“Governor Wolf today has proposed a back-to-basics budget centered on Pennsylvanians’ most pressing needs and focused on building a strong future for everyone, no matter where they live. This is a fiscally responsible budget that troubleshoots the Commonwealth’s most serious weaknesses: inequitable public education funding; an uneven playing field for hourly wage earners; and health and social service supports that are not keeping pace with demand.
“This budget was crafted within a political reality that has stymied previous attempts by Governor Wolf to address steep revenue shortfalls and necessary spending obligations. Because of this, it will be some time before the Commonwealth achieves true fiscal solvency and is no longer ranked near the bottom in the United States for wage growth and credit ratings. I also remain concerned that the inability to empower public universities such as Temple to keep up with rising costs hurts their mission of offering a great education that is affordable to lower-income students and working parents.
“When it comes to wages, early childhood education, higher education, and more, Pennsylvania is simply not competitive with similarly populous, wealthy states. There is no justification whatsoever for not enacting a modest severance tax, which would generate $248 million in additional revenue next fiscal year as proposed by Governor Wolf.
“This is a commonsense, kitchen table budget to which no one serious should have objection. I urge members of the General Assembly to give Governor Wolf’s proposal due consideration, and look forward to working with our legislative delegation to ensure that Philadelphia, the economic powerhouse of the Commonwealth, receives our fair share in state spending.”
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Council President Darrell L. Clarke is serving his second term as the President of Philadelphia City Council. He represents Philadelphia’s 5th Council District. More information at phlcouncil.com/DarrellClarke