election year, and Governor Wolf challenged lawmakers to make many of his campaign promises budget priorities this year.
His speech at the state Capitol Tuesday called for a minimum wage hike, more money for education and job training, as well as a severance tax on the natural gas industry.
There were big cheers for the governor when he started his budget address in Harrisburg wearing a Philadelphia Eagles hat. The first-term Democrat also had his game face on heading into what's a typically adversarial budget battle with Republicans and a bid for re-election.
Governor Wolf used his past three years in office battling what he considers a paralyzed political system in the state.
" Sometimes, that's meant challenging this legislature to step out of its comfort zone. Sometimes, we've worked our way to compromise. Sometimes, I've been forced to move forward on my own," the governor said.
Republican lawmakers and Wolf have struggled to get a budget on time these past few years and used taxes on tobacco and expanded gambling to fill massive deficits.
This year, Wolf is asking for money for education, a higher minimum wage, and an emphasis on the job training in hopes it could pay off with big investments from companies including Amazon.
"I think a company like Amazon is considering Philadelphia or Pittsburgh as the location of its second headquarters. Businesses don't invest in states that don't invest in education, infrastructure, or job training. We're doing all of these things, and I am hopeful Amazon will come here, build here, and expand here," Wolf said.
After years of failed attempts, the governor wants a severance tax on the natural gas industry saying Pennsylvania is the only gas-producing state without one. Wolf challenged lawmakers to side with what's right, not special interests.
"Look, I get it. The oil and gas industry, they're powerful. But in the time I've been here, I've seen people in this legislature, even people I disagree with about pretty much everything set politics aside to do what's right."
The governor once again said he wants to funnel more money into education.
"In this year's budget, I'm proposing another major step forward: a significant investment in career and technical education to help make Pennsylvania a better place to learn, a better place to work, and a better place to do business," the governor said. "Developing a workforce that can compete and win in the 21st-century economy is the single best way to help Pennsylvania businesses grow and attract new businesses to our commonwealth. It's also the single best thing we can do to help more of our people find better jobs, not just tomorrow, but today."
Wolf called for more belt-tightening, more cuts of fraud, abuse, and waste. He also, once again, asked for a severance tax on oil and gas companies.
Wolf's first three budgets were marked by serious fighting with house and senate Republicans.
Pennsylvania is supposed to have a new budget in place by July 1.
You can watch Governor Wolf's entire address below.