Feb. 05, 2019

HARRISBURG – Following Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address today before a joint session of the state House and Senate, Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Washington/Allegheny) issued the following statement:

“The governor’s budget address represents a starting point. I am optimistic about the workforce development aspect of his proposal. Education and training need to be fully accessible to all. Workforce development initiatives that educate and train individuals to meet the needs of current and future business and industry are needed to maintain a sustainable competitive economic environment. We must enhance economic stability by focusing on the workers’ marketable work skills. The big question is how do we pay for it? The governor plans to increase spending by $1.4 billion over last year, approximately a 5 percent increase. We can’t spend what we don’t have.”

“Wolf said he will not raise taxes or increase existing taxes. However, he is proposing a severance tax. Our impact fee has already generated $1.7 billion since 2012. It supports a variety of important projects, including infrastructure development and environmental stewardship programs. Natural gas producers already pay the same corporate, sales and payroll taxes that every other business in our Commonwealth pays. Instead of thinking of new ways to tax this industry, the governor should focus his time on growing the number of family-sustaining jobs that result from a thriving natural gas industry and the downstream industries developing around it.”

“The House Republican Caucus has been the leader in funding education throughout Pennsylvania. Funding for PreK-12 education has increased more than $3.4 billion since 2011. It is important to have a thoughtful conversation about the effectiveness of the dollars we spend in education. We should not simply be pumping more money into the system without having a results-oriented focus.”

“The House and Senate will take the next several weeks to review the governor’s proposal and attempt to identify areas where we can make it better.”

For more information on Wolf’s 2019-20 proposal, visit pahousegop.com.

Representative Mike Puskaric
39th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)
RepPuskaric.com / Facebook.com/RepPuskaric