HARRISBURG, February 5, 2019 – Senator Maria Collett (D-Bucks/Montgomery) attended Governor Tom Wolf’s budget address today. The Governor’s budget proposal for the 2019 term focused primarily on the Statewide Workforce, Education and Accountability Program (SWEAP) and includes a number of specific initiatives focused on the modernization of workforce and education programs.

Senator Collett wishes to share her reactions to the Governor’s proposals:

“I am glad to see that the Governor’s address matches the issues our Democratic caucus has consistently fought for — and our communities have consistently asked for — including investments in education, fostering the best workforce in the country, and promoting a fair economy that works for all of us, not just a chosen few.”

“I am glad to see more attention on early childhood education. Quality early childhood education carries benefits that last a lifetime and investing in it makes financial sense. It allows parents to work and decreases reliance on other government programs. It decreases the achievement gap and reduces the need for grade repetition and special and remedial education. It increases graduation and employment rates. It decreases the likelihood for crime and incarceration, and it increases lifetime earnings.”   

“I am glad to see a bigger focus on career and technical education. Time and time again, one of the top concerns I hear from local employers around the community is that there are not enough young people who have been properly trained for positions in skilled trades areas. And one of the top concerns I hear from young people is whether they will be able to earn a secure living in these uncertain and changing times.”

“I am a proud supporter of the Governor’s proposal to increase the minimum wage. This will begin to reverse decades of growing pay inequality between our lowest-paid workers and the middle class that is long overdue.  It is time that Pennsylvania steps up to ensure that its workers are able to earn a living wage.” 

“The Governor’s budget will help us continue to retain and attract businesses which support family sustaining jobs by strengthening our workforce, expanding investments and grant opportunities in agriculture and manufacturing, and an additional $10 million in new business tax cuts.”  

“Importantly, the Governor’s budget invests in the safety and well-being of our aging and disabled individuals. As a nurse, I am especially glad to see additional funding for increased inspections and licensing of personal care homes, assisted living residences, and residential and day treatment programs. And I know my father, who lives with my family, and countless other seniors will be happy to see continued investments to support aging individuals so they can continue to safely stay in their homes and communities.”

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collett anticipates hearing a great deal more regarding these proposals and how they might be implemented in the 2019 final budget.