Harrisburg – February 7, 2017 – Senate Democratic Labor and Industry chair Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) offered comments about the proposed $32.3 billion 2017-18 Fiscal Year budget that Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled today before a joint session of the General Assembly.

The plan increases spending slightly over last year, but cuts $2 billion in costs. It would close the $3 billion budget deficit with efficiencies and government reform, but without new broad-based taxes.

Tartaglione said she was particularly pleased with several aspects of the proposed budget including a new job training apprenticeship grant program; the call to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour; and a renewed effort to close the so-called Delaware corporate tax loophole.  Each of these initiatives have been a focus for Tartaglione over a number of sessions.

Tartaglione’s reaction to the spending plan follows:

“The governor has offered a responsible plan that not only deals with the looming budget deficit but makes key investments in job training, job creation, education and social service programs. The budget proposal includes a number of initiatives that I have been involved with including an expansion of apprenticeships to help create jobs, an increase the minimum wage and the closing of the Delaware Loophole.

“Lawmakers face a number of challenges to closing the budget deficit, but the governor has generated an alternative proposal that involves government reforms, efficiencies and structural changes.  We have to be very mindful that our state budget invests in programs and services that help working men and women, children, students, seniors and those in need.

“This is a good starting point and one that can help jump-start dialogue leading to an on-time budget that meets the needs of Pennsylvania.”