Norristown, PA. – February 5, 2021 – Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti (D-17 Montgomery/Delaware) viewed Governor Tom Wolf’s budget address earlier this week. The Governor’s 2021-2022 budget proposal includes a strong emphasis on breaking down the barriers that plague many Pennsylvanians. The proposal emphasizes working families and small businesses, investing in Pennsylvania’s public education including special education, child care and Pre-K, and teacher recruitment and retention, and focuses on improving the public health of Pennsylvania.

Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti Responds to Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget in the following statement:

I’m pleased that Governor Wolf’s budget proposal prioritizes education, working people, and public health. My constituents and I know that these investments are vital reviving Pennsylvania’s economy. The proposal identifies new sources of revenue to address the budget deficit and properly invest in the people of Pennsylvania. While there are, I believe, more specific steps must be taken in certain parts of the budget, this is a good start to the negotiations that will take place over the next weeks and months.

Since joining the Senate and becoming co-chair of the Women’s Health Caucus, I have been vocal regarding the toll COVID-19 has taken on child providers and subsequently working families. I am encouraged to see that the Governor is proposing an expansion to childcare subsidies – allowing more Pennsylvania job seekers the assurances necessary to return to work. Additional funds will also be made available for employers seeking to develop or expand on-site childcare for current workers and new hires, and for licensed childcare facilities offering non-traditional hours.

The Governor’s call for the immediate appropriation of $145 million, currently in reserve, to go towards relief for small businesses harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic will go far in jumpstarting the economic recovery of the Commonwealth. By raising the minimum wage, raising the minimum teacher’s salary from $18,500/year to $45,000/year, investing much needed funding into education after a year that decimated budgets, and closing tax loopholes, Pennsylvania will move forward, becoming more competitive with our neighboring states economies.

Overwhelmingly, Pennsylvanians from across the political spectrum support the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. However, this must come with the expungement of those who have been charged and convicted with non-violent marijuana related crimes.

Perhaps most importantly is the Governor’s plan to allocate an additional $8.3 million to fund county and municipal health departments. Included in this is funding is the support needed for Delaware County to establish their own Department of Health. Currently, Delaware County is the largest county in the country without a health department. During a pandemic that has caused over 35,000 positive cases in the county, this budget proposal rectifies this.