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Lawmakers React to Proposed Budget

HARRISBURG -- Some parts of Governor Tom Wolf's budget promise to be politically dicey, like raising the minimum wage and putting a tax on drillers. But one thing both Democrats and Republicans tell Newswatch 16 they agree on is increased spending for education.

"I like the fact that he talked about a career in technical education, something I'm very passionate about," Rep. Gerald Mullery said.

"That investment in our community colleges will pay dividends in our job growth and getting the workers to the businesses that need them," Senator John Yudichak said.

Governor Wolf doesn't want to raise taxes for Pennsylvanians to pay for that, he once again brought up putting a severance tax on natural gas.

It's not the first time Wolf has brought this up.

"Which unfortunately we have not been able to deliver. We've been able to deliver in the senate. We sent a senate severance tax over to the house last year, and it failed in the house," Yudichak said.

Senator Gene Yaw tells Newswatch 16 he voted for the severance tax last year, but he wants to see some environmental considerations before he can support the tax this year.

"The severance tax the governor is proposing doesn't have any of those things attached to it. We may visit it again," Yaw said.

Republican Senator Mario Scavello from Monroe County tells Newswatch 16 he agrees with most of Wolf's proposed budget, but he wants to see more of a commitment to tourism.

"He's proposing a $9 million cut in bringing tourism to our area. Especially in my district, Monroe County is big on tourism," Scavello said.

Senator Yaw would have also liked to see more emphasis on the opioid epidemic.

"We need a lot of education about it. The number of people that don't understand how significant this problem is, it's staggering to me," Yaw said.

Yaw tells Newswatch 16 he's optimistic the budget will be in place by July 1.


  • Dennis Umphrey

    Be honest Harrisburg your law makers have no desire to change the property taxes and the burden of home owners all over the state, all this plan is for is to accumulate more votes around election time, half of the law makers never met their constituents and are so far in the back pockets of the gas and oil industry you can’t tax them or you’ll lose your funding to run for elections again?

  • Jd

    Tourism is nice, but, if that’s all we’ve got, we’ve got nothing. Need manufacturing. If you build it, they’re ready to start working. Well Wolf?

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