HARRISBURG, February 7, 2017 — State Sen. Art Haywood issued the following statement today on the governor’s budget address for the 2017-18 Fiscal Year:
“Following Governor Wolf’s address this morning on the Pennsylvania budget, I fully support increasing the efficiency and savings in the operation of government. At the same time, even with $2 billion in savings, $1 billion in new revenue is included in the budget.
Our historic revenue shortfall and impending deficit necessitates the restructuring of our government to one that is more efficient but still provides the resources and services Pennsylvanians depend on. Governor Wolf’s proposed reorganization of the Departments of Human Services, Health, Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs into one, streamlined department is a first step. The elimination of redundancies, while preserving the original missions of each is a challenge as we make government capable of serving Pennsylvania’s citizens without waste.
Governor Wolf’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour also indicates a strong commitment to raise the pay of everyday people: we need to end poverty pay for hard-working Pennsylvanians. Adding a severance tax and combined reporting of income from businesses operating in multiple states will raise the dollars to protect the recent investments in education, opioid responses and protect the most vulnerable. In conjunction with the overall focus on returning benefits of raised revenue to the citizens, and not businesses, and no broad-base tax increases, I believe the outlined budget is an opportunity to move Pennsylvania and its people forward.”