Harrisburg, PA – In front of a joint session of the General Assembly, Governor Tom Wolf today laid out the crisis facing Pennsylvania and the critical decision lawmakers in the House and Senate must make this year: fix Pennsylvania’s structural budget deficit and invest in schools or continue down a path of greater devastation and face further, billion dollar cuts to both our schools and essential social services.
“There are two paths we can take: we can fix our deficit and invest in education to move Pennsylvania forward or we can continue to embrace the failed status quo and cut $1 billion from education funding, cut hundreds of millions of dollars to essential social services and continue to stifle the commonwealth’s economic growth,” said Governor Wolf. “If we do not act to end the era of deficit denial, one time fixes and budget gimmicks, the consequences will be billions of dollars in property tax hikes for Pennsylvanians and cuts to our schools and critical services for women, children, and seniors.
“Our education system, already threadbare after years of cuts and underfunding at the state level, will take a ruinous hit. More than 23,000 teachers, guidance and career counselors, special education aides and nurses will be laid off and yanked out of our schools. Tens of thousands of Pennsylvania children will lose access to early education that we know is key to future success.”
Governor Wolf called on lawmakers to return to the Capitol and send him the compromise budget that Republican leaders agreed to, then walked away from at the end of last year. That budget put responsibly addressed the structural budget deficit and began to restore previous cuts to our ailing school system and essential social services.
To avoid further cuts to those same programs and more, the governor also outlined his plan for 2016-2017, which would put our commonwealth on more secure footing than it has been in years and make targeted investments in education, job creation and programs to combat addiction and reform our criminal justice system. More HERE.