Bold budget plan boosts middle class, education in PA - Mar 6, 2015

Legislative Review


Bold budget plan boosts middle class, education in PA

Gov. Tom Wolf this week unveiled a bold, comprehensive budget plan for Pennsylvania, a budget that shows the new governor is willing to make the tough choices necessary to move Pennsylvania forward and begin rebuilding the state's middle class, devastated by the past four years of unsound budgeting and outdated and ineffective policies.

While fixing Pennsylvania's $2.3 billion budget deficit is not going to be easy, House Democrats are confident Gov. Wolf's budget package includes the tools to do it. Instead of going at the deficit and other challenges facing the state piecemeal, the governor's budget plan addresses them with a comprehensive approach.

In addition to eliminating the $2.3 billion structural budget deficit, Gov. Wolf's budget would also provide $3.8 billion in homeowner property tax relief across the state, resulting in property taxes for some 270,000 senior citizen households being eliminated. The budget plan also restores $1 billion in education funding from pre-K through higher education and makes new investments in human services, infrastructure, the environment and health care. Under the plan, most middle class households in Pennsylvania would see a net tax reduction.

Gov. Wolf's plan also includes the only pension reform proposal so far that begins reducing the unfunded liability near-term, saving the state and school districts money immediately.

Pennsylvania needs to take a bold step – a fresh start. Gov. Wolf's budget proposal is that bold step -- a comprehensive, solid starting point for a budget process that will stretch over the next several months. House Democrats look forward to evaluating this plan and getting to work with our Republican colleagues on constructing a budget that finally allows Pennsylvania to meet the many challenges ahead.