The Latest on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s $34.1 billion budget proposal (all times local):
Leaders of Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature are reacting relatively warmly to Gov. Tom Wolf’s new budget proposal, while applauding its lack of a tax increase.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said after the Democratic governor’s Tuesday budget address that he was pleased with Wolf’s tone, message and direction.
House Speaker Mike Turzai called Wolf’s message productive, positive and pragmatic. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says there’s parts of Wolf’s plans that Republicans can support, at least generically, including workforce development.
However, Scarnati’s warning that the state isn’t keeping up with its spending growth, even during good economic times.
He’s also calling for a reduction in the state’s corporate net income tax. Wolf wants to reduce it, too, but he wants to restructure how it’s calculated.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s new budget proposal requests hundreds of millions of dollars more for Pennsylvania’s schools, as well as a sprinkling of money for new voting machines and new programs to improve worker training and the agricultural sector.
The Democrat is also seeking new college benefits for members of the National Guard who re-enlist and tuition aid for community college students who remain in Pennsylvania.
Wolf released the $34.1 billion spending plan Tuesday to a joint session of the Republican-controlled Legislature. It’s his first since winning a second term, and is relatively modest compared to some earlier plans.
Wolf is seeking authorization for another $1.9 billion in new spending, or nearly 6 percent more. The higher spending would go toward public schools, pension obligations and social services.