Governor Proposes Commonwealth Budget

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.

39 comments

  • Cowboy

    Are our representatives on prescription for marijuana or something?
    You have to ask this because all they can say is (raise Taxes).
    LMAO!!!

  • Cowboy

    Will we the people get anything out of this TAX hike?
    Like,
    Free collage!
    Better health care!
    Or does it go to the schools for the teachers’ pay raise and health care?
    You just have to love those democrats, Raw, Raw. Raw!!!
    What ever happened to lowering our taxes because of the Nuclear power plant and the mohegan sun casino being built here?
    I never seen my taxes go down yet.
    The liberal democrats are forcing you out, you voted them in.
    Raw Raw Raw Clinton, Obama and wolf!
    Give them a big hand!!!
    Democrats lie about everything! Wake the HELL UP PEOPLE!

  • Bill

    Maybe the public universities can roll back or even eliminate the tuition subsidies their employees get for their children. For example if you work for Penn State you get a 75% tuition discount. That means that a PSU employee sends their children to PSU for four years what everyone else pays for 1 year, maybe just maybe if they would eliminate that discount or at the very least reduce it they can pass the savings onto everyone else as a reduction in tuition cost. But then again that is asking for too much.

  • hit'em where it hurts

    The new PSP fee is also included for townships and Boroughs that don’t have police coverage.

  • trucker

    There is no such thing as a tax on “oil and gas companies”. It is a tax on a product keeps old people warm in the winter and provide hot food for children. Making it more expensive to buy votes at the expense of children and the elderly is a bad idea. Also welcome to the Shareblue (google it) folks posting here :)

  • Lance

    Yeah free college tuition for certain state schools. Ridiculous! Cut the spending spree fix our roads like you promised with our gas taxes. Wolfie you are on track to being kicked out in November.

  • matt edwards

    here we go again. governor SANTA CLAUS is taxing and spending. and like a typical demoscum he wants to stop business in pa. with the extraction tax just as the gas industry is coming back hey wolfie SPEND WHAT YO HAVE STOP FUNDING THE PSEA ! and wnep why not remind the taxpayers that our Mensa members in harrisburg still haven’t passed a budget for this year !

    • Roflmao

      I think technically Shadow is correct, the budget that came into law by default (again) does not balance. It has what the Dimmocrats call a structural deficit. Translated into normal talk, its a wish list. Normal people may have such things on amazon, but Wolf is spending money that we didn’t even borrow. Go figure! If Normal people did that it would be theft.

      • Practice safe praying at home

        One little state, compared to the entire country. Here is some “whine” for your cheese, some luggage for your clothes, and an Amtrak ticket to Ohio , NC, or Fla. Go hang out with governors there and take your “whine” to them. I am sure they will do better for you, little hillbilly

  • Governor Wolfbait

    Governor Wolfbait is blowing smoke, more spending will entail while taxation increases. He needs to lose the election.

  • Donewiththegreed

    So what about all the people who make in the $15-20 range? Raising minimum wage will raise the cost of everything else and move us down the wage scale. I did things right, worked hard to get $10 an hour above minimum wage. Now I will be set back to $5 above and back to living how I was years ago?

    • Practice safe praying at home

      Move then. Take your 7.25 with you. Take the 10.00 with you. You are nothing anyways. Cost of living go up? You are a real genius smh…… Sarcasm. Have not had a minimum wage increase and years but things still have went up, haven’t they?

  • #WORTHLESSNEWS

    PA already has a severance tax. It’s called “Act 13 (Impact Fee)” and it provides a tax on gas wells, where money goes to the local governments. That’s precisely why Wolf wants his severance tax. With his version, taxes would go to the general fund and he can spend them any way or any where he wants. Of course, where would be Philly, not locally, because the highest concentration of Liberal voters are there and he’s running for re-election.

  • Cowboy

    This governor wolf isn’t looking out for the people here in Pennsylvania for sure.
    He just wants to tax the hell out of us and give it to the teachers.
    If he gets more tax off the oil and gas companies, who do you think is going to make their lost up, we the people will be charged more for it.
    SO HERE WE GO AGAIN with MORE TAX us poor consumers.
    He wants to help us? HE gave us the highest GAS TAX in the country already and wants MORE TAX on IT!!!
    I know I will not VOTE for this guy, he just wants to raise and make more bills for a new TAX!!!
    I feel for the people on FIXED INCOMES and the RETIREES of Pennsylvania with this TAX WOLF in office.

  • coach

    Hey Wolf was going to the super Bowl in our budget, I think Not !!!!!!! why do you take a pay cut? our gas prices are high enough. You will be in for only one term.

    • Jd

      His trip to California to meet with Nancy Pelosi and George Soros was paid for by whom? Bet it was on the PA taxpayers.

    • matt edwards

      remember when our legislature passed the .25 per gallon gas tax making pa. the highest gasoline tax in the country? they promised ‘every penny will go to road and bridge repair/. NOT ! 1/2 GOES TO FUND THE LUCRATIVE SALARIES AND PENSIONS OF THE KEYSTONE COPS !

  • breaking news;

    YEAH , there is that mike stack the guy who was the tieing vote on getting rid of property TAX,,,HE VOTED NO.

  • Eric

    Recreational marijuana legalization needs to happen soon. Our state needs the $300,000,000 annual revenue. New Jersey is legalizing it by summer. Does Gov Wolf want Pennsylvanians spending their money in New Jersey?

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      And prostitution.

      The problem is, is that they won’t use the surplus to pay off debts.

      They’ll legalize these things when they suck the blood out of everything else first.

Comments are closed.