STATEMENT: On Governor Wolf's Proposed 2018-19 Budget

PBPC Director Marc Stier made the following statement following Governor's Wolf budget address and the release of his proposed 2018-19 state budget:

"Governor Wolf today offered a responsible budget that takes major steps towards reducing Pennsylvania's public investment deficit without raising taxes on working people and the middle class. His budget embraces the idea that broadly shared prosperity comes from both individual initiative and public investment. His proposals for new investments in pre-k, K-12 and higher education and workforce training will help generate good jobs at good wages as will his proposal to raise the minimum wage immediately to $12 an hour. His call for new investment for human services for children, women and families, for earned sick days, and for a bold new family leave plan will strengthen the social safety net on which so many of our fellow Pennsylvanians depend. While the budget he proposes is balanced, the Governor rightly recognizes that the long-term fiscal health of the commonwealth requires new, recurring revenues that place the burden on those most able to afford it - shale gas drillers and the 71% of corporations who take advantage of loopholes to avoid our corporate income tax.

"While the Governor's proposal points in the right direction, it only takes modest steps towards the kind of public investment the commonwealth needs. We understand that this is all the governor can expect when he faces a General Assembly in which extremists who, because they do not understand the importance of the public sector in creating broadly share prosperity, so often stand in the way of progress. That was true not only when the governor proposed modest spending increases and necessary tax increases last year, but also when he proposed many efficiencies in state operations. 

"We are hopeful that with an election in the offing, members of the General Assembly will avoid the temptation to engage in political grandstanding and will, instead, work cooperatively with the governor to embrace this pragmatic, problem-solving budget."