Wolf's Budget: What's New & How to Make Your Voice Heard

Governor Tom Wolf made education the focus of his new $34.1 billion budget, introduced Tuesday in Harrisburg.

Governor Tom Wolf made education the focus of his new $34.1 billion budget, introduced Tuesday in Harrisburg. Wolf proposed an increase in funding for Pennsylvania's public schools and stressed his desire to improve the state's workforce.

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In Wolf's first budget address of his second term, he proposed $1.9 billion in new spending, or nearly 6 percent more than last year. Wolf said his spending proposal would not increase the state's income or sales taxes. Public Schools are a big winner in the budget, with the governor proposing $200 million more for general school operations and instruction, $50 million for special education and an extra $7 million for the 14 state universities.

"I'm proud to share my plan to increase opportunity for every Pennsylvanian at every stage of life, from birth to retirement." Gov. Tom Wolf

Wolf reiterated his plan for a $12 an hour minimum wage, a proposal he unveiled last week. And he is once again proposing a severance tax on natural gas from Marcellus Shale drilling, although this time he's suggesting that the money would pay for infrastructure improvements instead of going into the state's general fund.

In the past the Republican-controlled legislature has rejected a number of the changes Wolf proposed in this budget, including a severance tax and a government-mandated increase in the minimum wage. "In the coming weeks, we'll have the chance to discuss, debate and negotiate the details," Mr. Wolf told House and Senate members in his budget speech.

- Find counterarguments to Wolf's proposed tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production at the Marcellus Shale Coalition's website .

- Click here to visit the PA Chamber of Commerce, a self proclaimed leading voice against government mandated minimum wage increases.

- Visit " Raise The Wage PA " to sign petitions and support Pennsylvania increasing the minimum wage.

You can also click here to find out how to contact your state lawmakers and make your voice heard.

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