Tom Wolf on Budget & Economy
How? By reforming our state government--and by making Harrisburg work smarter. One of my first acts as Governor--two years ago--was to identify $150 million we could save by making our state government more efficient--everything from negotiating for lower prices from vendors to putting voter registration online to streamlining the process for outgoing mail.
"Gov. Wolf has finally realized that he cannot hold schools and human service agencies hostage during this budget stalemate. The Legislature has been calling for the release of this critical funding for months, and it is about time that our governor recognize the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. Gov. Wolf claims that the budget sent to him by the Senate last week cuts education funding by $95 million. This is simply untrue. This budget increased education funding by more than $400 million. It is well past time for the political posturing to come to an end. Once again, the governor has purposefully wasted an opportunity to end this budget impasse. Today's events are further evidence that Gov. Wolf is waging war on taxpayers."
It starts by doing what every other major gas producing state has already done. We are going to place a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas. And we are going to tie the revenues from the tax to funding for public education.
I am proposing a five percent severance tax that is projected to generate more than $1 billion in annual revenues. While local communities will continue to receive funding to address the impact of the drilling, the bulk of these funds will be used to invest in public education.
This is not about politics or ideology. It is simply common sense.